• Election season is the most exciting time for policy influence organizations, says Duane Blackburn of MITRE.
     Election season is the most exciting time for policy influence organizations, says Duane Blackburn of MITRE.

Policymakers Scramble Ahead of Elections

August 6, 2020
By Rachel Lilly
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Policymaking kicks into overdrive both inside and outside the government.

With the election looming, policymakers both inside and outside the government are working overtime to prepare for what’s ahead. “No matter who wins this election, whether Trump gets a second term or we get a different president, there’s going to be an awful lot of changes,” said Duane Blackburn, S&T policy analyst for The MITRE Corporation, during an interview with AFCEA Asks.

For policymakers inside the government, it’s a sprint to the finish as they attempt to wrap up the policies they’ve been working on over the past few years before they get engulfed in the election season. “But while they’re doing their normal day job, they also have this extra task that occurs once every four years—they’re planning for the transition, and this is a legal requirement,” added Blackburn.

Beginning last month, policymakers started to develop briefing books, planning for continuity of operations and figuring out how to on board new political appointees. That includes getting them up to speed on the issues, enabling these new appointees to fine tune what’s happening “and take ownership of it,” explained Blackburn.

Outside the government, “this is probably the most exciting time for policy influence organizations throughout the four-year period, because it’s honestly a world of possibilities.” Both campaigns are developing talking points and identifying future appointees, who will seek new policy directions.

All of these initiatives require input from external experts. “So these folks are very, very busy right now fine tuning their message, looking for opportunities to get in front of folks and really have those conversations,” said Blackburn.

Watch the full Q&A clip with Blackburn:

For more from our AFCEA Asks interview with Blackburn, view the full playlist, which includes questions on biometric policies, public participation in policy making and the upcoming virtual FedID event.

The Federal Identity Forum & Expo has been the U.S. federal government’s primary outreach and collaboration-building event in the worldwide identity community since 1995. Learn more and join us for this year’s virtual event Sept. 8-11: https://events.afcea.org/FEDID20

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