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Brennan Center

Edgardo Cortés

Election Security Advisor, Elections & Government

Edgardo Cortés is an advisor to the Election Security team at the Brennan Center, where he consults on the development of regulation, legislation and litigation. He has more than 15 years of experience in all facets of the electoral process including campaigns, nonpartisan voter registration, federal and state election policy, and local and state election administration.

As Virginia’s first commissioner of elections, Cortés spearheaded voter registration and election administration modernization efforts in the commonwealth. Those efforts included: establishing paperless voter registration at DMV locations; fully integrating online DMV transactions with the online voter registration system; establishing an online, paperless absentee ballot request system; implementing an easier to use voter registration form; creating an online assessment of election administration at the local level, making election data more accessible to the public.

Cortés served as the chairman of the Board for the Electronic Registration Information Center (ERIC) and chairman of the U.S. Election Assistance Commission Standards Board. He was a charter member of the Election Infrastructure Government Coordinating Council established by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Cortés previously served as general registrar in Fairfax County, Va., and deputy director for policy and grants director at the U.S. Election Assistance Commission. He has also directed congressional field campaigns and a national nonpartisan voter registration program, and led efforts to implement automatic restoration of voting rights for individuals with prior felony convictions in Virginia.

Cortés holds a BA from Cornell University and a master’s degree in political management from the George Washington University. He lives in Springfield, Va., with his wife and son.