Trust In Our Elections: A Community Conversation

Join us for an informative, nonpartisan event dedicated to fostering a deeper understanding of the election process

6:00 pm - 7:30 pm

Ware Center

42 N Prince Street

Lancaster, PA 17603




Fair and secure elections are the bedrock of our democracy. However, many members of our community have little information about what happens after they cast their ballots. As we head into a high-profile election year, Hourglass, The Steinman Institute for Civic Engagement, and Keep Our Republic invite you to attend this informative, nonpartisan event dedicated to fostering a deeper understanding of the 2024 election process and equipping our community to combat misinformation surrounding election integrity.

At the event experts from across the state and from our own backyard will talk about what’s new for Pennsylvania’s elections in 2024, how votes are counted, certified, and audited, and answer questions on topics like mail-in ballots, the role of the courts and media in elections, how technology impacts election security, and what federal, state and local governments are doing to combat election interference. You’ll walk away from the evening with a better understanding of how our elections are run so that you can be a trusted messenger in your network during the 2024 elections. We hope you can join us!

This event is generously sponsored by the Lancaster County Community Foundation.

Agenda for Evening:

Private Reception: 4:30-6 PM
Public Program: 6-7:30 PM

Program Panel

Moderator: Stephen Medvic

Director, Center for Politics & Public Affairs, F&M College

Stephen K. Medvic is The Honorable and Mrs. John C. Kunkel Professor of Government and Director of the Center for Politics and Public Affairs at Franklin & Marshall College.  His research and teaching interests include campaigns and elections, political parties, democratic innovation, and public opinion.  He is the author or editor of eight books including Gerrymandering:  The Politics of Redistricting in the United States (published by Polity Press in 2021), Campaigns and Elections:  Players and Processes (4th edition published by Routledge in 2022), and Are All Politics Nationalized? Evidence from the 2020 Pennsylvania Campaigns, co-edited with Matthew M. Schousen and Berwood A. Yost (published by Temple University Press in 2023).

Tom Corbett

Former Governor of Pennsylvania

Tom Corbett is executive in residence at Duquesne University School of Law. The former governor most recently served as an adjunct professor at the law school.

As the commonwealth’s 46th governor, Corbett held Pennsylvania’s highest office from 2011 until 2015. Corbett has a long and distinguished career serving citizens as assistant U.S. attorney, U.S. attorney, chair of the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency, Pennsylvania attorney general, and governor. Corbett has also served as a key advisor to U.S. presidents and governors.

Corbett served as a member of the Pennsylvania National Guard 28th Infantry Division from 1971 until 1984, rising from private to captain.

John E. Jones III

President, Dickinson College, and former federal judge

John E. Jones III was named the president of Dickinson College in 2022. Jones previously served as interim president and chair of Dickinson’s board of trustees, and retired as chief judge of the U.S. Middle District Court of Pennsylvania. He was appointed to the federal bench by President George W. Bush and unanimously confirmed by the United States Senate in 2002.

Jones presided over a number of high-profile cases, including the landmark case of Kitzmiller v. Dover School District and Whitewood v. Wolf. Jones co-chaired Pennsylvania Governor-elect Tom Ridge’s transition team and served as chair of the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board.

Jones has received numerous accolades during his career. In 2006, Time Magazine named him as one of its Time 100 most influential people in the world. He was the recipient of the first John Marshall Judicial Independence Award given by the Pennsylvania Bar Association. He also received the Geological Society of America’s President’s Medal and was inducted into the George Washington Spirit Society.

Born and raised in Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania, he is a graduate of Mercersburg Academy, Dickinson College and Penn State Dickinson Law.

Ray D'Agostino

Lancaster County Commissioner

Ray D’Agostino was elected as a Lancaster County Commissioner in 2019. Previous to this post he served for ten years as CEO of the Lancaster Housing Opportunity Partnership (LHOP), a regional U.S. Treasury certified Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) that is focused on housing affordability.  Ray also served as the first Chief of Staff for former State Senator Smucker (now Congressman) and spent 17 years in local government as a municipal and authority manager.  He is a retired veteran of the U.S. military having served 22 years in the Naval Reserve and PA Army National Guard.

Ray holds Master of Public Administration and Bachelor of Science in Education degrees from Shippensburg University.  He lives in Lampeter with his wife and two children.

Kate Huangpu

Reporter, Spotlight PA

Kate Huangpu is a state government reporter at Spotlight PA, a non-profit newsroom in Pennsylvania focusing on long-form and investigative public service journalism. A graduate of the Columbia Journalism School’s data journalism program, Huangpu got her start reporting on police accountability and social services for survivors of domestic violence in New York City. She previously worked at ABC’s World News Tonight and MSNBC.

Huangpu follows how and why the state government works the way it does, paying special attention to how the structure of our government expands or excludes who can participate in democracy. Huangpu also tracks major legislation and the impact that it has on communities across the state.

Michael McDonald

Director of Policy, PA Department of State

Michael McDonald was appointed Director of Policy for the Department of State in April 2023. He provides research, analysis, and recommendations on key departmental issues that impact the program areas of charities and corporations, elections, and professional licensure.

Prior to joining the department, McDonald was a litigator at Ballard Spahr LLP in Philadelphia. He practiced in federal and state courts representing clients in complex commercial disputes and specializing in matters relating to constitutional law, election administration, voting rights, and legislative redistricting. McDonald also worked at the law firm of Patterson Belknap LLP in New York City. McDonald graduated cum laude with a bachelor’s degree from Saint Joseph’s University and magna cum laude with a juris doctor degree from the University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School.

Student Contest

In today’s world, where decisions shape the future, it is crucial for everyone to recognize the significance of their voice in the democratic process. The Trust in Elections challenge invites high school students to explore and communicate the importance of voting and the impact of elections on society.

Civic Learning Contest Guidelines: All participants must conduct baseline research to guide their project responding to one of four challenge prompts. Categories include Creative Expression; Civic Engagement Planning; Essay; or Social Media Campaign Planning.

Contest Information: Students Grades 9 – 12 from schools in Lancaster County are eligible. Team and Individual Submissions Accepted. Deadline for Submissions: 11:59 PM, January 31, 2024.

The first 50 individuals and team members submitting entries will receive complimentary tickets for the February 8, 2024 event where winners will be announced and participants recognized. Tickets will be emailed upon submission.

First Place: $500 for student, $500 for school
Second Place: $250 for student, $250 for school
Honorable Mention: $100 for student, $100 for school
Top printed pieces will be published in LNP on Sunday, February 11, 2024.
Top video pieces will be published on &

Please email with any questions.

Hosting Organizations


Hourglass was founded in 1997 to provide local, reliable information on Lancaster County issues, ensuring informed decisions, and making Lancaster a better place to live and work. Hourglass functions as an independent, nonpartisan entity, providing objective information and fresh ideas, conducting research and analysis, and encouraging collaboration among local governments and organizations to help them better meet the challenges of a changing world. Learn more at

Keep Our Republic

Founded in 2020, Keep Our Republic is a non-partisan civic education organization dedicated to protecting a republic of laws and strengthening the checks and balances of our democratic electoral system. Learn more at

Steinman Institute for Civic Engagement

With seed funding from The Steinman Foundation, WITF established The Steinman Institute for Civic Engagement to address the challenges facing local journalism, civic engagement, media literacy, and critical thinking in an effort to build stronger communities.

Thank you to our Event Sponsor

Lancaster County Community Foundation