Secretary Dunlap releases animated version of Maine Voter Guide

State of Maine | September 23, 2016

As the General Election nears, the Department of the Secretary of State is getting animated about encouraging voter participation. Today, Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap is unveiling two animated videos that explain the process of voting in Maine.

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This video shows a self-represented filer the steps needed to register for an ICCES account. Information is also included to direct self-represented filers to self-help material on the State Court Website.


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GOVERNMENT BUSINESS

David Spirk Joins Fortem Technologies' Government Advisory Board

Fortem Technologies, Inc. | June 29, 2022

Fortem Technologies, Inc., the leader in airspace security and defense for detecting and defeating dangerous drones, announced the appointment of David Spirk to its Government Advisory Board. Spirk comes with 27 years of federal defense experience and currently works in an advisory and board member capacity with a portfolio of companies who focus on providing cutting edge technology to the national security sector of the United States and its allies. Spirk most recently served as the U.S. Department of Defense's (DoD) first chief data officer, where he built up the DoD's Chief Data Office and created a strong focus on warfighter needs, data governance, and a data-ready workforce. He oversaw the establishment of, and gained Deputy Secretary of Defense advocacy for, the Operational Data Teams for the Combatant Commands (COCOMs). These teams extended Project Maven and Advana's data management platforms into all 11-COCOMs and the Joint Staff with data engineers capable of beginning the cross-COCOM data-driven transformation. I am honored to take the opportunity to join Fortem's Government Advisory Board and help the team drive its proven autonomous counter-UAS solution into operational formats. From our warfighters, through law enforcement, and into critical infrastructure defense, Fortem already has the best data-driven counter-UAS solution that meets and defeats the rapidly growing threat. I'm thrilled to be a part of a team that has an industry leading understanding of the opportunity of turning the data they are generating into decision advantages for operators and analysts at the tactical, operational, and strategic level." David Spirk Formed in 2020, Fortem's Government Advisory Board is composed of former military, intelligence, and federal government executives across civilian, defense and intelligence sectors. The group provides strategic insights to help the company further advance the work and goals of the U.S. government and its allies. Current board members include Bruce Lemkin - former Deputy Under Secretary of the Air Force, International Affairs, Kevin Meiner - former Deputy Director of National Intelligence for Enterprise Capacity, and Lynn Wright - former Deputy Director of Naval Intelligence, among others. About Fortem Technologies, Inc. Fortem Technologies is the leader in airspace awareness, security, and defense for detecting and defeating dangerous drones. Through an advanced, end-to-end system of distributed radar, AI at the Edge, deep sensor integration, and autonomous drone capture, Fortem is deployed across 5 continents to monitor and defend the world's airspace over venues, campuses, and metro regions. The same system is accelerating the safety of the world's airspace for advanced air mobility (AAM). Based in Pleasant Grove, Utah, the company is privately held and backed by Toshiba, Boeing, DCVC, Mubadala Investment Company, Signia Venture Partners, and others.

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EMERGING TECHNOLOGY,INFRASTRUCTURE

Torch.AI & Vertosoft Join Forces to Optimize Data Infrastructure with AI for 100+ New Customers Across the U.S. Government

Torch.AI | August 19, 2022

Torch.AI, pioneers of data infrastructure AI, announced today a partnership with Vertosoft to accelerate the adoption of next-generation artificial intelligence (AI) and data infrastructure software capabilities across the U.S. Government. Torch.AI, already supporting some of the world's most important organizations, has re-imagined how organizations use and extract value from data. The company's software is quickly becoming the AI ecosystem and data infrastructure standard, introducing a new way for teams to increase productivity, prioritize resources, and bridge data silos by accessing and correlating mission-critical information. Torch.AI's role in the partnership will be to propel the adoption and delivery of new data infrastructures powered by AI to government agencies seeking an innovative response to complex data challenges. Torch's solutions will complement Vertosoft's strong portfolio of enabling technology partners in DOD agencies, such as the U.S. Army and U.S. Air Force, and further extend reach to Vertosoft's vast 100+ organization network across the greater DOD and Civilian space. As a leading emerging technology distributor, Vertosoft is focused on bringing innovative and emerging technologies to the public sector. With dozens of contract vehicles and government-wide acquisition contracts, Vertosoft simplifies government procurement. The partnership with Torch.AI will enable Vertosoft to bring critically important data and AI capabilities to every level of government. "We're excited to build on our momentum in the government space and continue powering mission-critical decisions and operational capabilities with our data infrastructure AI solutions, We see Vertosoft as a key component of our public sector strategy and plan to leverage their experience in bringing technology to the government market." -Bobby Butler, Director of Partner Success at Torch.AI. We continue to hear from public sector customers across the U.S. Federal, State, and Local markets that they're consistently looking to integrate more diverse datasets into their decision-making process and have systematically struggled in doing so, says Josh Slattery, Vice President of Technology Sales at Vertosoft. Vertosoft is thrilled to partner with Torch.AI to help bridge the gaps and turn AI into a reality for our public sector customers. About Torch.AI: Torch.AI, the Data Infrastructure AI Pioneers, are headquartered in Kansas City with offices in Washington, DC. The company developed the use of AI to process data in-flight, radically evolving analytic and operational capabilities in any IT environment. Torch.AI's products and people are currently actively supporting operations in industries including financial services, construction and engineering, healthcare, and the US Department of Defense, US Department of Homeland Security, and other agencies. About Vertosoft: Established in 2016, Vertosoft accelerates the adoption of innovative and emerging technology within the government. We bring the flexibility, agility, and responsiveness of a small company with the experience of a large organization. With our clear focus on emerging technology growth in government, Vertosoft is uniquely positioned to reduce complexity and provide scalable, cloud-ready technology solutions that enable government agencies to deliver smarter, client-centric digital transformations.

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CYBERSECURITY

Defense Acquisition University's Chris Newborn Selected as SynED's May National CyberHero for Boosting Defense Contractors' Cyber Defense Systems

SynED | May 30, 2022

SynED, a national non-profit organization that identifies emerging best practices for effective articulation between employers, job seekers, and education providers, announced that Christopher Newborn, recently retired Professor of Information Technology (Cybersecurity Emphasis) at Defense Acquisition University (DAU), is this month's CyberHero. Chris's decades of experience and approach to his work positioned him to be an outstanding advocate for the protection of sensitive information in the U.S. Defense Industrial Base supply chain, the nation's private sector defense contractors. He worked with the acquisition workforce and Defense Industrial Base professionals who are responsible for acquiring, deploying, and maintaining cybersecurity capabilities and defending critical networks, systems, and data. While at DAU, Chris provided critical support to the California Advanced Supply Chain Analysis and Diversification Effort (CASCADE and CASCADE II), established by the California Governor's Office of Planning and Research to bolster California's defense supply chain cybersecurity resilience. Chris and I worked together on the CASCADE program, and he was incredibly helpful in demonstrating the challenges that defense suppliers face in meeting requirements and finding cybersecurity workers. His duty to country and helping others really shines through. I have no doubt that his 'retirement' will just mean he's starting a new chapter in his service to others and national security." Liz Fraumann, Director and Senior Project Manager at synED CASCADE has spurred projects that support business assistance programs and the growth of the cybersecurity workforce through cybersecurity-related education curricula, training, and apprenticeship programs. Chris takes a hands-on, real-world approach to his work. "I always say, I'm not necessarily a professor, I'm a consultant," Mr. Newborn shared. "The reason I say that is, I will take things in a real world scenario and put it to how it applies to you, so you can come up with efficient and effective methods to counter the threat, or at least come up with trade-offs." The U.S. government has responded to increasing threats to classified and unclassified information by issuing statutory and regulatory policies and procedures. However, these cybersecurity guidelines and requirements have proven to be challenging for businesses to properly implement and execute. "We have done a great job when we classify information as secret and above, we have great processes and procedures in place," added Mr. Newborn. "The problem is, when Controlled Unclassified Information (CUI) and other unclassified information is accumulated over a period of time, this information, when aggregated, can provide enough information to our foreign adversaries and competitors to get a leg-up." The Defense Industrial Base supply chain is complex and layered, with prime contractors, subcontractors, vendors and manufacturers, with a wide spectrum of size, experience and capabilities at every level. "[Our adversaries are] not just after our prime contractors and sub-contractors, they're after our manufacturers and vendors," added Mr. Newborn said. Many contractors, manufacturers, and vendors are small to medium-sized businesses that have limited staff and resources to meet ever-changing cybersecurity guidelines and requirements. To help mitigate these challenges, the government has sponsored training to help them better understand the statutory and regulatory requirements. While at DAU, Chris supported conferences and conducted workshops with Defense Industrial Base partners. With another DAU professor, Dr. Paul Shaw, Chris developed training content and supported multilateral "bootcamps" on acquisition topics, bringing in government employees, vendors, and academia to illuminate common issues and find solutions. Laura Rodgers, Senior Manager for Cyber Compliance at the North Carolina Military Business Center, said Chris brings a unique perspective that can't be found anywhere else. "He puts some structure on this nebulous thing called cybersecurity, and then he's got the technical chops to help too. He's been very helpful to the North Carolina defense industrial base and we've benefitted greatly from his expertise and insight." After meeting Laura on a webinar presentation, Chris offered to attend a weekly class put on by Laura so he can answer questions from her students. He attends each week and stays on late to answer questions. "There are just not many out there who are that committed to national security," added Ms. Rodgers. Chris graduated from Atlanta's Morehouse College in 1982, a historically Black men's liberal arts college. That year, Chris joined General Dynamics, where he worked on early electrification efforts for the M1 Abrams tank and the development of the Bradley Fighting Vehicle. While working at General Dynamics in Detroit, Chris joined the Navy, where he received valuable training and education that furthered his career. He remained in the U.S. Navy Reserve from 1984 to 1990. During Operations Desert Shield/Desert Storm, Chris was at the Tank Automotive Command where he oversaw all the secondary spare parts for the Army. Chris was the most senior person of color, having been promoted quickly to GS-14, the second-highest civilian Federal government employee ranking. "I may not have a uniform on, but if I do my job to the best of my ability as an acquisition professional, giving the tools to the warfighter, then they have a chance of doing their duty and going home safely to their families," Chris said of his work during Operation Desert Storm. "That is my motto, and that is what I've been following ever since." Chris was appointed to the Army's civilian staff at the Pentagon, where he worked on acquisition management from the government side. He says his time working at the Pentagon and living in the Washington, DC area was a career highlight. In 1997, Chris joined the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command (SPAWAR)'s Cybersecurity and Program Management Office, just as the military command was transitioning from Crystal City, Virginia, to San Diego. His duty was to procure and manage cyber capabilities for the program offices at SPAWAR, becoming both a subject matter expert and an acquisition manager. Then, after 30 years in government, Chris moved to DAU to pass on his knowledge. "I look at myself as a conduit of information, almost like a router. That is why I always come back and say, 'Sometimes you have to be that subject matter expert, sometimes you have to be the facilitator, and sometimes you just have to take notes." After 37 years with the Department of Defense, Chris officially retired in April 2022 and recently moved to North Carolina. Chris plans to return to DAU as a part-time Intermittent Professor to complete his work on a curriculum for cybersecurity requirements in the Defense Industrial Base. There is no one better placed to strengthen cybersecurity in the Defense acquisitions supply chain and workforce. He also hopes to be a bridge between the East and West Coasts' military businesses. In his spare time, he and his wife Agnes plan to volunteer with the local public school district to support teachers. About SynED CyberHero's Series SynED's CyberHero's series is a monthly column published nationally that highlights individuals who quietly go above and beyond in helping to secure our nation and communities by developing cyber talent. SynED is a national non-profit that identifies and highlights emerging best practices for effective articulation between employers, job seekers, and education providers. SynED is the proud recipient of the 2021 Association for Career & Technical Education Business-Education Partnership Award.

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GOVERNMENT BUSINESS

Governments Face Urgent Demand for Digital Solutions and E-services; Low-Code Proves Value as Go-To Platform

Mendix | May 31, 2022

According to Mendix, a Siemens business and global leader in modern enterprise application development, the convergence of post-pandemic trends and technological advancements are fundamentally reshaping the distribution, provision, and access to e-government and digital-first services for the public sector. Although the emergence of data-driven, tech-enabled "Smart Cities" dates back to 1974, pandemic-related mitigation measures required the public sector to reinvent secure, accessible digital channels for constituents and workforce administrators. Recent findings by the U.S.-based National Association of State CIOs describe a seismic shift in the pace of digitalization by state and local agencies that felt like "10 years' worth of deployments in 8 months." However, the successful expansion of e-government services has raised expectations for government agility and responsiveness by administrators, constituents, policy makers, and regulators alike. Research shows accelerating numbers of use cases — generated by increased demand for next-generation cloud-based computing, artificial intelligence, Internet of Things, 5G connectivity, and hyperautomation — for federal, state, and local agencies to digitalize their services and planning processes. Yet analysts also cite the public sector's long-established oversight, budgeting, and procurement requirements as a potential bottleneck to rapid transformation. E-government for future needs and rising expectations To navigate this perfect storm, a low-code software development platform with a robust ecosystem has proven invaluable for public sector agencies tasked with reinventing digital government for a new era. During the pandemic, Mendix public sector customers developed scalable, innovative digital solutions embraced by a range of policy makers and agencies. Today, there is no going back. Public agencies are expected to make decisions at speed and deliver value in real time. Governments can no longer operate in a reactive mode. In our complex, volatile era, the public sector must leverage technology to collaborate across multiple jurisdictions and successfully engage with constituents." Mark Smitham, head of public sector EMEA at Mendix According to Gartner, 60% of worldwide public agencies expect to triple their citizen-facing digital services by 2023. On the national level, governments are aiding the call to modernize critical legacy applications to be more responsive in this changing landscape. In the U.S. for example, a bipartisan proposal moving through congress would prioritize replacing federal legacy IT systems with modern infrastructure. Low-code software development platforms are uniquely positioned to help the public sector maximize allocated resources while rapidly iterating and deploying innovative solutions. Here are five ways that best-in-class software development platforms will drive digital success for public sector needs. Composable solutions, tailored for future needs Research shows that government employees have the highest usage of shadow IT, turning to these workarounds when red tape and other barriers halt procurement of the technology they need to get the job done. Such ad-hoc solutions expose the organization to increased risk of cyber hacking. Plus, commercial off-the-shelf systems from single-solution vendors can prove costly later, when unexpected crises or changing conditions require customization for new use cases. A robust software development platform, on the other hand, is specifically designed for iterative collaboration. Open architecture with built-in governance and connectivity control can stabilize an agency's provision of digital services regardless of procurement cycle timing or budget allocation. Gartner analysts recently cited the use of composable software apps (characterized as modular, adaptable, and reusable digital solutions) as the most important factor for government enterprises tasked with meeting changing regulatory, legislative, and public expectations. Modernizing legacy systems for new needs Widespread support for public sector digitalization is driving the accelerated pace of legacy modernization. Local and regional governments are charting the impact of IoT and connected devices, AI, and 5G connectivity to achieve operational efficiencies across a range of services, including traffic and transportation flows, energy use and lighting, health monitoring of waste, water, and air quality, public works and safety, emergency services, and resource planning and allocation. Technology has always been an essential ingredient for a range of local services. The next phase, however, will come from hyperconnected public infrastructure. The ultra low latency of long-promised 5G connectivity linking massive, multiple connections of IoT sensors will be the linchpin that makes real-time decision-making at scale a reality for the public sector. "This will be a game-changer, enabling the promise of smart cities to become a wide-spread reality," Smitham said. He cautions, however, that ease of data integration across the digital ecosystem will determine progress or delay. "An adaptable, flexible low-code platform that extends the technology stack in a malleable way will allow service providers to stay current with changing technologies, partners, and services," said Smitham. "Mendix's low-code platform can be the glue enabling communication and integration across these different protocols." Security by design, embedded from the start In today's high-threat environment, enhanced cybersecurity, data protection, and trustful interactions across e-government's digital ecosystem is top of mind for public sector managers. Even minor government transactions can potentially lead to financial and reputational exposure and loss if not adequately protected. "What used to be an afterthought must be embedded into systems, infrastructure, and implementation standards," said Smitham. Citing the Charter of Trust and the Paris Call for Trust and Security in Cyberspace, an international framework signed by 1,200 governments, NGOs, and academic institutions, he added, "Digital security must be addressed from the very beginning. It's not something that can be added later, piecemeal." The public sector must vet potential software development platforms for governance, control, and monitoring of activity across the application landscape. They should seek out platform providers with the highest level of third-party certifications and accreditations, such as ISO, the benchmark of global compliance for information security. Another layer of protection is found in strategic partnerships. Microsoft operates the global, nonpartisan Defending Democracy program to protect election infrastructure, including emails and networks of voters, political parties, and staff. CloudFlare specializes in endpoint security software as a service, protecting, for example, hospital networks and infrastructure. Cloud-based hyperscalers, including Alibaba, Amazon Web Services, Google, Huawei, and Microsoft, operate at the highest level of security and oversight, employing large contingents of software engineering talent to operate safe and secure cloud platforms. A key to the city that safely unlocks silos The next challenge facing e-government? Providing an accurate, digital "proof of identity" that will unlock the full potential of e-government services, expanding access while reducing costs. There are, however, two interrelated challenges: First, the public must trust how agencies collect, store, safeguard, and control access to sensitive information, such as tax and health records, welfare payments, certifications, licensing, and more. At the same time, government services must find a way to share and validate ID credentials across agency silos, creating what researchers term "digital identity ecosystems." Three EU countries, Belgium, Netherlands, and Estonia, have pioneered a single identity registration service that validates digital services for constituents regardless of geographic location. But for most countries, including the U.S. and the United Kingdom, hybrid systems of paper-based identification — passports, drivers licenses, social security cards, insurance cards, and biometric scans of fingerprints — are standard practice. According to Smitham, low-code platforms have a unique advantage in building and managing digital identity ecosystems. "Connecting securely to other systems and data sets easily and readily is the fundamental driver for adopting an enterprise software development platform," he said. "It doesn't matter whether the customer is a bank, a store, or a government agency." Platforms with certified governance and control capabilities will integrate identity authentication via secure, low-code built connectors. Smitham added, "This is the future of digital public services." Don't reinvent the wheel when it's possible to share Around the world, municipal agencies provide constituents with similar services, be it tax collection, waste management, traffic and parking enforcement, emergency services, birth or marriage registration. Unlike private enterprises seeking competitive advantage, public sector organizations are free to collaborate and share digital solutions, thereby driving innovation and speeding time to value. Furthermore, public sector activity must be transparent, responding to feedback from multiple stakeholders. When public trust evaporates, solutions can prove controversial, as evidenced by the recent IRS proposal to use facial recognition scans for U.S. taxpayers. "Cities have begun sharing best practices on regulating public sector uses of AI," says Smitham. "Less well-known are the multitude of digital services that have been successfully delivered and adopted. Public agencies become more agile and responsive when they collaborate and share their approaches for modernizing their practices and prioritizing technology adoption." Such collaboration also extends the public sector's digital skill set and reduces the burden on under-resourced IT departments. Smitham cited the EU's powerful "Research Online Platform" application that tracks side effects of Covid-19 vaccines. The digital tool was built on the Mendix platform in collaboration with the European Medicines Agency and the University Medical Center Utrecht in the Netherlands, and is now used in 45 countries. "The solution enables researchers to collect data internationally on a secure, scalable cloud platform with anonymized user profiles, balancing technological innovation with public needs for privacy and security," he said. Digital solutions for the benefit of all The new era of expanded e-government services has the potential to advance sustainability, civic engagement, and promote economic prosperity. "Low-code software development and platform integration will speed the public sector towards this goal, removing the pain points caused by monolithic processes, legacy systems, and proprietary architecture," said Johan den Haan, chief technology officer at Mendix. "Digital solutions that empower both end users and local governments while leveraging the flexibility of today's technology, tools, and services will greatly expand the public commons for every 21st century citizen." About Mendix In a digital-first world, customers want their every need anticipated, employees want better tools to do their jobs, and enterprises know that sweeping digital transformation is the key to survival and success. Mendix, a Siemens business, is quickly becoming the engine of the enterprise digital landscape. Its industry-leading low-code platform and comprehensive ecosystem integrates the most advanced technology to support solutions that boost engagement, streamline operations, and relieve IT logjams. Built on the pillars of abstraction, automation, cloud, and collaboration, Mendix dramatically increases developer productivity and empowers a legion of not-so-technical, 'citizen' developers to create apps guided by their particular domain expertise, facilitated by Mendix's engineered-in collaborative capabilities and intuitive visual interface. Recognized as a leader and visionary by leading industry analysts, the platform is cloud-native, open, extensible, agile, and proven. From artificial intelligence and augmented reality to intelligent automation and native mobile, Mendix is the backbone of digital-first enterprises. The Mendix enterprise low-code platform has been adopted by more than 4,000 leading companies in 46 countries.

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This video shows a self-represented filer the steps needed to register for an ICCES account. Information is also included to direct self-represented filers to self-help material on the State Court Website.

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