Author Archive

Chris Teale

Chris Teale
Chris Teale is a staff reporter for Route Fifty, where he covers state and local government technology.
Infrastructure

How mapping tech is revolutionizing election administration

Few jurisdictions make use of geographic information system mapping, but those that do use it to help connect voters with polling places, manage requests and assets, and tabulate results.

Workforce

What is generative AI? Most of the public sector workforce doesn’t know

A recent survey found that only about a third understands the technology, and that even fewer use it daily. But a few basic approaches could change that, experts say.

Digital Government

States are enacting school cellphone bans. Here’s what that looks like.

Virginia became the latest state to take action against smartphone usage in public schools. The policy approaches differ.

Management

A nonprofit’s abrupt closure puts access to public benefits at risk

The Benefits Data Trust said it would close after a ‘careful review’ of its operations and finances. The closure leaves in question the status of its work with numerous state governments.

Digital Government

Is age verification technology an ‘undue burden’? The Supreme Court will decide.

The high court has agreed to take up a case that focuses on legislation passed to prevent minors in Texas from accessing pornography. A decision could have implications for state efforts to limit children’s access to social media as well.

Cybersecurity

Tribal governments receive first-ever cyber grants

Having seen states and localities receive hundreds of millions of dollars already, the feds announced $18.2 million for 32 tribal nations.

Digital Government

How the pandemic led to innovation in one state’s public health response

The Washington State Department of Health has undertaken a major push to transform its offerings, not just by looking to new technologies but reimagining some of its old processes.

Infrastructure

Did Supreme Court ruling come too late to reverse ‘chilling effect’ on 2024 disinformation?

While the justices found in Murthy v. Missouri that two states lacked standing to sue over alleged government censorship, observers warned that the case may have already damaged efforts to crack down ahead of November.

Digital Government

Supreme Court sends Florida, Texas ‘censorship’ laws back to lower courts

The justices left in place preliminary injunctions blocking the two laws but said the appeals courts must further study their First Amendment implications.

Cybersecurity

Calls for cyber framework harmonization ramp up

Efforts to streamline cybersecurity regulations across governments, industries and sectors are underway. The nationwide program StateRAMP has launched its initiative to standardize those rules and regulations.

Digital Government

Supreme Court rules that government can ask social media platforms to remove misinformation

Justices said in a 6-3 decision that Louisiana and Missouri did not have standing to sue. The ruling comes as a relief to state and local officials as they look to crack down on election-related misinformation ahead of November.

Emerging Tech

How AI can help and hurt the environment

Artificial intelligence could put a greater strain on electricity, water and other resources already under pressure from data centers. But the technology also presents opportunities to address environmental challenges.

Emerging Tech

In this county, AI is its ‘institutional knowledge in a box’

The way Washoe County, Nevada, is using artificial intelligence may not be flashy or innovative, but its “boring” approach is leading to better customer service and, maybe, more transformative projects down the road.

Emerging Tech

Don’t rush into AI experiments too quickly, experts say

Speakers at Route Fifty’s latest Innovation Spotlight cautioned the need to balance innovation in artificial intelligence with good governance, despite the desire for adoption to happen quicker.

Digital Government

As mobile IDs proliferate, concerns about cybersecurity and data privacy mount

New York is the latest state to adopt a mobile driver’s license. But while the technology holds promise and is convenient for users, there remain concerns.

Digital Government

Bills restricting social media advance amid continued legal battles

New York lawmakers just passed legislation to ban the use of algorithm-driven feeds for minors without their parents’ permission, while Utah’s law is facing more legal action over its age verification requirements.

Digital Government

Mayoral candidate pledges ‘digital by default’ city services

In his bid to become the next mayor of San Francisco, Mark Farrell promised to digitize government services within two years.

Emerging Tech

AI in law enforcement is risky, but holds promise

Leaders should not be reluctant to use AI in controversial applications, even if they risk blowback, one city’s CIO advises.

Cybersecurity

Proposed federal AI roadmap would fund local election offices

Amid warnings that artificial intelligence could “totally discredit our election systems,” a group of U.S. senators released a sprawling roadmap that includes grant funding to keep elections safe from AI.

Emerging Tech

As hype intensifies, cities put AI to the test

A recent gathering of local officials shed some light on how cities are using artificial intelligence today and how they plan to use it.