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Beyond Election Day: Future of Election Reform

WHAT:  “Looking Beyond Election Day: The Future of Election Reform”: A conference sponsored by The Center for Democracy and Election Management

WHEN: 2–5 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 9

WHERE: Room 5, Mary Graydon Center, American University, 4400 Massachusetts Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20016

MEDIA:  Jon Hussey, AU Media Relations, 202-885-5935 or hussey@american.edu

WASHINGTON, D.C. (October 7, 2008)—From voting machines to provisional ballots, the mechanics of American elections have changed over the past few years. But questions remain about whether reforms have gone far enough to restore public trust in our election process.  This year’s primaries underscored a number of ongoing problems with voting technology, voter registration lists, unclear standards and insufficient resources –problems that continue to sow doubts about the fairness and accuracy of our elections.

American University’s Center for Democracy and Election Management (CDEM) will host “Looking Beyond Election Day: The Future of Election Reform.” The conference will analyze the current state of progress in election reform, identify potential problem areas on Election Day, and seek to build a post-election reform agenda to move U.S. elections into the future.  The conference will also feature the release of an updated report on the recommendations of the 2005 Carter-Baker Commission on Federal Election Reform to help guide the discussion.

Conference participants include Bob Edgar, President and CEO of Common Cause, Nancy Tate, Executive Director of the League of Women Voters, Leslie Reynolds, Executive Director of the National Association of Secretaries of State, Jamin Raskin, Maryland State Senator, and Dr. George Guess, CDEM Co-Director, and Michelle Mulder, Counsel to Representative Rush Holt (D-NJ).  Representative Rush Holt has also been invited to share his thoughts on the next steps in election reform.  The two panel discussions will be moderated by Dr. Robert Pastor, CDEM Co-Director and Executive Director of the Carter-Baker Commission on Federal Election Reform, and Jack Nelson, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and a member of the Carter-Baker Commission.

“In September 2005, the Carter-Baker Commission on Federal Election Reform issued its report with 87 recommendations to restore America’s confidence in our electoral process.  Significant progress has been made in a few areas, none in others and the lack of uniformity across states leave many voters questioning the fairness of the rules,” said Dr. Robert A. Pastor. “We are working with other organizations to renew the call to modernize the U.S. election system and at our conference on October 9, we hope to lay the groundwork for a new platform for election reform.”

Below is the full agenda for the conference:

2pm: Opening Remarks

Dr. Robert Pastor, Co-Director of CDEM, Professor of International Relations at AU’s School for International Service

2:15-3:30pm: Panel 1 – Problems that Remain: Election Reform Delayed

Moderator:      Jack Nelson, Member of the Carter-Baker Commission on Federal Election Reform and Pulitzer Prize-winning Journalist

Panelists:    Nancy Tate, Executive Director of the League of Women Voters

Bob Edgar, President and CEO of Common Cause

3:45-5pm: Panel 2 – Return to Reform: Priorities for 2009 and Beyond

Moderator:     Dr. Robert Pastor

Panelists:
Michelle Mulder, Counsel to Representative Rush Holt (D-NJ)

Jamin Raskin, Maryland State Senator and Professor at AU’s Washington College of Law

Leslie Reynolds, Executive Director of the National Association of Secretaries of State

American University is a leader in global education, enrolling a diverse student body from throughout the United States and nearly 140 countries. Located in Washington, D.C., the university provides opportunities for academic excellence, public service, and internships in the nation’s capital and around the world.

Media Advisory