Election Reform: The Time is Now
Public opinion polls show that Americans’ confidence in the capability of our election system to count their votes accurately is at a historic low, yet media coverage of the issue often comes only in the days preceding major elections–months after state and county election administrators have made critical decisions affecting the quality of election system. One year before the 2006 midterm elections, many states still have inadequate and unreliable election systems, despite the passage of the Help America Vote Act in 2002. Elections are the keystone of our democracy, and the time for progressive action is now.
Senator Tom Daschle and a panel of experts will discuss recent electoral policy developments and offer insights into necessary reforms. Questions abound regarding voter identification, registration databases, and the uniformity and integrity of election administration across the states. Our panelists will recommend essential changes to the national election system, stressing the importance of taking action in between major elections.
Please join us for this important discussion about strengthening this fundamental element of our democracy.
Note: All video provided in QuickTime (MPEG-4) format.
Opening Remarks by:
Senator Tom Daschle, Former United States Senate Majority Leader, Distinguished Senior Fellow, Center for American Progress
Barbara Arnwine, Executive Director, Lawyers’ Committee For Civil Rights Under Law
Doug Chapin, Director, Electionline.org
Mark Crispin Miller, Author, Fooled Again: How the Right Stole the 2004 Election and Why They’ll Steal the Next One Too (Unless We Stop Them)
Rajeev Goyle, Senior Policy Analyst for Domestic Policy, Center for American Progress
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Tom Daschle is a Distinguished Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress. Senator Daschle’s work for the Center focuses on health care policy and global economic, security and health issues. Senator Daschle is also a member of the Global Alliances’ steering committee, an international coalition of progressive leaders dedicated to the development and exchange of progressive policy ideas. In addition to his work at the Center, Senator Daschle is also a visiting professor at the Georgetown University’s Public Policy Institute, conducting student seminars, guest lectures in classrooms, and holding public discussions related to politics and policymaking. Elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1978, Tom Daschle served there until 1986 when he was elected to the U.S. Senate from South Dakota. He became Minority Leader of the Senate in 1994 and Majority Leader in 2001. He was the second-longest-serving Democratic leader in history. Daschle now serves as a Senior Policy Advisor in the Washington office of the law firm Alston and Bird. Senator Daschle attended South Dakota State University and graduated in 1969. He served for three years as an intelligence officer in the U.S. Air Force Strategic Command.
Barbara Arnwine is the Executive Director of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. Previously, she was Executive Director of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law of the Boston Bar. In addition, she has visited South Africa as a member of the Lawyers’ Committee’s South Africa Electoral Observers Delegation, served as the National Convenor of the National Conference on African American Women and the Law, and led a delegation to the NGO Forum and Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing. In 2004, Ms. Arnwine was a leader of the nonpartisan Election Protection Coalition, which helped organize 8,000 lawyers throughout the nation to staff the OUR VOTE National Hotline and serve as poll monitors and mobile field attorneys in over 28 states. Under her leadership, the Lawyers’ Committee has organized a National Blue Ribbon Commission on the Voting Rights Act to conduct regional hearings throughout the nation to assess continuing obstacles to the exercise of the political franchise. She is a graduate of Scripps College in Claremont, California and Duke University School of Law.
Doug Chapin is the Director of Electionline.org, the nation’s only nonpartisan, non-advocacy website providing up-to-the-minute news and analysis on election reform. Mr. Chapin is an attorney with an extensive background in election issues, including service as Democratic Elections Counsel to the U.S. Senate’s Committee on Rules and Administration. He holds a law degree from Georgetown University Law Center as well as a Masters in Public Administration from Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government.
Mark Crispin Miller is a Professor of Media Studies at New York University. He is the author of several books, including Boxed In: The Culture of TV, The Bush Dyslexicon, Cruel and Unusual: Bush/Cheney’s New World Order and, from Basic Books, the forthcoming Fooled Again, which deals with the 2004 election. He is also the Editor of “American Icons,” a new book series published by Yale University Press. His 2004 off-Broadway show, “A Patriot Act,” performed at the New York Theater Workshop, is available on DVD. Miller earned his Bachelor’s degree from Northwestern University in 1971 and earned his Doctorate in English from Johns Hopkins University in 1977. Although he specialized in Renaissance literature, Miller is best known as a media critic. Before joining New York University, Miller served as Director of Film Studies at Johns Hopkins University.
Rajeev Goyle is a Senior Policy Analyst for Domestic Policy at the Center for American Progress. Mr. Goyle has worked on election reform at the national and state level. He has co-authored two reports on the 2000 election and assisted in the implementation of the Florida Reform Act of 2001. Mr. Goyle also litigated Poole v. Lamone in federal court in Maryland, a class-action voting rights case on behalf of blind voters seeking access to voting machines that permitted the visually-impaired to cast a secret ballot. In addition to voting rights, Mr. Goyle has worked on a wide range of social justice issues, including immigration reform, juvenile justice reform, media reform, and human rights. Mr. Goyle has worked for the ACLU of Maryland and South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission. A former education reporter at the Wichita Eagle, Mr. Goyle’s work has appeared in several newspapers, including the Sunday New York Times and the Baltimore Sun . Mr. Goyle is a graduate of Harvard Law School and Duke University.