Tuesday, August 30, 2011
8/31: UNM Center to Host Forum on Electoral College; Similar Forums in Santa Fe, Las Cruces in Coming Months
From Benson Hendrix, UNM:
The University of New Mexico Center for the Study of Voting, Elections and Democracy (C-SVED) is providing a forum for the public to debate the importance of the Electoral College and its effectiveness in modern elections on Wednesday, Aug. 31, from 10 AM-1 PM at the UNM Continuing Education Building’s Room H.
In March 2011, the New Mexico State House passed House Memorial 056, which asked the Secretary of State to study and report on how the current Electoral College system and the national popular vote system compare. Absent from the House Memorial is public discussion and debate about the Electoral College and its effectiveness in modern society. This forum is one of a series of presentations over the next three months, during which the public will be given an opportunity to provide input on this topic.
This issue is becoming a critically important topic as nine states totaling 132 electoral votes –- nearly half the total of 270 needed to win the presidency –- have already passed laws to apportion their electoral college votes to the winner of the national popular vote. New Mexico and its citizens must have their voices heard in this important debate about how our nation will choose its President.
As the Secretary of State’s office prepares its report, C-SVED is providing the public with an opportunity for input and discussion of the policy considerations that ought to be presented to key policy makers in state government.
C-SVED has assembled a Citizen Panel to formulate policy considerations on this issue. The Citizen Panel is composed of interested citizens, election administration practitioners, legislators and others interested in how elections are conducted. The Citizen Panel will meet three times, once a month in August, September and October. The point of each meeting will be for panel members to learn about the Electoral College and to discuss the local and national implications of the current system and alternative systems.
From these meetings C-SVED will issue a report, which panel members will be encouraged to sign in concurrence, or in dissent, as a way to build some knowledge and interest around this issue. The report will be publicly released by the Center.
“As Thomas Jefferson said while crafting this country’s founding documents, it is important for us to re-examine institutions of governance in light of our changing society and circumstances,” said Professor Lonna Atkeson, Director of C-SVED. “We honor this guiding principle as we engage in the Citizen Panel discussions.”
The meetings will be held:
- Albuquerque on Wed. Aug. 31 from 10 AM – 1 PM
University of New Mexico Continuing Education, Room H
- Santa Fe on Wed. Sept. 28, from 10 AM – 1 PM
- Las Cruces on Thurs. Oct. 13, from 10 AM – 1 PM
For more information, please contact UNM professor Lonna Atkeson at (505)-660‑8976, or firstname.lastname@example.org.