Marty Chavez Eric Griego

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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
    Loca­tion TBA
  • Las Cruces on Thurs. Oct. 13, from 10 AM – 1 PM
    Loca­tion TBA

For more infor­ma­tion, please con­tact UNM pro­fes­sor Lonna Atke­son at (505)-660‑8976, or

August 30, 2011 at 12:59 PM in Election Reform & Voting, Events | Permalink


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