Voting and Elections Summit 2015: FairVote Highlights
Thursday, February 5th
At George Washington University: Jack Morton Auditorium, Media & Public Affairs Building, George Washington University, 805 21st Street NW
Opening Keynote Address: Rep. Keith Ellison, 8:45 am - 9:15 am
Minnesota Congressman Keith Ellison, a FairVote democracy champion in 2013, prominent backer of ranked choice voting, and co-sponsor of a right to vote amendment in the Constitution, makes the opening speech.
FairVote presentsMaking 227 Million Votes Count in Every Election, 2:30-4:15 pm
Fairvote is hosting a plenary session which will include five 20-minute interviews that will cover FairVote’s core reform proposals. Here are the topics and speakers:
Welcome: Rob Richie, FairVote Executive Director
Electoral reform and the Presidential Commission on Election Administration Valerie Ervin, Executive Director, Center for Working Families talks with John Fortier, Director of the Democracy Project, Bipartisan Policy Center
Opening up the ballot and fair representation elections
Michael Lind, Policy Directory of the Economic Growth Program, New America Foundation talks with Krist Novoselic, Chair of Board of Directors, FairVote
Ranked choice voting from the political left, right and center
Paul Jacob, President, Citizens in Charge Foundation talks with Jeanne Massey, Executive Director, FairVote Minnesota
How to achieve a democracy that reflects women, racial minorities, and our full diversity Cynthia Terrell, Director, Representation 2020 talks with Michele Jawando, Vice President for Legal Progress, Center for American Progress
Building a pro-democracy movement
Josh Silver, Director, Represent.US talks with Jamie Raskin, State Senator, Maryland and professor at Washington College of Law
There will be 2-minute "bridge" presentations between dialogues on ranked choice voting from Dave Meslin (Ranked Ballot Initiative of Toronto), fair representation voting from Drew Spencer (FairVote), representation of women from Amaris Montes (FairVote), the National Popular Vote plan from Claire Daviss (FairVote) and right to vote amendment from Dania Korkor (FairVote).
Friday, February 6th
At Winston & Strawn, 1700 K St NW, 12th Floor, Washington, DC
FairVote staff will run workshops on our reforms that will equip attendees with the necessary tools and strategies to bring FairVote reforms back to their communities.
The Right to Vote: A Constitutional Right, A Local Opportunity, 9:30-11:15 am
To protect voting rights for all, and address historically low voter turnout in local elections, this workshop will spotlight FairVote's Promote Our Vote project. Promote Our Vote is a model for local action to establish a Right to Vote in the U.S. Constitution, and in that spirit, improve civic participation and engagement. The session will feature experts working to extend voting rights to 16 and 17 year old residents in Maryland municipalities, as well as collaborative brainstorming around practices and policies to improve local democracy. Discussion topics will include engaging youth, outreach to less engaged segments of the electorate, expanding local access to the vote, and structural reforms for local policymakers.
Introduction to Structural Reform: Thinking Nationally, Acting in Your Community, 1:30-3:15 pm
Building on the lessons learned from previous discussions and workshops, this workshop will focus on improving electoral systems in order to foster improved representation and governance. This "teach-in" workshop uses the example of the U.S. Congress to make the case for why winner-take-all elections can result in unrepresentative and broken government, and how the use of ranked choice voting - both in multi-winner elections as form of fair representation voting and in single-winner elections - represents an effective fix to gridlock and polarization. We’ll also discuss the positive implications of our reforms for the representation of women and minorities in elected office. Although Congress will be used as an example, this session will demonstrate how you can bring ranked choice voting and all its benefits to your city council, county government, and state offices.