A "Popular" Idea: Abolish the Electoral College, Replacing with Direct Election of U.S. Presidents
Pathways to Needed Change
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Voice of the Voters! Special Guests:
Senator Bill Nelson (D-FL)
State Senator Jamin Raskin (MD); Professor, American University Washington College of Law
Alex Keyssar, Professor of History and Social Policy at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government
WEDNESDAY June 18 -- 8:00 to 9PM PM ET
Heard on 1360 AM Greater Philadelphia & and on the Internet
www.voiceofthevoters.org OR http://wnjc.duxpond.com/
Previous interviews may be found at www.voiceofthevoters.org
Senator Nelson will discuss his newly introduced election reform initiatives "to change national voting procedures, including proposals to abolish the Electoral College in favor of direct popular election of the president and to allow voters, not party bosses, to select presidential candidates", along with other proposals affecting voter registration, machines and supporting processes. Perspective and additional views/options will be discussed by noted Constitutional and Voting Rights experts State Sen./Professor Raskin and Professor Keyssar.
--Why did the Founding Fathers establish the Electoral College and does it serve the purpose for which it was intended?
-- Why does it still exist? Why must we vigorously pursue change now?
--If the Electoral College were replaced by direct popular vote, what other changes in our U.S.the Constitution might
eventually follow? What is most critical, why?
--What related state legislative options are being pursued to have direct popular vote?
--What are the chances of success - obstacles ? How soon might change occur?
-- How do we ensure a system of separate and independent checks and balances in our election process?
Voice of the Voters! is hosted this week by Mary Ann Gould and Lori Rosolowsky and was taped for broadcast. Bill Faulkner of Verified Voting of Florida addresses question to Senator Nelson on key VA issue.
Florida's Bill Nelson was elected to the U.S. Senate in November 2000, after serving six years as a member of the Florida Cabinet, 12 years in Congress and six years in the Florida Legislature. He serves on the Senate's Commerce, Armed Services, Budget, Foreign Relations, Intelligence, and Aging committees, and is recognized as a leading congressional expert on NASA.
Nelson also has been an outspoken advocate for election laws reform in Florida and nationally.
Jamin Raskin Professor of Law, Director of the Law and Government Program, American University Washington College of Law.
The Director of WCL's Program on Law and Government and founder of its acclaimed Marshall-Brennan Constitutional Literacy Project, Jamin Raskin teaches Constitutional Law, First Amendment, the Constitution and Public Education, and Legislation. He has written dozens of law review articles and essays and several influential books, including the Washington Post Bestseller Overruling Democracy: The Supreme Court versus the American People (2003), which examines patterns of conservative judicial activism and interference with democratic politics and We the Students (2d ed. 2003), a CQ Press and Supreme Court Historical Society Bestseller which examines the Supreme Court's treatment of America's high school students and their rights.
In September 2006, he won a landslide upset victory in the Democratic Primary for State Senate from District 20 in Maryland (Silver Spring and Takoma Park), toppling a 32-year incumbent, and went on to win 99% of the vote in the November General Election. As a Senator in Maryland's "citizen legislature," Professor Raskin serves on the influential Judicial Proceedings Committee, the Joint Committee on Legislative Ethics, the Joint Committee on the Chesapeake Bay and the Atlantic Coast, and the Joint Committee on State-Federal Relations. See http://www.nationalpopularvote.com/pages/columns/latimes_20070412.php
Alexander Keyssar is the Matthew W. Stirling Jr. Professor of Historyand Social Policy at Harvard's John F. Kennedy School.. A historian by training, he has specialized in the excavation of issues that have contemporary policy implications. His
1986 book, Out of Work: The First Century of Unemployment in Massachusetts, was awarded three scholarly prizes. His book, The Right to Vote: The Contested History of Democracy in the United States (2000), was named the best book in U.S. history by both the American Historical Association and the Historical Society; it was also a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and the Los Angeles Times Book Award. Keyssar is coauthor of Inventing America, a text integrating the history of technology and science into the mainstream of American history, as well as coeditor of a series on Comparative and International Working-Class History. In 2004/5, Keyssar chaired the Social Science Research Council's National Research Commission on Voting and Elections. Keyssar's current research interests include election reform, the history of democracies, and the history of poverty.
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