Brookings and AEI project on election reform begins

The Brookings Institution and the American Enterprise Institute are starting an effort to monitor implementation of HAVA. As a kickoff of their project, they are having an event on Febuary 8, from 9am through 12:30pm, in Washington. Below is the press announcement. I’ll be at the event, one of the discussion panelists.

News Advisory:

WHEN: February 8, 2006, from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

WHERE: The Brookings Institution (Falk Auditorium), 1775 Massachusetts Avenue, NW Washington, DC

The Brookings Institution and the American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research (AEI) are launching a joint effort to monitor the implementation of the Help America Vote Act (HAVA) and encourage constructive changes to the law. The Brookings-AEI Election Reform Project will synthesize election- related research and strengthen the link between the research and policy communities by improving the basic understanding of the law and informing additional policy-making. To emphasize the importance of this partnership and its impact on HAVA, Sen. Barack Obama will open the discussion with a keynote address.

Introduced in the wake of the contested 2000 presidential election, HAVA was passed by Congress in 2002. The law provides funds to the states to enable them to replace punch-card voting systems. It has also created an Election Assistance Commission to help administer federal election laws, and has set standards for the administration of federal elections by states and local governments.

The Election Reform Project will track action on amendments to the legislation considered by Congress, and make election-related research widely available to policy-makers at the local, state and federal level. The project’s website,, will include information on voter registration, technology, access, early and absentee voting, provisional balloting, election administration and voting integrity issues.

The launch will include two panels: one on HAVA and its progress since implementation and the other on election reform and what barriers, and successes, lay ahead. Panelists will take questions from the audience at the close of each panel.

Keynote Address: The Honorable BARACK OBAMA, United States Senator, Illinois

Panel One: HAVA — How Is It Working?

Moderator: NORM ORNSTEIN, Resident Scholar, AEI

Panelists: PAUL DEGREGORIO, Chair, Election Assistance Committee; DOUG CHAPIN, Director,; The Honorable DEBORAH MARKOWITZ, Vermont Secretary of State

Panel Two: Election Reform — Looking Ahead

Moderator: THOMAS MANN, Senior Fellow, The Brookings Institution

Panelists: MICHAEL ALVAREZ, Professor and Director, Cal Tech-MIT Voting Technology Project; RICK HASEN, the William H. Hannon Distinguished Professor of Law, Loyola Law School, Los Angeles; ROBERT PASTOR, Executive Director, Carter-Baker Commission; PAUL VINOVICH, Staff Director, Committee on House Administration of the U.S. House of Representatives

RSVP: Please call the Brookings Office of Communications, 202- 797-6105, or visit