There is a conference next week at Kent State University, “The Future of Election and Ethics Reform in the States.” Here’s the overview provided of the event:
The critical theme of this Symposium is that the 2008 Presidential Election will be crucial for American democracy, especially in light of the apparently related phenomena of decreasing voter participation rates, alleged procedural irregularities in recent elections, and the undisputed lapses in ethical judgment by politicians and policymakers in the past decade. Closer examination of elections and ethics laws in a public forum will be enlightening for academics as well as for policymakers and politicians and, hopefully, will contribute to an informed dialogue that will lead to improvements in the American election system. This event will discuss trends in laws adopted in the American states, with a focus on understanding the effects of these rule changes. What do we know from the fifty states (and other nations) about how alternative election laws and ethical requirements affect policy, voter turnout and participation, election outcomes, legislatures, campaigns, representation, and more? Our speakers are recognized national experts in the field, drawn from the halls of academia and the corridors of political power. The Symposium is an opportunity for scholars, policy analysts and elected officials to discuss what needs to be done to update the system for the 21st century.
Since the State of Ohio has been a key battleground in recent Presidential elections and promises to be a “bell-weather” state in 2008, and has had at least its share of ethical issues in the public arena, as the capital of the state, the City of Columbus is a symbolic choice for this Symposium, and one that will maximize participation by state policymakers and students of state government.
They have lined up an impressive set of speakers, including our own Thad Hall. As Thad will be in attendance, we can hope to get a complete summary of the conference here next week!