The Brookings Institution and the American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research (AEI) launched 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 opened 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, www.electionreformproject.org, 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.
Strobe Talbott, President, The Brookings Institution
The Honorable Barack Obama, United States Senator, Illinois
Panel One: HAVA – How Is It Working?
Norman Ornstein, Resident Scholar, AEI
Paul DeGregorio, Chair, Election Assistance Committee
Doug Chapin, Director, electiononline.org
Honorable Deborah Markowitz, Vermont Secretary of State
Panel Two: Election Reform – Looking Ahead
Thomas Mann, Senior Fellow, The Brookings Institution
Michael Alvarez, Professor and Director of the Cal Tech-MIT Voting Technology Project
Richard Hasen, the William H. Hannon Distinguished Professor of Law, Loyola Law School, Los Angeles
Robert Pastor, Executive Director, Carter Baker Commission on Federal Election Reform
Paul Vinovich, Committee on House Administration Staff