HAVA Conference Agenda

American University
The Center for Democracy and Election Management
The Carter-Baker Commission on Federal Election Reform
sponsor the conference:

"Are U.S. Elections Getting Better or Worse?
Is the Help America Vote Act Working?"

March 29, 2006
Butler Boardroom, 6th floor Mary Graydon Center

This conference explored the accomplishments and shortcomings of the Help America Vote Act of 2002 (HAVA): What improvements has HAVA made in U.S. election systems? What gaps has HAVA left and how should those gaps be filled? Will the election process in 2006 be a significant improvement over 2000 and 2004? Will Americans in 2006 have confidence that their votes were accurately counted?


Introductions and Overview

Robert Pastor, Director, AU Center for Democracy & Election Management


Status Report on HAVA Implementation

Chair: Karen O���Connor, Professor and Director of Women in Politics Institute, American University

Presenter: Doug Chapin, Director, Electionline.org

Discussant: Candice Nelson, Chair, Government Dept., American University

Have states completed their implementation of HAVA���s requirements? How have states fulfilled these requirements? What improvements has HAVA made to election systems? What gaps has HAVA left?


Voter Registration Systems

Chair: Candice Nelson, Chair, Government Dept., American University

Presenter: Eric Fischer, Senior Specialist, Congressional Research Service

Discussant: Rob Richie, Executive Director, Fair Vote

What improvements have new statewide systems made to voter registration? How effective are new statewide systems in facilitating registration by the largest possible number of eligible voters, ensuring the accuracy of voter registration records, and excluding ineligible voters? What further steps are needed for voter registration systems to promote participation and to prevent fraud?




Identification Requirements

Chair: Betty Castor, President, Campaign for Florida���s Future, and Member, Commission on Federal Election Reform

Presenter: Curtis Gans, Director, Center for the Study of the American Electorate, American University

Discussant: Tova Wang, Democracy Fellow, The Century Foundation

What voter identification requirements have states introduced or strengthened since HAVA was passed? Is the trend of increasing voter ID requirements likely to continue? How is this trend affecting access to elections and ballot integrity? What impact are voter ID laws having in Arizona and Indiana? What is the effect of laws in other states, such as Arkansas, Florida, and South Dakota, that require all voters to present a valid ID at the polls?


Provisional Ballots, Voter Education, and Poll Worker Training

Chair: Susan Parnas Frederick, Senior Committee Director, National Conference of State Legislatures

Presenter: Wendy Weiser, Deputy Director, Democracy Program, Brennan Center, New York University School of Law

Presenter: Tracy Warren, Executive Director, Pollworker Institute

Discussant: Betty Castor, President, Campaign for Florida���s Future, and Member, Commission on Federal Election Reform

Provisional Ballots: How have HAVA���s mandates on provisional ballots worked in practice? What changes are needed in federal or state laws to ensure that provisional ballots give all eligible voters���but only eligible voters���the opportunity to vote?

Voter Education and Poll Worker Training: What impact has federal funding for voter education made? Will current and planned voter education efforts adequately prepare voters for new registration and voting systems? Is poll worker training for these new systems adequate? What additional efforts are needed?


Luncheon Discussion on Prospects for Election Reform

Chair: Robert Pastor, Director, Center for Democracy & Election Management

Discussant: Hon. Juanita Millender-McDonald, U.S. House of Representatives, California���s 37th District

Discussant: Hon. Rush Holt, U.S. House of Representatives, New Jersey���s 12th District, or Michelle Mulder, Counsel to Rep. Holt

Discussant: Paul Vinovich, Director of Legislative Operations, Committee on House Administration

Discussant: Kennie Gill, Democratic Staff Director and Chief Counsel, Senate Committee on Rules and Administration

Will HAVA adequately address public concerns about election systems? If not, what further steps are needed? What are the prospects for Congress to pass new election reform legislation?


Voting Technology

Chair: Robert Kuttner, Co-Editor of The American Prospect

Presenter: Dan Tokaji, Assistant Professor, Moritz College of Law, Ohio State University

Presenter: Avi Rubin, Professor of Computer Science, Johns Hopkins University

Discussant: James Fallows, National Correspondent, Atlantic Monthly

Discussant: Herb Lin, Senior Scientist, Computer Science and Technology Board, National Academy of Sciences

Voting Machines: Has Congress provided sufficient funds under HAVA for states to upgrade their voting machines? Do HAVA requirements ensure adequate access to voting machines and transparency in voting technology? What additional requirements are needed?

Computer Security: How effective is the current system to test and certify voting machines? What further steps are needed to ensure that voting technology is accessible, reliable, secure against manipulation, and open to scrutiny?


Performance of U.S. Election Assistance Commission

Chair: Ed Davis, Vice President of Policy and Research, Common Cause

Presenter: Roy Saltman, author of The History and Politics of Voting Technology

Discussant: Paul DeGregorio, Chairman, U.S. Election Assistance Commission

How effectively has the EAC carried out its duties? What has the EAC contributed to the improvement of election systems? Where has the EAC fallen short? To what extent were the EAC���s shortcomings due to its structure, to the limits on its authority, and to the size of its operational budget? Could the EAC have done more within the current limits on its structure and authority? What changes are needed to make the EAC more effective?




Next Steps

Moderator: Kojo Nnamdi, WAMU

Presenter: Daniel Calingaert, Associate Director, AU Center for Democracy & Election Management

Discussant: Norm Ornstein, Resident Scholar, American Enterprise Institute

Discussant: Chellie Pingree, President, Common Cause

Concluding remarks by Robert Pastor

What impact has HAVA made overall on U.S. election systems? What were HAVA���s main accomplishments? How has HAVA fallen short? What further legislation is needed at the federal or state level to ensure that the November 2006 elections are conducted effectively and inspire public confidence?