The rules of the electoral game have a major impact on the way election are conducted. As we look to the 2016 presidential election, what rules are set in stone - and which ones may change. Will current Electoral College rules be changed to the National Popular Vote plan for president? Will Michigan and Pennsylvania change their winner-take-all voting rules to rules dividing electoral votes? How might the major parties change the nomination schedule and rules affecting caucuses, primaries and their conventions? What will be the impact of changes in voting laws in key swing states?
Forum speakers included Victoria Bassetti, Hendrik Hertzberg, Andrea Levien, Pat Rosenstiel, and Robert Richie. The discussion was moderated by Krist Novoselic, Chairman of the Board at FairVote.
Victoria is an expert on voting in America and on the legislative process. She also has extensive experience in the way politicians and social causes use social and new media. She has a second area of expertise in media and entertainment policy issues (intellectual property, content-technology convergence) and commercial law (antitrust, bankruptcy).
Victoria is the author of Electoral Dysfunction, published by the New Press and hailed by the Kirkus Reviews as “delightfully provocative.”She is the consulting producer of the PBS documentary film of the same name and starring Mo Rocca. Her work on voters, voting, and political campaigns has appeared in Harper’s Magazine, Chicago Magazine, the Huffington Post, and Big Think. Her Tumblr blog is one of ten spotlighted by Tumblr for election coverage. She has appeared on MSNBC and Current TV to discuss voter suppression. She has also worked on several campaigns—from Louisiana to New Hampshire—and on election protection teams.
Victoria worked on the Senate Judiciary Committee for almost eight years and finished her time there serving as Chief Counsel and Staff Director of the Subcommittee on Antitrust, Business and Consumer Rights, and Competition. During her time on the Hill, she worked on numerous judicial nominations, the Clinton impeachment trial, helped write the September 11 Victims’ Compensation Fund, the PATRIOT Act, bankruptcy reform legislation, and the Economic Espionage Act. She also led several investigations of competition issues in the technology industry and was the line Democratic counsel on the Ruby Ridge investigation. At one point she went marijuana farm hunting in the Appalachians with a Special Forces Team from Fort Bragg. After leaving DC for New York in 2003, she began working in the music industry, where among other things she helped decide how large a banana Katy Perry should emerge from for her 2010 Grammy’s performance. While at EMI Music she was Senior Vice President for Consumer Insight, North America and was also the head of its anti-piracy initiatives in the US. She also handled the company’s global government and industry affairs.
Hendrik Hertzberg is a senior editor and staff writer at The New Yorker, where he frequently writes the opening Comment in The Talk of the Town.
Hertzberg originally joined The New Yorker in 1969, after serving as an officer in the U.S. Navy. He left after the 1976 Presidential election to serve on the White House staff and was President Jimmy Carter’s chief speechwriter from 1979 until 1981. From 1981 until 1992 he was associated with The New Republic and served two terms as its editor. During his second stint as editor, between 1988 and 1992, The New Republic won three National Magazine Awards, including back-to-back awards for General Excellence. In 1992, he returned to The New Yorker.
Hertzberg has also been a fellow of two institutes at Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government: the Institute of Politics and the Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics, and Public Policy. He is the author of “Politics: Observations & Arguments” (2004). In 2006, his Comment essays won a National Magazine Award for Columns and Commentary.
Hertzberg lives in New York City.
Andrea Levien is a Research Fellow focused on presidential elections and the Electoral College. Andrea graduated from Yale in 2012 with a B.A. in political science. Her senior thesis reviewed scholarship on the effects of the Electoral College on minority voting power. At Yale, she worked with the Yale College Democrats' elections and lobbying committees, registering voters and lobbying in Hartford for the repeal of the death penalty and the passage of the Connecticut DREAM Act. She spent five semesters with the Roosevelt Institute, a student think tank, performing research on the economic effects of local programs such as the Elm City ID Card and the New Haven Promise Program, and ultimately becoming co-head of the Center for Economic Development in 2011. During her summers, she interned at Human Rights First, LatinoJustice PRLDEF, and the Hotline for Migrant Workers in Tel Aviv.
Krist Novoselic was a member of the groundbreaking rock band Nirvana. After Nirvana, Novoselic went on to become one of rock's most politically-minded musicians. He has also committed himself to numerous community projects and has become an influential part of the Northwest political scene.
In 2004, Krist did a national book tour with FairVote, promoting his book "Of Grunge & Government: Let's Fix This Broken Democracy!" In the book, Novoselic discusses how Nirvana emerged as the world's biggest band of the early 1990s, how he got involved in politics and why we need electoral reform -- in particular full representation and instant runoff voting. The tour was well-covered in the media, including taping by C-SPAN and an interview in the New Yorker. Krist joined FairVote's Board in 2005 and was elected chair in 2008.
Robert Richie is the executive director of FairVote, a non-profit organization that researches and advocates election reforms that increase voter turnout, accountable governance, and fair representation, including reforms such as instant runoff voting and the National Popular Vote plan.
An expert on United States and foreign electoral systems, Richie has directed FairVote since its founding in 1992.
Born in Washington, D.C., Richie graduated from Haverford College with a B.A. in philosophy in 1987. Before co-founding FairVote and becoming its executive director in 1992, he worked for three winning congressional campaigns in Washington state and for non-profit organizations in Washington and the District of Columbia. He is married to Cynthia Terrell and they have three children.
Strategy is light; Pat is a laser.
He’s direct and driven, intelligent and insightful and really, really tenacious.
Pat is recognized nationally for his expertise and results in politics, public affairs, public relations and business development. He provides amazing strategic counsel and has scored impressive victories for a wide range of clients in business, trade and politics.
Pat is a devoted guy who loves his family, loves to hate golf, hates to love the Packers, and hates to waste time.
His objective as CEO of Ainsley Shea is to build the world's most effective and efficient integrated communications offering for corporate, government, and association group clients.
In laser-like fashion, he’s getting it done.