The subject and history of American elections will take center stage tomorrow at the Gerald R. Ford Library on North Campus.

Paul Wong

Former President Ford will preside during the fourth and final public hearing of the National Commission on Federal Election Reform. Ford and former President Jimmy Carter are honorary co-chairmen of the commission. Several local and national authorities will testify on the subject before the commission, created in the wake of the contested presidential election in Florida

Offering “perspectives from Washington” will be U.S. Reps. Bob Ney (R-Ohio), Steny Hoyer (D-Md.), and John Conyers (D-Detroit).

The congressmen are scheduled to discuss their legislation regarding election reform. Conyers” bill focuses on standards for voting machines. Ney and Hoyer, respectively the chairman and ranking member on the Committee on House Administration, are working to craft a joint bill on voting machines and federal funding for voter education and poll worker training.

Christopher Thomas will speak during the second panel, titled “Administrative Perspectives.” Secretary of State Candice Miller, who oversees the elections bureau, just released a report to the state Legislature outlining a process of uniform statewide voting.

Communications Department Chair Michael Traugott is also expected to testify before the commission regarding media projections and voting.

The commission has taken testimony from various election authorities on elections over the past several months, including secretaries of state, county registrars and clerks, politicians and scholars.

The commission is mostly made up of scholars and former politicians. It is chaired by former House Minority Leader Robert Michel (R-Ill.) and former Carter and Clinton White House Counsel Lloyd Cutler. Some other members are Stanford University Law School Dean Kathleen Sullivan, former U.S. Sen. Slade Gorton (R-Wash.), former Secretary of Energy Bill Richardson, and Vanderbilt University First Amendment Center founder John Seigenthaler.

The hearing is open to the public and doors will open at 10:30 a.m. It will also be broadcast on the commission”s web site, located at www.reformelections.org.

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