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The Washington Center invites you to their webinar

U.S. Presidential Elections and the Electoral College Controversy

About this webinar

This webinar is part of the Inauguration 2021 Academic Seminar webinar series.

With the 2020 U.S. presidential election right around the corner, many Americans are concerned about the Electoral College process. The 2016 election brought the Electoral College squarely into focus, as it was the second time in the past five elections where a candidate ascended to the presidency while losing the popular vote. There is a possibility that the same thing could happen again in 2020.

There have been nearly 800 proposed amendments to either modify or abolish the Electoral College. The system has been criticized as being undemocratic, that it is biased toward “battleground states,” and that citizens in less populous states have proportionately more voting power. If we are to have constructive discussions about the U.S. presidential selection process, it is critical that we understand how the Electoral Process works.

Join Robert Alexander, political science professor at Ohio Northern University, and Julia Azari, political science professor at Marquette University, for a lively discussion on Thursday, October 22, 1-2 p.m. Eastern Time, on issues around the Electoral College. Alexander will also discuss his research on “faithless electors” and how this issue made its way to the Supreme Court.

Students, faculty and those interested in political science joining this webinar discussion will explore:

  • The difference in the Electoral College we have today and the one devised by the Framers in Philadelphia
  • The long, fragmented and complex process of the Electoral College
  • Why the Electoral College does not perform well in light of most norms of representation in a republic.
  • Why amending or abolishing the Electoral College would be a difficult task.
  • What the recent Supreme Court ruling means for “faithless electors”

You’ll have an opportunity to ask the speakers questions during the live Q&A session. Your participation in this webinar will also help shape a longer panel session that is planned for the Inauguration 2021 Academic Seminar in January.

About the Speakers

Robert Alexander is a professor of political science and the Founding Director of the Institute for Civics and Public Policy at Ohio Northern University in Ada, Ohio. His pioneering work on presidential electors has positioned him as an expert on the Electoral College. He has published four books, including Representation and the Electoral College, and his work has appeared in numerous academic journals. Professor Alexander's work has been published in USA Today, CNN.com, and The Hill among many others. He holds a Ph.D. and M.A. in political science from University of Tennessee-Knoxville, and a B.A. in political science from Ohio Northern University. B.A.

Julia Azari, an associate professor of political science at Marquette University, is also the Faculty Director for the Inauguration 2021 Academic Seminar. Her research and teaching interests include the American presidency, political communication, and American political parties. Professor Azari is author of the book, Delivering the People’s Message: The Changing Politics of the Presidential Mandate. She is a regular contributor to the political science blog, Mischiefs of Faction, a contributor at FiveThirtyEight.com, and a co-host of the political science podcast Politics in Question. She holds Ph.D., M.A. and Master of Philosophy degrees in political science from Yale University, and a B.A. in political science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

About the Moderator

Kelly Eaton is senior vice president and chief academic officer with The Washington Center.  Prior to joining TWC eight years ago, Kelly served as a Professor and Department Chair of Political Science with Nebraska Wesleyan University. She holds a PhD in Political Science and Government from George Washington University.  

Hosted by

  • Guest speaker
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    Julia Azari

  • Team member
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    The Washington Center For Internships And Academic Seminars

  • Guest speaker
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    Kelly Eaton Senior VP and CAO @ The Washington Center

  • Guest speaker
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    Robert Alexander Professor, Political Science @ Ohio Northern University

  • Team member
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    Ann Burke Director, Academic Seminars @ The Washington Center