Claim Democracy Conference

Posted by on November 7, 2003

Securing, Enhancing and Exercising the Right to Vote

Leaders from the nation’s top democracy and civil rights groups, elected officials and presidential candidates will descend on Washington, D.C. on November 21-23, 2003 for the Claim Democracy conference. The conference is an exciting mix of high-profile plenaries, hands-on workshops, book signings and break-out sessions that will give a diverse range of scholars, elected officials, national, state and local reformers and young activists an opportunity to learn from past pro-democracy movements and help build strong new movements for the future.

There will be more than 55 workshops and plenary sessions, covering a full range of electoral reform and voter turnout topics — from the controversy over touchscreen voting equipment to instant runoff voting, clean elections, securing voting rights for residents of Washington, D.C. and former felons, election day registration, get-out-the-vote drives in 2004 and much more.

Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. will make the case for amending the Constitution for an affirmative right to vote. Texas state legislator Garnet Coleman will explain how political gerrymandering is more out of control than ever. Ms. Foundation President Marie Wilson will tout new approaches to electing more women to office. Common Cause president Chellie Pingree will address whether there is a war on democracy in the United States. John Anderson will argue for opening up elections through challenging winner-take-all elections. And that’s just a beginning.

In addition, on Saturday evening, November 22, Common Cause and the Center for Voting and Democracy have joined to sponsor a dinner to “Celebrate Democracy.” The dinner will feature remarks about reform and the 2004 elections by Hendrik Hertzberg, the senior editor of the New Yorker Magazine.

Registration is $65, with earlybird registration ($40) ending on October 31, 2003. Students and low-income people can register for $25, and there are group rates available.The separate dinner admission of $100 helps the work of the Center for Voting and Democracy and Common Cause. For information on all conference details, see or call the Center for Voting and Democracy at (301) 270-4616.

We hope you can join us to help claim our democracy and, if you live in a city or state that is voting this coming Tuesday, we hope that you will take the time to vote. Thank you!

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