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Conference focuses on elections

Daily Lobo

The UNM community will have a chance to learn more about the election process and campaign finance reform at a conference today at the Albuquerque Convention Center.

The “2001 Conference on Campaigns, Elections, Redistricting and Money to Fund the Elections System,” which is cosponsored by the UNM School of Law and the State Bar of New Mexico, will include state and federal officials, legal practitioners and scholars exploring how elections work and the possibilities for reform.

Four panel discussions, featuring topics of interest to community leaders, public officials, lawyers and the voting public, are scheduled. Panelists will include Federal Communications Commissioner Gloria Tristani, Federal Election Commissioner Bradley Smith, Rep. Tom Udall, D-N.M., and New Mexico Secretary of State Rebecca Vigil-Giron.

Faculty panelists include Nova Southeastern University law professor John Anderson, who is a former U.S. representative and an independent party presidential candidate in 1980; Jamin Raskin, a law professor from the American University; and Rolando Rios, who is the legal counsel for the League of United Latin American Citizens.

The schedule begins at 8:40 a.m. with “Changes in the Technology of Voting and Counting Votes: Or how to forestall a Florida fiasco in New Mexico and other states.” Then at 10:15 a.m., it’s the panel “Campaign Finance Reform: The outlook nationally and in New Mexico,” followed by “Redistricting and Representation: How the recently announced census results and the Voting Rights Act are likely to affect the nation’s and New Mexico’s summer 2001 redistricting efforts” at 1:15 p.m.

The last panel, at 3:15 p.m., is the “Comparative and Alternative Election Systems: The pros and cons of choosing other ways to elect our representatives.”

UNM law professor Sudedeen Kelly and UNM assistant law professor Tim Canova will give a conference wrap-up and summary at 4:30 p.m. For more information about the conference call Canova at 277-5654 or Steve Meilleur at 797-6061.

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