Dole Institute, Kennedy Institute launch initiative to strengthen US election infrastructure
LAWRENCE — The Robert J. Dole Institute of Politics and the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate have announced a collaborative initiative to promote investment in American electoral administration and processes.
The two institutes have assembled a team of policy experts and practitioners to examine why the study of funding election systems is so difficult as compared to other government services and to highlight models of success at the local level.
The institutes have selected Tammy Patrick, election expert and a former commissioner on the Presidential Commission on Election Administration, to lead this process.
Policy experts involved in the working group include professors Mitchell Brown, Auburn University; Paul Gronke, Reed College; Kathleen Hale, Auburn University; Martha Kropf, University of North Carolina; Paul Mason, Reed College; and Zach Mohr, University of Kansas; as well as Rachel Orey, Bipartisan Policy Center; Charles Stewart, professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology; and Matt Weil, Bipartisan Policy Center.
For its first event, the institutes will co-host Kansas Secretary of State Scott Schwab in conversation with Douglas County Kansas Election Officer Jamie Shew at 7 p.m. Feb. 15 at the Dole Institute. Following the public event, the working group will convene local and regional practitioners to further the research on this topic, with future sessions and products to be announced.
“Our goal is to support the tireless elections administrators who are the backbone of our democracy. We need a strong 21st century election system in America, and part of achieving that is understanding the range of funding sources and options today,” said Adam Hinds, CEO of the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate. “This partnership between the Dole and Kennedy institutes underscores that building a resilient election process is not a partisan issue but one our entire country must get behind.”
“In the tradition of our namesakes, both Dole and Kennedy institutes are dedicated to promoting qualities of service, leadership and engagement that fortify our democratic institutions and processes,” said Audrey Coleman, director of the Dole Institute of Politics. “This project focuses on the fundamental resources — human and financial — that are required to administer secure and trusted elections, the foundation of our democracy.”