StraightTalk 2020: Voting in America is a three part series presented by the Riley Institute at Furman, in partnership with the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) and South Carolina ETV.
Tuesdays, September 1, 8, and 15, 2020 via Zoom
6:30 – 7:30 p.m.
Session 1 | September 1
Lurching Forward: 244 Years of Fighting for the Right to Vote
The United States has a long history of limiting who gets to vote: at its founding, only white men who owned property were allowed to vote. Throughout our history, the battle for voting rights has been hard fought as marginalized groups have sought to have a voice. What have been the turning points throughout our voting history, and how do these experiences from the past shape voting behaviors today?
Moderated by Beryl Dakers, veteran broadcast journalist who is leading South Carolina ETV’s recognition of the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment
Michael Waldman, president, Brennan Center for Justice
Chryl Laird, PhD, assistant professor of government, Bowdoin College
Kelly Dittmar, PhD, associate professor of political science, Rutgers University-Camden, and director of research, Center for American Women and Politics at the Eagleton Institute of Politics
Session 2 | September 8
The Dark Arts of Politics: When Politicians Choose the Voters
Gerrymandering, voter and election fraud, voter suppression, and voting rights are inevitably partisan topics. In general, the party in power wants to stay in power, and politicians are not always ethical in how they seek to achieve this goal. Moreover, 2020 is not only a presidential election year but also a census year, the outcome of which will determine people’s representation in Congress for the next decade. As we approach the upcoming election and think about future elections, what is fair in regards to redistricting, making voting accessible, and rooting out election fraud?
Moderated by Don Gonyea, NPR national political correspondent with a ground-level view of American elections
Allison Riggs, interim director of Southern Coalition for Social Justice and chief counsel, voting rights program
S.C. Representative Gary Clary (R-Pickens) and
S.C. Representative Gilda Cobb-Hunter (D-Orangeburg)
Reps. Clary and Cobb-Hunter both support establishing an independent redistricting commission in South Carolina.
Session 3 | September 15
Democracy at Risk: Safeguarding Votes, Voters, and Election Integrity
Commemorating Constitution Day 2020
As we move toward the 2020 presidential election, many Americans are worried about fraud with mail-in voting, while others are fearful they will have to wait for hours to be able to vote. Some are concerned about the vulnerabilities that exist in our election infrastructure and how the system might be compromised in the upcoming election. Moreover, given Americans’ declining trust in democratic institutions, how will the losing party respond if the outcome of the election is close? What does the Constitution really say about how we choose our president?
Moderated by Teresa Nesbitt Cosby, associate professor of politics and international affairs, specializing in constitutional law and racial and ethnic politics, Furman University
Robert Costa, moderator and managing editor, Washington Week on PBS, and national political reporter, The Washington Post
Ned Foley, director of the election law program and Ebersold Chair in Constitutional Law, The Ohio State University
Michael McRobbie, PhD, president, Indiana University, and co-chair, Securing the Vote: Protecting American Democracy, a 2018 consensus study report of The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, Medicine
To learn more and register, visit https://riley.furman.edu/riley/critical-issues/straighttalk/voting-america