A Series on StraightTalk: Voting In America
Throughout September, Furman’s Riley Institute is hosting a three-part series called “StraightTalk: Voting in America,” alongside the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) and South Carolina ETV. The first session came on Sept. 1: Lurching Forward: 244 Years of Fighting for the Right to Vote. The event was moderated by Beryl Dakers, a veteran broadcast journalist leading South Carolina ETV’s 100th anniversary celebration of the 19th Amendment.
Dakers was joined by a number of qualified scholars, researchers, and authors from premier institutions. This first session examined voting in democracies, the history of voting, and legislation that has affected voting. Following the session, Furman seniors Caroline Ring and Ingrid Ramos led a Q&A session allowing viewers to submit questions for the panelists.
The second session, “The Dark Arts of Politics: When Politicians Choose the Voters,” will take place on Sept. 8 from 6:30-7:30pm. The session will cover topics such as gerrymandering, voter and election fraud, voter suppression, and the partisanship of voting rights. It will be moderated by NPR National Political Correspondent Don Gonyea, who has a ground-level view of American elections. Gonyea will engage in discussion with three guests: Allison Riggs and South Carolina Representatives Gary Clay (R) and Gilda Cobb-Hunter (D). Riggs is the interim director of the Southern Coalition for Social Justice and chief counsel of the voting rights program.
Session Three, “Democracy at Risk: Safeguarding Votes, Voters, and Election Integrity,” will take place on Sept. 15 from 6:30-7:30pm EST. The Riley Institute expects this session to have the largest audience as it will discuss relevant concerns about voter fraud with mail-in voting and long wait times at the polls. This session will be moderated by Dr. Teresa Nesbitt Cosby, associate professor in the department of Politics and International Affairs, who specializes in constitutional law and racial and ethnic politics.
Cosby will be joined by Robert Costa, moderator and managing editor at Washington Week on PBS, as well as National Political Reporter Ned Foley, who serves as director of the election law program and Ebersold Chair in Constitutional Law at Ohio State University. Session Three will also feature Dave Levine, who works as the elections integrity fellow at the German Marshall Fund, and Indiana University President Michael McRobbie PhD.
Prior to Session Three, The Paladin will have a Q&A session with David Levine that will be featured in an upcoming article. The Riley Institute is excited to host this three part-series given the upcoming election, and The Paladin will continue to cover the events in a news section mini-series. Furman students will receive CLP credit and are encouraged to participate throughout the session with any questions they may have.