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Oct 2020-The Electoral College: Perils & Possibilities for the 2020 Presidential Election

CWI’s program for the October 27th virtual meeting, “The Electoral College: Perils and Possibilities for the 2020 Presidential Election” will provide information on the Electoral College, its history, current practice, and future possibilities.  Contrary to what many assume and what we have witnessed in past elections it is not the popular vote but the votes cast by the Electoral College that elects the President of the United States. Professor Gerardo “Jerry” Vildostegui, a lawyer specializing in voting rights from the Brennan Center will explain the legal underpinnings of the Electoral College and how States determine their Electoral College votes. Pam Wilmot from Common Cause will provide information on how The National Popular Vote Compact would make the country’s popular vote determine the Presidential election outcome and other solutions including proposals to end the Electoral College. Ronnie Pawelko from The Alliance for Justice will discuss other concerns relating to the Electoral College system and provide a reminder of the rules for 501 (c) (3) and 501 (c) (4) organizations advocacy during and after elections and provide examples of activities that may and may not be engaged in.  The meeting is organized and moderated by CWI’s Vice President for Legal Affairs, Jeanette Lim Esbrook.  

Pam Wilmot is Vice President of State Operations for Common Cause where she oversees a nationwide network of 30 state offices and advisory boards. She has added this responsibility to her longstanding work as Massachusetts Common Cause Executive Director.  She is an expert on the electoral college, campaign finances, ethics, elections and transparency laws. She also is the Director of the National Popular Vote initiative to ensure the winner of the popular vote receives 270 Electoral Votes and becomes president through the National Popular Vote Compact. She has a J.D. from Northeastern University, a Masters in social work from Smith College and a Bachelor’s degree from Brown University. She received the John Gardner Public Service Award in 2017.

Ronnie Pawelko is Senior Counsel for the Bolder Advocacy program at The Alliance for Justice and is based in AFJ’s Washington, DC office. Through trainings and technical assistance, she provides nonprofit advocacy organizations and foundations with accessible information, resources, and information so organizations can safely navigate complex laws and rules as they pursue systems change. Ronnie received her J.D. from Albany Law School and her B.A. from Russell Sage College. Before joining AFJ, Ronnie was General Counsel at Family Planning Advocates of New York State. Previously, Ronnie served as Health and Human Services Team Counsel for the New York State Senate and as staff attorney for the MergerWatch Project.

RSVP to the October 27, 2020 Zoom meeting here. At meeting time (noon), remember to join without activating your video and or audio if you do not wish to be seen, heard, or recorded. You may also want to rename your participant name to first name and last initial. This meeting will be recorded and posted to YouTube, and possibly also to Public Access Television.

Next Clearinghouse on Women’s Issues Zoom Meeting will be Tuesday Noon, Nov. 17, 2020 to Discuss Post Election Priorities for Women’s Issues.