2014 Free and Equal Elections Electoral Reform Symposium

The Voting Methods & Election Integrity Symposium took place at Infinity Park’s Cherry Creek Room in Glendale, CO on Saturday, November 15th. Colorado-based Free Speech TV and the Open Media Foundation were the host broadcasters of the Symposium along with the Free and Equal Network.
Many Americans are discouraged from voting for their candidate of choice for many reasons, one of which is the current system of single-winner plurality voting, as well as concerns over the integrity of the elections themselves. Our goal is to directly challenge the electoral status quo by empowering voters and candidates alike.
In order to find meaningful reforms to voting and electoral systems, the symposium explored voting methods such as approval voting, instant runoff, and proportional representation. It also addressed issues of election integrity, such as closed-source electronic voting machines, the Electoral College, gerrymandering, Top Two primary systems, and more.
The Voting Methods Panel, moderated by Christina Tobin, included FairVote’s Rob Richie (via Skype), Aaron Hamlin of the Center for Election Science, Bill Redpath of the Libertarian Party, and Richard Winger, editor of Ballot Access News and advisory board member of Free and Equal Elections. The Election Integrity Panel, moderated by Richard Winger and Christina Tobin, included Suzanne Staiert (Deputy Secretary of State of Colorado) and Harvie Branscomb (Coloradans for Voting Integrity).
Harry Hempy (2014 Green Party gubernatorial candidate), Lily Williams (2014 Libertarian candidate for Colorado State House & Colorado state director of Our America Initiative), and Matthew Hess (2014 Libertarian gubernatorial candidate) spoke during the lunch hour. Glendale Mayor Mike Dunafon presented an opening address via video.
Gary Johnson and Jill Stein won 1st and 2nd place, using alternative voting methods that empowered the participants to vote for their candidate of choice.
In the panel with Suzanne Staiert (Deputy Secretary of State of Colorado) and Harvie Branscomb (Coloradans for Voting Integrity), Free and Equal took pride in encouraging open communication between the people, election watchers/activists like Branscomb, and public officials like Staiert. To build public trust in elections, communication, public participation, and transparency is always healthy.
The event was hosted by the Free and Equal Elections Foundation and co-sponsored by organizations such as Fair Elections for Colorado, FairVote, Dr. Jill Stein (2012 Green Party presidential candidate), the national Libertarian Party, the Center for Election Science, and Ballot Access News.