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Event Details
Third Rail: Is the Electoral College Relevant or a Relic
Jesse Wegman, New York Times Editorial Board; Tara Ross, Retired Lawyer and Former Editor-in-Chief, Texas Review of Law & Politics

Friday, August 14, 2020 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Time Zone: America/Chicago
Local Time: Friday, August 14, 2020 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

While it is unknown who the Democratic presidential candidate will be, his or her vote on the Electoral College is already in. Seven candidates support eliminating the Electoral College, three do not support eliminating it, and two want a reformed version to stay.

Jesse Wegman believes the Electoral College is “antiquated and antidemocratic,” while Tara Ross calls it “indispensable.” Presidential historian Jeffrey Engel will moderate a discussion with Ross and Wegman about this 216-year-old institution created by the Twelfth Amendment.

Tara Ross is the author of “Enlightened Democracy: The Case for the Electoral College.” She is the former editor-in-chief of the Texas Review of Law & Politics and her work has appeared in many publications. Her videos, “Do You Understand the Electoral College?” and “The Popular Vote vs. the Electoral College,” have more than 60 million views on Prager U. She graduated from Rice University and the University of Texas School of Law.

Jesse Wegman has been the New York Times’ editorial board’s legal and Supreme Court writer since 2013. He has been a senior editor at The Daily Beast, Newsweek and managing editor of the New York Observer, a legal news editor for Reuters, and a producer and reporter for National Public Radio. Wegman graduated from the New York University School of Law.

Jeffrey A. Engel is founding director of the Center for Presidential History at Southern Methodist University and Professor in the Clements Department of History. He graduated magna cum laude from Cornell University. Engel also studied at St. Catherine's College, Oxford University, and received his M.A. and Ph.D. in American history from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He taught American history, international relations, and grand strategy at the University of Wisconsin, Yale University, the University of Pennsylvania, and Haverford College. At Texas A&M's Bush School of Government & Public Service he was a professor and Director of Programming for the Scowcroft Institute for International Affairs. Engel has authored or edited twelve books on American foreign policy.

What You Need to Know: Election 2020 Series

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