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IndyBuzz provides information about Central Indiana's most stimulating and thought provoking events -- discussions and conferences, art exhibitions, films, music performances. It tells you what's happening … explains why you should be part of what’s happening. More than an events calendar, though, IndyBuzz tries to make events more meaningful for participants by suggesting an article or two to read before the event, recommending books or websites that will be sources of further information after the event, and pointing out related events that are worth attending.

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Oct. 6: Lee Hamilton and Todd Rokita on electoral reform in the United States

Late-breaking news flash: Lee Hamilton has asked that 25 seats for this event be made available to college students at no charge! Act quickly to take advantage of this opportunity to see the state and national power elite at work, and to talk personally with the individuals who are shaping our democracy. To attend, contact Pat Hasselblad of Sagamore Institute at pat@sipr.org or 317-472-7824.

A discussion of the Carter-Baker Commission on Federal Election Reform with Lee Hamilton (Commission member, Director of the IU Center on Congress and Member of Congress 1965-1999) and Todd Rokita, Indiana Secretary of State

When: Thursday 6 October, 1:00-3:00 p.m.

Where: One American Square, Tower Conference Center, TCC 206, Indianapolis IN (get directions here)

The focus will be on citizen participation in the electoral process, with insights and commentary from Congressman Lee Hamilton, who served on the Commission on Federal Election Reform co-chaired by Jimmy Carter and James Baker. The Commission released its findings to the public on September 19, 2005. Among its recommendations are the implementation of uniform voter-registration systems, the consistent use of voter ID cards, state-to-state registration “interoperability,” better maintenance of voter lists, special care for military and overseas ballots, re-enfranchisement of ex-felons and more responsible handling and release of exit-polling data. Indiana Secretary of State Todd Rokita will offer his perspectives on the progress of election reform here in Indiana.

The Commission's recommendations have stirred much controversy. One of the Commission members, SPencer Overton, has set up a webpage to air his dissent. The nonpartisan League of Women Voters called the report "disappointing" and offers an alternative set of reforms. Progressive Democrats of America complain they were excluded from the Commission's hearings, and lay out their own ideas for change. Here in Indiana, the Commission's recommendations concerning photo ID have been challenged in court by the Indiana Civil Liberties Union and other groups.

There will be a $10.00 charge for this program, although it is complimentary for members of SIPR’s Founders Club. SIPR has limited space for this program. Students can attend for free, but must RSVP. Please RSVP to pat@sipr.org by October 2, 2005 (acceptances only). Call Pat Hasselblad at 317-472-7824 with any questions.

For more information… Read the Carter-Baker Commission’s report, or at least its recommendations. These recommendations concerning photo ID have been challenged in court by the Indiana Civil Liberties Union and other groups.

If you like this event, check out … Other speakers with the Mid-North Shepherd’s Center’s “Domestic Decisions” series will explore different aspects of political reform, including consequences for local politics, and probably also for cuts in city services and healthcare reform.

Expect Bill Clinton to talk about political reform (as well as a hundred and one other topics).

The ICLU’s chief litigator Ken Falk will discuss his organization's court challenge at the ICLU’s Oct. 15 conference.

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