Day One: March 8th


RepresentWomen's 2022 Solutions Summit

This event took place on March 8-10, 2022.

RepresentWomen's inaugural Solutions Summit brought together experts and leaders in election administration, voting rights, and democracy reform who are working on innovative solutions that upgrade and strengthen our democracy. Women experts discussed a range of critical issues related to fair access, fair elections, and fair representation. Experts focused on viable, scalable, and transformative solutions to build a 21st Century Democracy that reflects today’s needs and values.

RepresentWomen is a nonpartisan research and advocacy hub that is dedicated to building a 21st-century democracy with inclusive gender balance at every level of government in the United States. We study the barriers women face in politics and partner with allies to advance best practices to address those barriers so that all women can run, win, serve, and lead.

[About the Summit] Day One [Day Two] [Day Three]

Solutions Summit Day One Recording

View the transcript here.

Click on a topic to begin.

Event Description

Fair Elections: Upgrading How We Vote & Finance Campaigns

Experts will speak to critical issues around ballot access and campaign finance. Experts will then focus on viable, scalable, and transformative solutions such as early voting, vote by mail, universal voter registration, and innovations in campaign finance. The day will end with actionable takeaways so that participants will know how to help advance these solutions.

Introduction

Discussion of the existing challenges related to fair elections to establish a foundational understanding of the issues we are trying to solve. Here audience members will gain a solid understanding of the barriers in our current system.

Time: 3:00 - 3:15 pm

Speakers: Danielle Allen, Secretary Maggie Toulouse Oliver

"Early Voting, Vote-by-Mail, and Universal Voter Registration"

A live one-on-one conversation between two well-known women experts on solutions to existing challenges related to fair ballot access: early voting, vote by mail, and universal voter registration. Here audience members will learn about viable, scalable, and transformative solutions directly from the experts themselves. 

Time: 3:15 - 3:40 pm

Speakers: Amber McReynolds, Acting Secretary Leigh Chapman

"Innovations in Campaign Finance"

A live conversation between two to three widely respected women experts on reimagining campaign finance as a solution to some of our current challenges related to fair elections. Here audience members will learn about viable, scalable, and transformative solutions directly from the experts themselves.

Time: 3:40 - 4:00 pm

Speakers: Sheila Krumholz, Chisun Lee, Ann Ravel

Solutions Panel

Live panel discussion between three to five “on-the-ground” experts that will share their experience in working to advance early voting, vote by mail, universal voter registration, ballot access for typically marginalized groups, and better campaign finance at the local, state, or national levels. Here audience members will learn about tangible action steps they can take to join us in advancing these viable, scalable, and transformative solutions.

Time: 4:00 - 4:50 pm

Moderator: Onida Coward Mayers

Speakers: Sarah Blahovec, Clerk Molly Fitzpatrick, Michelle Whittaker, Councilmember Teresa Mosqueda

Meet the Speakers

Danielle Allen

Director of Harvard University's Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics

Professor Danielle Allen is a political theorist who has published broadly in democratic theory, political sociology, and the history of political thought. She is a professor at Harvard University and Director of Harvard's Edmond Safra Center for Ethics, a former Chair of the Mellon Foundation Board, past Chair of the Pulitzer Prize Board, and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Philosophical Society.

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Maggie Toulouse Oliver

Secretary of State (New Mexico)

Secretary Maggie Toulouse Oliver is New Mexico’s 26th Secretary of State. She has served the people of New Mexico in this role since first being elected in 2016. She was first appointed to public office in 2007 when she became County Clerk in New Mexico’s largest county, Bernalillo County. Elected to her first full term in 2008, Secretary Toulouse Oliver served 2 1/2 terms as County Clerk. Overseeing elections in the state’s largest county gave Secretary Toulouse Oliver detailed, on-the-ground expertise in election administration that has helped to guide her current work overseeing elections statewide.

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Amber McReynolds

United States Postal Service Board of Governors

Amber McReynolds was appointed to the Postal Service Board of Governors by President Biden and was confirmed by the Senate on May 13, 2021. McReynolds is a leading expert on election administration and policy. Her professional career has been focused on strengthening democratic institutions with the goal of improving the voting experience for all. She is the Founding CEO of the National Vote at Home Institute, a non-partisan non-profit dedicated to expanding and improving vote-by-mail systems in all fifty states.

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Leigh Chapman

Acting Secretary of State (Pennsylvania)

Acting Secretary Leigh Chapman was appointed as the Acting Secretary of State of Pennsylvania on January 8, 2022. Previously, Chapman served as executive director of Deliver My Vote. She also held senior leadership positions at the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights and other non-partisan, non-profit election reform and advocacy organizations. From 2015 to 2017, Chapman served as policy director at the PA Department of State, advancing key agenda items including the implementation of electronic voter registration.

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Sheila Krumholz

Executive Director of Open Secrets

Sheila Krumholz is OpenSecrets' chief administrator, the liaison to its board and major funders, and its primary spokesperson. Sheila became executive director in 2006, having spent eight years as OpenSecrets' research director, supervising data analysis for OpenSecrets.org and OpenSecrets' clients. She first joined the organization in 1989 as assistant editor of the very first edition of Open Secrets, OpenSecrets' flagship publication. 

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Chisun Lee

Director of Elections & Government at the Brennan Center

Chisun Lee directs the Elections and Government Program at the Brennan Center for Justice, a nonpartisan law and policy institute that strives to uphold and improve the systems of democracy and justice to work for all. Lee oversees work to advance money-in-politics reform and improve election administration. She leads strategy and research for policy initiatives, legislative campaigns, publications, litigation, and public advocacy.

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Ann Ravel

Former Chair of the Federal Election Commission

Ann Ravel was nominated to the Federal Election Commission by President Obama on June 21, 2013 and joined the Commission on October 25, 2013. She served as Chair of the Commission for 2015 and Vice-Chair for 2014 before leaving in 2017. Previously, Ms. Ravel served as Chair of the California Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC), the Deputy Assistant Attorney General for Torts and Consumer Litigation in the Civil Division of the United States Department of Justice, the Santa Clara County Counsel from 1998 until 2009, a Governor on the Board of Governors of the State Bar of California, a member of the Judicial Council of the State of California, and Chair of the Commission on Judicial Nominees Evaluation.

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Onida Coward Mayers

MiRam Group Vice President

Onida Coward Mayers is Vice President of the MiRam group, the former Director for New York City’s Voter Assistance at the Campaign Finance Board, and an award-winning communications executive. For the past 10+ years, Ms. Coward Mayers directed strategic voter outreach, policy, and vision planning for one of the largest voting populations in the United States. In her capacity at the CFB, Ms. Coward Mayers led the launch of the nonpartisan NYC Votes Program aimed at increasing voter awareness, education, and participation. In 2013, she led New York City to place second in the United States for the highest number of people registered in a single day. Ms. Coward Mayers is also an Adjunct Professor of Public Speaking for the City University of New York.

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Sarah Blahovec

Voting and Civic Engagement Director, National Council on Independent Living

Sarah Blahovec is a disability rights advocate and activist. She currently works as the Voting and Civic Engagement Director for the National Council on Independent Living, where she advocates for greater accessibility in elections; educates the disability community on voting rights, and works to energize a disability voting bloc; and addresses barriers to running for office for people with disabilities. Sarah is the creator of Elevate: Campaign Training or People with Disabilities, the first national run for office training program for people with disabilities. 

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Molly Fitzpatrick

Boulder County Clerk & Recorder (Colorado)

Molly Fitzpatrick was elected as Boulder County Clerk and Recorder in 2018. As Boulder County Clerk and Recorder, Molly oversees three divisions including elections, motor vehicle, and recording. Since taking office, Molly has overseen five elections. As Clerk, Molly has prioritized the advancement of processes designed to enhance integrity, accuracy, accessibility, and security in the elections process and has worked to demonstrate these values to the public. Before being elected County Clerk, Molly was the Organizing Director with New Era Colorado, where she managed statewide programs to register thousands of young voters in Colorado, helped voters navigate our elections process, and supported the policies and administrative reforms to make democracy more accessible. 

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Michelle Whittaker

Messaging and Campaign Strategist

Michelle Whittaker has over 15 years of experience in communications, advocacy outreach, and grassroots mobilization. She is the principal at MCW Creative, a boutique strategic consulting firm for nonprofits and political campaigns. She is the statewide coordinator for Ranked Choice Voting Maryland. Her expertise is in strategy development, storytelling, constituency engagement, organizing, and media outreach. Michelle is a seasoned campaign manager and financial administrator, running successful fundraising, outreach, and election programs for local races in Montgomery County, Maryland, and the District of Columbia.

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Teresa Mosqueda

Seattle City Councilmember

Councilmember Teresa Mosqueda was elected in November 2017 to serve the over 725,000 residents in Seattle as the citywide Councilmember in Position 8 for a four-year term. Mosqueda's top priority on City Council is promoting healthy communities, lifting-up working families, and creating more affordable housing for all residents through the city. 

[Read More]


 

RepresentWomen’s inaugural Solutions Summit brought together experts in the fields of voting rights, democracy reform, and election administration to advocate for meaningful, innovative solutions to the issues facing our democracy today. 

Our inspiring panelists and speakers highlighted some of the many ways YOU can Take Action today to reshape our democracy into one that works for us ALL! Check out recordings from each day along with the steps you can take.


Day One was all about early voting, vote by mail, universal voter registration, and reforms in campaign finance to improve our elections and election administration. 

WATCH: Solutions Summit Day 1: Fair Elections | [Click here to take you to the video on our Youtube channel or watch below]

READ: the transcript here

Take Action Steps

A plain text version of these Take Action resources is available.

 

Engage with disability rights organizations like the American Association of People with DisabilitiesNational Council on Independent Living, or National Disability Rights Network to learn more about voting access for people with disabilities. Click on the images to learn more!


Stay informed on the Brennan Center for Justice’s work by signing up for their newsletter. Click on the image to sign up!

Use Contact My Politician to take what you have learned about the national efforts to pass election reform and click the image to the right to voice your opinion to your congressional representatives and senators. They can take action at the national level to preserve the right to vote and ensure the proper funding of elections.

    


Research when elections are held in your jurisdiction at USA.gov, and vote in every single election - including local elections! ​Volunteer to assist your local elections office, either as a poll worker or in some other capacity. Click on the logos to learn how!

 


This is just the beginning! Check back for an in-depth Solutions Summit Take Action Resource Guide, coming soon.