• George W. Bush Presidential Center

    Exhibits & Events

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Elections — A More Perfect Union

May 18, 2022

The George W. Bush Institute, the Partnership for American Democracy, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the Karsh Institute of Democracy at the University of Virginia are pleased to present Elections  A More Perfect Union, on Wednesday, May 18, 2022, in Dallas, Texas.

Free, fair, and secure elections are the cornerstone of our democracy.  While voter turnout and engagement are at historical highs, too many Americans have lost confidence in our elections as national debates raise doubts around security, access, and credibility.  This is of great concern as our elections — and our belief in them — have been the vehicle for ensuring the peaceful transfer of power at all levels of government for more than two centuries. The future of our democracy depends on rebuilding this trust.    

Through a series of conversations with thought leaders, election practitioners, analysts, and democracy experts, the event will engage a diverse group of Americans on how elections work, why they matter, and how we maintain their continued integrity and credibility.  

Specifically, Elections  A More Perfect Union will examine: 

  • The role of elections in a democratic society, how they have evolved over time, and how important it is to safeguard elections against challenges of the day. 
  • How the integrity of elections is being protected in various states and conveying the threats currently facing election administration and workers. 
  • The experience of elections in other countries and how America’s commitment to the peaceful transfer of power play in inspiring and advancing democracy abroad. 

We will include audience and viewer questions about election administration and election integrity, as well as engaging in the electoral process. Submit a question about elections for discussion, via text or video message, to [email protected].

We hope that this event will be a rallying point for addressing attacks on and bolstering confidence in our elections and provide actionable steps for our audience to do so. As Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis said, “The most important office, and the one which all of us can and should fill, is that of private citizen.” 

Schedule of Events

2:00 – 2:05 p.m.
Welcome Remarks
Ken Hersh, President and CEO, George W. Bush Presidential Center

2:05 – 2:10 p.m.

John Bridgeland, Executive Chair, Partnership for American Democracy

2:10 – 2:20 p.m.
The Story of Our Elections
Jon Meacham, Co-chair of the Vanderbilt Project on Unity and American Democracy, Professor of Political Science, Vanderbilt University

2:20 – 3:05 p.m.
Conversation One: Our Elections Today
Jon Meacham, Co-chair of the Vanderbilt Project on Unity and American Democracy, Professor of Political Science, Vanderbilt University
Yuval Levin, Director of Social, Cultural, and Constitutional Studies, American Enterprise Institute
Rachel Kleinfeld, Senior Fellow Democracy, Conflict, And Governance Program, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
Moderator: Dr. Leah Wright Rigueur, Professor of History, Johns Hopkins University

3:05 – 3:10 p.m.
Remarks and Introduction of Panel

Michael Carney, Senior Vice President, Emerging Issues, U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation
Natalie Tran, Executive Director, CAA Foundation and Co-Founder, Civic Alliance

3:10 – 3:50 p.m.
Conversation Two: Our Elections Administration at Risk
Maggie Oliver, New Mexico Secretary of State
Joanna Lydgate, Founder and CEO, States United Democracy Center
Bill Gates, Chairman, Maricopa County Board of Supervisors
Moderator: Krys Boyd, KERA Local NPR Affiliate

3:50 – 4:10 p.m.

4:10 – 4:13

4:13 – 4:15
Remarks and Introduction of Panel

Patricia Harrison, President and CEO, Corporation for Public Broadcasting

4:15 – 4:50 p.m.
Audience Discussion
Ben Ginsberg, Co-chair, Election Officials Legal Defense Network
Stephen Heintz, President and CEO, Rockefeller Brothers Fund
Brian Corley, Supervisor of Elections, Pasco County, Florida
Julietta Henry, Director, Milwaukee County Election Commission
Moderator: Pat Harrison, President and CEO, Corporation for Public Broadcasting

4:50 – 5:00 p.m.
President George W. Bush

5:00 – 5:45 p.m.
Conversation Three
Condoleezza Rice, Tad and Dianne Taube Director of the Hoover Institution and the Thomas and Barbara Stephenson Senior Fellow on Public Policy
Natan Sharansky, Honorary Member of the Board of Governors, The Jewish Agency for Israel
Moderator: Nicole Bibbins Sedaca, Executive Vice President, Freedom House, The Kelly and David Pfeil Fellow, George W. Bush Institute

5:45 – 5:55 p.m.
Closing Remarks and Announcement of Next Steps
Holly Kuzmich, Executive Director, George W. Bush Institute

5:55 p.m.
Program Concludes