PublicSquare Seminars

This webinar will focus on what we have learned about electoral processes from November’s historic presidential election – and what we might want to think about changing. Among the topics to be engaged are: the possibility of Electoral College reform; the need for a constitutional amendment guaranteeing the right to vote; the need for more nationally uniform procedures across the states; better funded election administration; and stronger safeguards against the many different varieties of voter suppression.

Alexander Keyssar is Matthew W. Stirling Jr. Stirling Professor of History and Social Policy at Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. Widely regarded as “America’s greatest historian of democracy,” he is the author of numerous books, including Why Do We Still Have the Electoral College? (released July 2020) and The Right to Vote: The Contested History of Democracy in the United States, a 2001 Pulitzer Prize finalist and winner of the Beveridge Award from the American Historical Association for the best book in U.S. history. Keyssar has also taught at Duke University, MIT, and Brandeis University. He graduated from Harvard University with a PhD in the History of American Civilization.

Seminar Readings

Alexander Keyssar, “The Real Grand Bargain, Coming Undone,” The Washington Post (August 19, 2011)
Alexander Keyssar, “Voter Suppression Returns: Voting Rights and Partisan Practices,” Harvard Magazine (July-August 2012)
Alexander Keyssar, “The Strange Career of Voter Suppression,” The New York Times (February 12, 2012)
Alexander Keyssar, “How Has the Electoral College Survived for This Long?” The New York Times (August 3, 2020)
Alexander Keyssar, “The Stubborn Survival of the Electoral College,” The Wall Street Journal (August 13, 2020)