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Smart Politics to Live Blog Minnesota Elections Conference Featuring Mondale, Ritchie, Ramstad

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Smart Politics will live blog a conference on Minnesota elections administration this morning sponsored by the Center for the Study of Politics and Governance. The conference includes panelists such as Vice President Walter Mondale, Secretary of State Mark Ritchie, and Congressman Jim Ramstad. From the CSPG website:

The Minnesota Tradition of Fair Elections
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
9:30 - 11:45am
Cowles Auditorium
Hubert H. Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs

The close contest for U.S. Senate has given rise to challenges and questions by the campaigns of Senator Norm Coleman and Al Franken. The war of words between the campaigns has raised concerns about the fairness and credibility of Minnesota's election process. The truth, however, is that Minnesota's administrative and judicial process for elections is among the most respected in the country. Vice President Walter Mondale, Congressman Jim Ramstad, and former Elmer Andersen aide Tom Swain are joined by national and regional experts to examine the Minnesota tradition of fair elections.

Schedule:

9:30-10:30am: The Minnesota Gold Standard
· Edward B. Foley, Professor, Moritz College of Law, Ohio State University and Director, Election Law @ Moritz
· Mark Ritchie, Secretary of State, Minnesota
· Joe Mansky, Ramsey County Elections Manager, Ramsey County
· Moderator: Lawrence R. Jacobs, Professor, Humphrey Institute, University of Minnesota

10:30-10:45am: Break

10:45-11:30am: The Minnesota Tradition of Fair Elections
· Vice President Walter Mondale
· Congressman Jim Ramstad
· Tom Swain, former Chief of Staff to Elmer Andersen
· Moderator: Lori Sturdevant, Editorial Writer/Columnist, Star Tribune

11:30-11:45am: Strengthening Minnesota's Tradition of Excellence in Elections Administration
· Rachel Smith, Anoka County Elections Manager and lead on the Elections Administration Project at the Humphrey Institute

Previous post: Live Blog: Governor Pawlenty and Health Care Reform
Next post: Live Blog: Fair Elections in Minnesota

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Remains of the Data

Plurality-Winning Governors Elected At Century-Long High Water Mark

The rate of gubernatorial candidates elected without the support of a majority of voters is at its highest level since the 1910s.

Political Crumbs

Seeing Red

Congressman Nick Rahall's failed bid for a 20th term in West Virginia this cycle, combined with a narrow loss by Nick Casey to Alex Mooney in Shelley Moore Capito's open seat, means that West Virginia Democrats will be shut out of the state's U.S. House delegation for the first time in over 90 years. The Republican sweep by two-term incumbent David McKinley in the 1st CD, Mooney in the 2nd, and Evan Jenkins over Rahall in the 3rd marks the first time the GOP has held all seats in the chamber from West Virginia since the Election of 1920. During the 67th Congress (1921-1923) all six seats from the state were controlled by the GOP. Since the Election of 1922, Democrats have won 76 percent of all U.S. House elections in the Mountain State - capturing 172 seats compared to 54 for the GOP.


Home Field Advantage?

When the 114th Congress convenes in a few days, Maine will be represented by one home-grown U.S. Representative: Waterville-born Republican Bruce Poliquin. With the departure of Millinocket-born Mike Michaud, who launched a failed gubernatorial bid, the Pine Tree State was poised to send a House delegation to D.C. without any Maine-born members for the first time since 1821. Three-term U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree (born in Minnesota) coasted to reelection as expected, however Poliquin edged Kentucky-born Emily Cain by 5.3 points to keep the streak alive. Since 1876, a total of 208 of the 222 candidates elected to the nation's lower legislative chamber from the state have been born in Maine, or 94 percent.


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