Politics & Policy

Voting Rights and Voting Wrongs: Lasting Impacts of the 2020 Election

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The results of the 2020 presidential election have been a matter of widespread debate. While claims of voter fraud have been dismissed and debunked in multiple court cases, Democrats still cry foul over the “big lie” of a stolen election, and Republicans believe in the “big steal” that cost Donald Trump the presidency. These controversies have sprouted changes in voting protocols over the country on a state-by-state basis.

In this seminar, USC Center for the Political Future (CPF) Co-Directors Bob Shrum and Mike Murphy pose the following questions: What are the changes in voting protocols? Do these changes put certain religions, parties or people at a disadvantage? Could these protocols subvert the outcome of the vote, or will they prevent voter suppression?

The panel features Linda Chavez, conservative commentator and chair of the Center for Equal Opportunity; Theodore Johnson, author, fellows program director of Brennan Center for Justice at NYU Law and professor at USC Bovard College; Ralph Neas, senior counsel on voting rights at the Century Foundation; Pete Peterson, senior fellow at the Davenport Institute for Public Engagement and Civic Leadership and Braun Family Dean’s Chair at Pepperdine University School of Public Policy.

Who Will Benefit

– Young voters hoping to understand how voting protocols have changed following the 2020 election
– Policymakers seeking deeper insights into low voter turnout
– Those looking to uncover how the COVID-19 pandemic changed the voting landscape

About Our Featured Faculty

Theodore R. Johnson is an adjunct professor at USC Bovard College and fellows program director at the Brennan Center for Justice. In this role, he explores the interaction between race, political behavior and policy outcomes that result in socioeconomic disparities, particularly as they relate to criminal justice reform and voting rights. Prior to joining the Brennan Center, Johnson was a national fellow at New America, where he undertook projects on African American electoral behavior and racial inequality, and a research manager at Deloitte exploring the use of technology in the criminal justice system.

Johnson is also a retired Commander in the United States Navy. His service included numerous deployments as a signals intelligence officer, as a military professor at the U.S. Naval War College, as a Department of Defense senior cyber operations policy advisor, as speechwriter to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and selection as a White House Fellow. Johnson holds a BS in mathematics from Hampton University, an ALM with a concentration in international relations from Harvard University, and a Doctorate of Law and Policy from Northeastern University. His research and writing on politics and racial disparities has appeared in The Washington Post, The New York Times Magazine, The Atlantic, The Wall Street Journal, Politico, National Review, and other national and niche publications. He has authored book chapters on electoral behavior and is the author of When the Stars Begin to Fall: Overcoming Racism and Renewing the Promise of America.

Robert “Bob” Shrum is the director of the Center for the Political Future and the Carmen H. and Louis Warschaw Chair in Practical Politics at USC Dornsife. A legendary political strategist, he was described as “the most sought-after consultant in the Democratic Party,” by The Atlantic Monthly. He was the strategist in over 25 winning U.S. Senate campaigns, eight successful campaigns for governor, successful campaigns for mayors in major American cities, and numerous campaigns for Congress and other statewide offices. His numerous clients included Edward Kennedy, Joe Biden, John Glenn, and Barbara Mikulski, David Dinkins and Tom Bradley — and John Kerry and Al Gore in their presidential races. Overseas his clients included Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak, the British Labour Party, the Prime Minister of Ireland, and the Presidents of Colombia and Bolivia.

Mike Murphy is the co-director of the Center for the Political Future at USC. Murphy is one of the Republican Party’s most successful political media consultants, having handled strategy and advertising for more than 26 successful gubernatorial and senatorial campaigns. His record in helping Republicans win Democratic states is unmatched by any other GOP consultant. Murphy has been called a “media master” by Fortune magazine, the GOP’s “hottest media consultant” by Newsweek, and the leader of a “new breed” of campaign consultants by Congressional Quarterly. He is a widely known political pundit, appearing frequently on NBC, CNN and NPR. Previously, he served as a regular on the Meet the Press political roundtable and wrote the “Murphy’s Law” column for TIME Magazine.