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KNOXVILLE — Rob Richie, the executive director of FairVote and an expert on international and domestic elections and electoral reform, will be at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, on Oct. 6-7 for three events sponsored by the Howard H. Baker Jr. Center for Public Policy.

Richie — who has appeared on NBC News, CNN, FOX, MSNBC and NPR and has co-authored two books, “Every Vote Equal” and “Whose Vote Counts?” — will speak at 7 p.m. on Oct. 6 in the Toyota Auditorium at the Baker Center, 1640 Cumberland Ave. Free and open to the public, his lecture will be entitled “Flunking the Electoral College: The Case for a National Popular Vote and a New Roadmap for Reform.”

Then, on Oct. 7, Richie will meet with students from 10 to 11 a.m. at the Baker Center. All UT students are welcome to attend.

He will conclude his visit by speaking at a Baker Center luncheon on Oct. 7 at The Foundry, 747 World’s Fair Park Drive. The luncheon begins at 11:30 a.m. Richie’s topic will be “Against All Odds: How and Why the Electoral College Can Be Reformed by 2012.” Cost is $15. To register, call 974-0931 by Oct. 1.

“We’re excited to host Rob Richie and hear his messages,” said Carl Pierce, Baker Center interim director. “Sen. Baker has been a longtime advocate of reforming the Electoral College. As he explained in his book, ‘No Margin for Error’ and in his remarks last spring at the Baker Center’s Voting Rights Symposium, Sen. Baker thinks that the Electoral College should be abolished and replaced by a more responsive and representative method for election of the president. Sen. Baker would prefer direct election of the President by popular vote but would be willing to consider any improvement over the current system.”

Richie will use information from his latest report as the basis for his campus presentation. To read the full report, see

Richie, who has a bachelor’s degree in philosophy from Haverford College, founded FairVote in 1992. Prior to that, he worked for three winning congressional campaigns in Washington state and for nonprofit organizations in Washington and the District of Columbia.

Based in Takoma Park, Md., FairVote is an organization dedicated to lobbying for election reform.

Richie has worked with congressional and state legislative staff in writing numerous pieces of legislation, and he has testified in special sessions before charter commissions in cities in New York, Florida, Ohio, Texas and Michigan and before state legislative committees in Alaska, Vermont, Virginia and Washington. He has helped organize eight well-attended national conferences on electoral system reform and worked with hundreds of state reformers supporting fair election methods.

The Baker Center, which opened at UT in 2003, develops programs and promotes research to further the public’s knowledge of our system of governance, and to highlight the critical importance of public service, a hallmark of Sen. Baker’s career.

The Baker Center’s facility includes a museum that tells the story of how government works using Sen. Baker’s life as a backdrop. It also houses the Modern Political Archives, which hold more than 100 collections of political papers from prominent Tennessee leaders.

For more about the Baker Center, see

C O N T A C T :

Amy Blakely (865-974-5034,