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KNOXVILLE – As a follow-up to its recent program on the Electoral College, the Howard H. Baker Jr. Center for Public Policy at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, will present a lecture by a UT alumnus who is serving on a national committee looking at the problem of “renegade presidential electors.”

Jess O. Hale Jr., a senior legislative attorney with the Office of Legal Services of the Tennessee General Assembly, will speak at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 20, in Toyota Auditorium at the Baker Center. The event is free and open to the public.

His lecture, titled “Reining in Renegade Presidential Electors: A Uniform State Approach,” will describe the problem posed by renegade presidential electors — electors who disregard their party’s preferred candidates when voting for U.S. presidential or vice presidential candidates during the Electoral College. He also will talk about the developing response to that problem proposed by the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws and its Drafting Committee on Faithful Presidential Electors.

A draft of the committee’s report can be found at

Hale has practiced law in Tennessee for more than 20 years. He primarily works in the areas of health care and social services policy and legislative drafting. He has worked with the General Assembly for more than a decade, and he also served on the staffs of Tennessee Gov. Ned McWherter and U.S. Sen. Harlan Mathews. In 2006, he was appointed as an associate commissioner to the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws and last year was appointed to the conference’s Drafting Committee on Faithful Presidential Electors.

Hale stresses that, as a member of the drafting committee, his views do not represent those of the Office of Legal Services or the Tennessee General Assembly.

Hale has a bachelor’s degree from Johnson Bible College, a master’s of theological studies from Harvard Divinity School, a law degree from UT and a master’s degree in public policy from Duke University.

He has published articles in the Cumberland Law Review, the Tulane Environmental Law Journal, and a variety of theological and other journals.

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 200 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,