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The New Mexico Humanities Council and New Mexico Listens will host thought leaders and policymakers from around the state in a virtual panel discussion that will address questions on voting politics in New Mexico. Most people believe that our elections are safe and secure, yet voters and election workers are being threatened and intimidated. Flimsy claims of voter fraud are leading some states to pass laws that will result in voter suppression. What are the statistics? How secure are our elections? How secret are our ballots?

How do we sort through campaign promises to choose the best candidates to represent us? With so much money influencing elections and politics, can we trust elected officials? How can non-voters participate in our democracy? Is the media increasing political and social polarization? Where are the stories about our changing society? Where do we want our country to be in five or ten years? Where do we have common ground?

In appreciation of efforts to strengthen democracy, we’re offering students, 16 years of age and older, and rising leaders an opportunity to join the League of Women Voters of New Mexico at no cost. lwvnm.org/membership.html

Community members from around the state and students from UNM, NMSU, NMHU, and area high schools are invited to attend and participate in the conversation.

Attendees are asked to register on Eventbrite in order to receive a Zoom link to be able to participate. A registration link can also be found on the New Mexico Humanities Council’s website at: NMHumanities.org/NMListens

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Panelists are:

  • Cindy Nava, executive director of Transform Education New Mexico. Cindy is a public policy advocate and educator dedicated to empowering youth through leadership development. She brings an immigrant lens to her lifelong commitment to advance equity and opportunity. After residing in NM for 26 years, she became a U.S. citizen in 2021 and voted for the first time.
  • Regis Pecos, trustee emeritus of Princeton University, and the first Native American to serve on the board of trustees of Princeton, his alma mater. Until 2021, he directed the state’s Majority Office as chief of staff and director of Policy and Legislative Affairs. Regis continues to serve on several boards and advocacy committees. He co-directs the Leadership Institute at Santa Fe Indian School, which he co-founded.
  • Elaine Rodriquez, chair of the History and Political Science Department at Highlands University where she teaches American government and Southwest history and politics. Her research and experience ranges from the impact of the National Voter Registration Act to Latino/a politics and culture. She brings new perspectives on sustainable economic growth, youth leadership development, and civic engagement through her service on the City Council of Las Vegas.
  • Finnie D. Coleman teaches American and African American literature, history and culture at the University of New mexico and serves as president of the Faculty Senate. For more than 20 years, he has worked as a higher education consultant specializing in diversity, equity and inclusion on college campuses.

The panel will be moderated by Christa Slaton, a professor of government emeritas of New Mexico State University and Auburn University, where she served as Dean of Arts and Sciences and Associate Dean of the College of Liberal Arts, respectively.

From 2002-2010, she served as the Director of the Elections Administration at Auburn University and collaborated with the non-profit, Houston-based Election Center to offer a national certification program for elections and voter registration officials.

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