Tuesday, May 30, 2023

Zoom panel to focus on Constitution, PA elections

Submitted by Constitution Day Centre Inc.

The U.S. Constitution and PA Elections will be topic of an online Zoom talk on Oct. 6 organized by the Constitution Day Centre Inc. Panelists will be Acting Secretary of the Commonwealth Veronica W. Degraffenreid and Philadelphia City Commissioner Al Schmidt. The moderator will be Dr. Greg Ferro, a presidential and Constitutional historian.

The Zoom talk is part of the annual Constitution Day Celebration hosted by Constitution Day Centre Inc., a local nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting learning about the U.S. Constitution and civil conversations among people of all beliefs.

The Zoom panel is scheduled for 7 p.m., Oct. 6. It is free and open to the public. To register, email [email protected]

Secretary Degraffenreid leads the Pennsylvania Department of State. Its mission is to promote the integrity of the electoral process, support economic development through corporate filings and transactions, and to protect the health and safety through professional licensure. She joined the department in 2020 as the Special Advisor on Election Modernization. Previously, Degraffenreid served as Director of Election Operations for the North Carolina State Board of Elections. She led efforts to modernize the state’s aging statewide voter registration and election management system and developed the state’s first voting systems certification program.

City Commissioner Al Schmidt is vice chair of the bipartisan Board of Elections for the City of Philadelphia. Since 2011, he has worked to modernize election operations, improve efficiency, and bring greater integrity to the election process. He has produced several election-related reports including investigations that have exposed vulnerabilities in the election process and voting irregularities.

Originally from Pittsburgh, Schmidt is a former senior analyst at the non-partisan U.S. Government Accountability Office, the investigative arm of Congress. He was responsible for offering recommendations to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of government agencies resulting in improved performance and cost savings for taxpayers.

Launched in 2017, the Constitution Day Centre Inc. has hosted annual celebrations with exhibits and speakers at Tussey Mountain Recreation Area, Boalsburg, and the Grange Park, Centre Hall.

The 2020 celebration went virtual with several videos honoring the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment (women’s right to vote), the Bill of Rights, and civil rights amendments. Videos are on the Constitution Day Centre YouTube Channel.