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Posted on April 13, 2012

A John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award winner honored for her commitment to voter rights will speak at Cal U on April 24 — primary election day in Pennsylvania.

Jennifer Brunner was awarded a Profile in Courage Award, the nation’s most prestigious honor for public servants, in 2008. She was the secretary of state in Ohio from 2007-2011.

Brunner will present “Profile in Courage: Guarding the Vote” at 7 p.m. April 24 in Eberly Hall, Room 110.

She was recognized with a Profile in Courage Award — created in 1989 by members of President Kennedy’s family to honor him and celebrate the political courage he admired most — for her efforts to address voting irregularities in Ohio.

During the 2008 primary Brunner ordered that paper ballots be provided to voters who requested them.

After problems were found with the state’s new electronic voting systems, she called for them to be replaced with paper ballots and optical scan technology before the November 2008 election.

Prior to serving as secretary of state, Brunner was a Common Pleas Court judge. Today, she is a lawyer in private practice and continues to advocate for election reform.

"No longer in public office, Attorney Brunner continues to fight for good government,” said Dr. Melanie Blumberg, a professor in the Department of History and Political Science and campus director of the American Democracy Project at Cal U.  

“Her ongoing efforts to press for election and campaign reforms are no surprise, as she is one of the most successful election law attorneys in Ohio."

Also on April 24, two panels of experts will discuss politics and voting rights in Pennsylvania. Both events will be in Duda Hall, Room 303. 

  •  In “New Barriers to the Ballot,” a roundtable discussion at 11 a.m., Drs. Michael Slaven, Craig Smith and Kwame Botwe-Asamoah, from the Department of History and Political Science, will be joined by student Courtney Cochran, who recently completed a research project on the new voter identification law.
  • At 3 p.m., “Leadership & Politcs” will be moderated by Dr. Anthony Rodi, with panelists Dr. Michael Hummel, director of the Linda and Harry Serene Leadership Institute at Cal U; Lawrence Maggi, a Washington County Commissioner; and Judge Janet Moschetta Bell, from Washington County.

All events are co-sponsored by Academic Affairs/Office of the Provost, College of Liberal Arts, Department of History and Political Science, Linda and Harry and Linda Serene Leadership Institute, Cal Campaign Consultants, and the American Democracy Project.