Visiting Emporia State professor to speak about election security

By Katherine Sullivan, Staff Writer

The Newman University chapter of Pi Gamma Mu and the Diversity Round Table will host Dr. Michael Smith — political science professor and chair of social sciences at Emporia State University — to discuss election security at 6 p.m. today via Zoom. Students can attend either through Zoom or in person in Bishop Gerber Science Center Room 105.

Dr. Larry Heck, faculty sponsor of Kansas Theta Chapter of Pi Gamma Mu, said that Smith’s research on state and local government as well as voting laws contributed to his selection and invitation to take part in the event.

“For some time, I have been aware of Professor Smith through his articles that appear from time-to-time on the editorial page of The Wichita Eagle,” Heck said. “I find the articles timely and informative, and I like that they tend to focus on issues related to Kansas politics, so they help keep students informed about issues related to our state.”

Pi Gamma Mu held politically focused events during the Fall semester with a voter registration event, and it partnered with Diversity Round Table to sponsor a presidential debate watch party as well as an election night watch party. Putting on another event with a focus on political issues continues with the theme from the events previously held, Heck said.

“The aftermath of the November election focused much on matters and allegations about voting,” Heck said. “With my knowledge of Professor Smith and his specialization in election security, I proposed a presentation from him to our Theta Chapter members and to the Diversity Round Table.”

The presentation will be titled “The Truth About Election Security: Big Lies vs. Big Data.”

“This event will allow students to keep up with such a developing story,” said Jenny Duong, president of the Diversity Round Table. “With long hearings and headlines that are misleading, it may be hard to keep up. With Professor Smith’s help, it can help the Newman Community be engaged.”

Heck and Duong encourage students to participate in the event and discuss the issue of election security in a friendly environment.

This presentation will be held in Bishop Gerber Science Center Room 105. Members of the Newman community are welcome to join in person or through the Zoom meeting ID sent via email to all students and staff.

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