26th Annual Travers Conference on Ethics & Accountability in Government

The 2024 Travers Conference will bring together experts from around the country to assess a series of questions related to the electoral system in the United States as it stands in 2024.  It will include three panels: Is the Electoral System in the US Broken?; Evaluating Possibilities and Prospects for Reform; and The 2024 Elections: How did we get here? What to expect in November?

PANEL 1: Is the U.S. Electoral System Broken?

This panel examines the performance of the current electoral system in the US. One question is how both parties ended up with prospective presidential nominees who are viewed unfavorably by many voters. More generally, the panelists analyze how well the nomination process works in US federal elections at both the presidential and congressional levels.

Moderated by: Sarah Anzia, UC Berkeley


Seth Masket, University of Denver

Sarah Anderson, University of California, Santa Barbara

Brian Beutler, Senior Editor, The New Republic

PANEL 2: Prospects and possibilities for electoral reform?  

 This panel examines potential reforms that advocates have argued would address some of the challenges currently facing U.S. elections and governance. Participants discuss a range of alternatives from adopting a Proportional Representation system in the United States to adjusting the way that primaries work at the Congressional level. The panel also considers lessons learned from reforms that have been adopted in some states.

Moderated By: Terri Bimes, UC Berkeley


Thad Kousser, UCSD

Bertrall Ross, University of Virginia

Didi Kuo, Stanford University 

PANEL 3: The 2024 election – How did we get here?  What to expect in November

This panel considers how the stage was set for the 2024 general election in the United States.  It surveys the current state of the race for the Presidency and control of Congress, and examines what we know about the grounds over which these elections will be contested going forward.  Focusing on how the role of race has evolved in American elections and the broader implications of these changes.

Moderated by: Cecilia Hyunjung Mo, UC Berkeley


Lynn Vavreck, UCLA

Seema Mehta, Los Angeles Times

Bernard Fraga, Emory University

Date: Friday, April 12, 2024

Location: Berkeley City Club
2nd Floor Ballroom
2315 Durant Avenue
Berkeley, CA 94704