Instructor: Jerry Calvert

  • Dates: Thursdays, Feb 16 to Mar 16
  • Time: 3:30 to 5:30 p.m.
  • Location: Hope Lutheran Church

This seminar will focus on the rule system that governs citizen access to the ballot and the number and kinds of choices they will be offered. Elections are a two-step process beginning with the nomination of a slate of candidates up and down the ballot, followed by the factors that make the general election truly competitive. Voter registration rules and laws governing campaign finance influence and often severely limit our choices. The “rules of the game” are not neutral and were never meant to be. Consider, for example, who gets to draw electoral district lines after each census. Are voters the rational and informed electorate so dearly taught in civics classes or the self-absorbed, selfish, and ill-informed boobs that many of the Founding Fathers feared?

Class Format: Lecture and discussion

Readings: Articles to be determined

CalvertJerry Calvert is a retired professor of Political Science who taught at MSU from 1973 to 2010. His courses include American Government, Campaigns and Elections, The Legislative Process, and Constitutional Law. As well as publishing a book and book chapters, he has written academic articles on labor politics, environmental policy, constitutional law, and electoral behavior, specializing in the effects of electoral laws on voting behavior and turnout.



MSU Wonderlust is a high-quality community resource for lifelong learning for the Bozeman area.  Here is university-quality instruction by experts in a huge number of subjects, some multi-week courses, some one-off events.  These offerings come free of homework, exams, or papers: The MSU Wonderlust experience is just a chance to learn new things or review things we’d already studied.  It's also an opportunity to meet people with a wide variety of interests.

The Winter/Spring offerings begin with a reception at the Pilgrim Congregational Church from 4 to 6pm.  It's a chance to meet with the course instructors and side-trip presenters; find out more about their plans.  

Gerry Wheeler, President of Friends of Wonderlust