Elections serve many important functions in American politics—they are the way that citizens choose elected representatives and express how they feel about the general direction the country is going in, and they also hold elected officials accountable to their constituents and ensure that the officials are doing what the constituents want them to do. At the same time, there are enduring questions about whether all people have equal ability and opportunity to access their right to vote and about the role that election officials, who set most of the rules and regulations that govern elections, play in determining access to the ballot.
My research interests address all of these angles. I am interested in what motivates people to participate in politics, how election officials can maximize voter turnout and its representativeness, and how politicians respond to what their constituents want. These questions help us understand who has power in American politics, how they acquire that power, and how that power is exercised. I use quantitative methods in my research and I frequently use surveys, both large and nationally-representative surveys and surveys I conduct myself. I investigate questions of why people do or do not vote, how institutional factors affect turnout decisions, how congressional elections impact the behavior of legislators, and how voters perceive their election-day experience.
You can find more about my research by downloading my research statement or visiting my profiles at SSRN, Google Scholar, and the Scholars Strategy Network. I’ve also linked to many of my research projects below.
- “Voter Identification Laws and the Suppression of Minority Votes.” With Zoltan L. Hajnal and Nazita Lajevardi. Forthcoming at Journal of Politics.
- “Primaries and Candidates: Examining the Influence of Primary Electorates on Candidate Ideology.” With Neil Visalvanich. Political Science Research and Methods, November 2015.
- “Political Norms and the Private Act of Voting.” 2011. With Christopher F. Karpowitz, J. Quin Monson, Kelly D. Patterson, and Steven A. Snell. Public Opinion Quarterly 75 (4): 659–685.
Research in Progress
- “Explaining Legislative Votes: The Effect of Sub-Constituencies on Legislative Behavior in the U.S. House from 2009-2012.” With Neil Visalvanich.
- “Ranked Choice Voting and Attitudes on Democracy in the United States: Results from a Survey Experiment.”
- “Location Matters: The Effect of Polling Place Type on Voter Turnout.”
- “A National Look at Crossover Primary Voters.”
- “The People in Your Neighborhood: How Political Minority Status Affects Political Participation.” With Christopher F. Karpowitz, J. Quin Monson, Kelly D. Patterson, and Steven A. Snell.