The key themes that guide my research are election transparency and voter confidence. In my work, I ask: How are institutions designed to facilitate access to voting, and how transparent is the administration of elections in the United States? Transparency of elections is not only an indication of electoral quality, but also an international obligation of human rights, for the right to vote to be protected. Transparent institutions ensure that voters are well informed about the election process and establish trusted networks of communication, thus building resilience against misinformation.
I have addressed these questions both independently, but also through collaboration with researchers from Political Science, Journalism, Psychology, and Computer Science. Each research field has its own operational, conceptual, and methodological limitations, which is why I find inter-disciplinary collaboration to offer the most appropriate avenues to tackle challenging questions in social sciences.
My research contributes to the field in four distinct ways:
One, how the administration of voter registration minimizes participation gaps at the local level, and how errors in the voter list maintenance process can exclude eligible voters from voting, as well as casting a valid ballot.
Two, how informational gaps in voter education across and within states increase participation barriers for voters, but also increase pressures for local election officials (LEOs) to expand the breadth of their activities to reach and educate prospective voters.
Three, how the spread of election misinformation in social media creates echo chambers that are resilient, and resistant to accurate information from trusted sources, such as LEOs.
Four, how the inconsistency in election data transparency and accessibility creates challenges for researchers, election officials, policy makers, civil society, and journalists from meaningfully evaluating election processes, and identifying practices with the potential to impact voters in a disproportionate manner.
My contribution to the scholarship of Election Sciences is the systematic assessment of the mechanics of voting, which have not been adequately addressed in the literature, yet they are important in our understanding of how election administrators behave, how voters are able to access the electoral process, and how issue-prone processes may be reformed.
Details about my book, The Administration of Voter Registration: Expanding the Electorate Across and Within the States, can be found here.
You can read more about my ongoing projects here.