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EIP Workshop on "Electoral security and electoral rights", San Francisco

  • Westin St Francis Hotel Union Square, CA, 94108 United States (map)

Pre-APSA San Francisco Workshop

“Protecting electoral security and voting rights: The 2016 American elections in comparative perspective”

When: 8.30am to 7pm on Wednesday 30th August 2017 (before APSA)

Where: Westin St Francis Hotel, San Francisco, CA

Organizer: Professor Pippa Norris, Harvard/Sydney, Director Electoral Integrity Project

Coordinator: Alexandra Kennett, Electoral Integrity Project

Co-sponsors: APSA Section on Elections, Public Opinion and Voting Behavior (EPOVB)

Proposal deadline:  Passed

Acceptance notification: 1 March 2017

Paper submission:1 August 2017

Register to attend and reserve meals using the online form

Theme: Ever since Bush v. Gore in 2000, the issues of voting integrity and voting rights have become of growing concern in American elections.  During the last decade, state legislatures passed a series of legal regulations for electoral registration and balloting. The bitter partisan debate has often been framed as a trade-off between the rival values of electoral security (preventing fraud) and voting rights (suppressing participation).  Thus, Republicans have sought to tighten integrity through more stringent voter identification requirements; Democrats have aimed to expand convenience registration and balloting facilities. The 2016 elections saw heightened controversy, with Donald Trump’s repeated claims of massive voter fraud, the recount initiative in Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania supported by Jill Stein and the Clinton campaign, and the FBI reported Russian attempts at hacking of voter registration sites at more than a dozen states, and two successful intrusions in Illinois and Arizona.

Beyond concern about polling day, broader issues of integrity are raised throughout the electoral cycle from partisan gerrymandering of district boundaries, exclusionary ballot access laws, the role of the Electoral College, aging election technology, rising levels of dark money in campaign finance, and the proliferation of ‘fake’ news on social media. Concern about electoral integrity has also spread elsewhere, including in Canada, the UK, and Australia. Populism has heightened mistrust of elections and liberal democracy. The consequences of declining trust can be deeply damaging for civic engagement, public confidence in elections, and democratic legitimacy (Norris 2014).

Social scientists have studied these issues through multiple techniques including legal and historical analysis, electoral forensics, public sector management, political behavior, expert surveys, content analysis, experimental methods, and policy analysis.  

This workshop aims to bring together systematic research from scholars and practitioners to analyze the causesconsequences and solutions to problems in electoral security and voting rights during the 2016 United States elections and to understand these issues in comparative perspective.


To submit a paper proposal, please go to the project website ( and use the online form to submit the contact and affiliation details for author(s), the proposed paper title, and a short 100-word abstract, including references to the literature.  

Final papers should be roughly 8,000-9,000 words in length and delivered to the workshop coordinator by 1 August 2015.

Logistical arrangements

The workshop will provide all participants with a buffet breakfast, refreshments and buffet lunch during the event, an early evening drinks reception, and paper-givers and discussants will be invited to an evening dinner in a local restaurant. Participants can take advantage of APSA annual meeting rates for hotels and travel and they will need to make their own arrangements. There will also be a limited number of $200 travel awards available for graduate students, women, and international participants who are accepted to present papers in the program. All papers will be reviewed for possible publication after the event. Colleagues are also welcome to volunteer their services as chairs and discussants, as well as paper-givers. As well as thematic panels of papers, there will also be special roundtables and interactive break-out workgroups.

This event is the 12th in the series of EIP workshops held since 2012, building an international community of scholars and practitioners working on challenges of electoral integrity.  Queries should be addressed to: