2017 San FranciscoWorkshop

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Protecting electoral security & voting rights: The 2016 U.S. elections in comparative perspective

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

  • Where: San Francisco
  • Organizer: Pippa Norris, Electoral Integrity Project
  • Coordinator:  Alexandra Kennett, Electoral Integrity Project electoralintegrity@gmail.com
  • Co-sponsors: APSA Section on Elections, Parties and Voting Behavior (EPOVB)
  • Paper proposals deadline: Now closed
  • Acceptance notification: 1 March 2017
  • Registration deadline: 15 July 2017
  • Paper submission: 1 August 2017

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 will present research from scholars and practitioners analyzing the causes, consequences and solutions to problems in electoral security and voting rights during the 2016 United States elections, seeking to understand these issues in comparative perspective.


summaRy Schedule

08.30-09.00 Registration and buffet breakfast

09.00-09.15  Welcome

09.15-10.45   Panel 1 Accuracy and fraud in U.S. Elections

10.45-11.00   Coffee and tea break

11.00-12.30    Panel 2 Gerrymandering and standards in U.S. elections, or

11.00-12.30    Panel 3 Electoral integrity in authoritarian states

12.30-02.00   Buffet lunch with breakout roundtable discussions

02.00-03.30    Panel 4 Reforms to American elections I

02.00-03.30    Panel 5 U.S. Elections in Comparative Perspective

03.30-04.00    Coffee and tea break

04.00-05.30    Panel 6 Reforms to U.S. elections II

05.0-07.00      Drinks Reception


Papers

Ideally workshop papers should be roughly 8,000-9,000 words in length and delivered to the workshop coordinator in single-spaced PDF format by the deadline of 1 August 2017.

Logistical arrangements

The workshop will provide all participants with a buffet breakfast, refreshments, and buffet lunch during the event, an early evening drinks reception. 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 you will need to make your 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 thematic panels of papers, there will also be special roundtables and interactive break-out workgroups.

This event is the 11th 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: electoralintegrity@gmail.com