Call for Papers: Election Science Conference

Via email:

We are pleased to issue a call for papers for the 2019 Election Sciences, Reform, and Administration (ESRA) conference. The conference will take place at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, PA on July 11–12, 2019. This is the third annual ESRA conference, with the 2017 conference hosted by Portland State University and Reed College and the 2018 conference hosted by the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

The program committee for this year’s conference is Martha Kropf (University of North Carolina at Charlotte), Lia Merivaki (Mississippi St), Michael Miller (Barnard College), and Charles Stewart (Massachusetts Institute of Technology). The host committee at the University of Pennsylvania is comprised of John Lapinski, Marc Meredith, and Stephen Pettigrew.

This conference has two goals. First, to provide a forum for scholars in political science, public administration, and other fields who are working to develop rigorous approaches to the study of how laws and administrative procedures affect the quality of elections in the United States. Second, to build scientific capacity by identifying major questions in the field, fostering collaboration, and facilitating a network of senior scholars, junior scholars, and election professionals that can work together to address these questions.

Papers will be favored that are both methodologically rigorous and have practical implications for election officials. Previous conferences have seen innovative projects that address ongoing questions about the impact of election reforms on registration and turnout at the state and federal level, how the voter experience has been affected by recent waves of election reform, and how concerns about cost and security are shaping election administration.To help disseminate the findings to a wider audience, each presenter will be required to write a two-page brief summarizing their paper that can be posted on the ESRA web site.

People who are interested in proposing a research paper should submit an application form available here. The deadline to submit a research paper proposal is March 1, 2019.

There are a number of other ways to participate in the conference without presenting a research paper. Previous ESRA conferences have featured roundtable discussions by election professionals on election security, election day registration, modernizing registration, and the polling places of the future. We also need people to chair and act as discussants on our panels. Those who are interested in participating in a roundtable, chairing or discussing panels, or attending the conference in a less formal way should submit an application form available here. The deadline to submit application to attend the conference if you are not submitting a research paper proposal is April 12, 2019.

Funding to support the conference is provided by the MIT Election Data and Science Lab and the Hewlett Foundation as well as the Program on Opinion Research and Election Studies at the University of Pennsylvania. The conference has no registration fee for those who are accepted to attend. We hope to cover most of the travel, lodging, and meal expenses of most of the participants, pending notification from other funding sources.


John Lapinski, Marc Meredith, and Stephen Pettigrew


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