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  • © 2021

The Administration of Voter Registration

Expanding the Electorate Across and Within the States

  • Provides a detailed overview of adopting and administering voter registration reforms at the state and local level, starting with the National Voter Registration Act of 1993

  • Offers an examination of the administrative procedures that state and local officials utilize in response to federal and state laws

  • Informs students, educators, and practitioners on the complexity of administering elections, specifically in regard to processing and verifying voter registration applications and interacting with various non-governmental agencies that offer voter registration

Part of the book series: Elections, Voting, Technology (EVT)

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  • ISBN: 978-3-030-48059-2
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Table of contents (7 chapters)

  1. Front Matter

    Pages i-xv
  2. Election Reform and Voter Registration

    • Thessalia Merivaki
    Pages 1-25
  3. Back Matter

    Pages 167-170

About this book

This book examines the dynamics behind shifts in voter registration rates across the states and adopts a framework of collaborative governance with election administration at its center. The book starts by introducing readers to the “voter registration gap,” an aggregate measure of variance in voter registration, and demonstrates how it fluctuates between federal elections. To explain why this variance exists, the author examines the relationship between federal reforms, such as the National Voter Registration Act (NVRA) and the Help America Vote Act; and state-level reforms, such as Online Voter Registration. Thessalia Merivaki argues that the weak relationship between the two is not surprising, since it hides dramatic variations in administrative practices at the local level, which take place in shorter intervals than the most frequently used two-year estimates. In closing, she shows that challenges to successfully registering to vote persist, largely because of how, when, and where eligible citizens have to register.

Thessalia Merivaki is an Assistant Professor of American Politics in the Department of Political Science and Public Administration at Mississippi State University, USA.

Keywords

  • Voter Registration
  • National Voter Registration Act
  • NVRA
  • Election Administration
  • Election Reform
  • Local Elections Officials
  • HAVA
  • Collaborative Governance
  • Voter Registration Gap
  • Federal Election Commission
  • Motor Voter
  • Election Day Registration
  • Voter Registration Method
  • Voter Registration Deadlines
  • Online Voter Registration
  • OVR
  • Help America Vote Act
  • Voter Registration Modernization
  • Voter Registration Validity
  • State-level Reforms

Reviews

“In The Administration of Voter Registration, Merivaki unpacks one of the most contentious aspects of the American election system, addressing processes, rules, behavior, and results in great detail. This is a must-read for students and scholars, advocates, reporters, and policy makers interested in truly understanding the nuance behind this aspect of elections.”

Mitchell Brown, Professor, Auburn University, USA


“Registering to vote is, as Merivaki points out, a ‘highly complex and error-prone’ process. Merivaki skillfully navigates multiple layers and levels of government—and data—to provide a clearer portrait of the strengths and weaknesses of the system. Policymakers should take her research seriously when generating ideas to improve elections all over the United States. She demonstrates a vast knowledge of the voter registration system in the United States and chooses examples to analyze carefully. Scholars, policymakers, and election officials alike can learn important details about the registration process from her careful analysis. Merivaki is a rising star in the study of Election Science and in the study of voter registration more generally. She has made an important contribution to maintaining and increasing Americans' right to cast a ballot. She clearly shows that not just the rules about voter registration matter, but also how election officials administer those rules.”

Martha Kropf, Professor, University of North Carolina at Charlotte, USA

 

“With original data and fresh insights, Merivaki offers academics—and more importantly, practitioners and election administrators—a framework of collaborative governance to help us better understand the uneven dynamics and lack of uniformity in voter registration efforts across the American states. Due to institutional barriers and a lack of federal oversight the past two decades, many eligible citizens are not registered to vote, raising serious questions about the access and equity of the franchise in the United States. Merivaki makes a convincing case that though states have adopted multiple reforms to register voters—including online voter registration, automatic voter registration, and even Election Day registration—without partnerships with non-governmental actors, many states (and local jurisdictions) are unable to keep pace with the demands of registering eligible voters. Scholars, policy advocates, and election administrations all will benefit from Merivaki’s timely research.”

Daniel A. Smith, Professor & Chair, University of Florida, USA

Authors and Affiliations

  • Department of Political Science & Public Administration, Mississippi State University, Mississippi State, USA

    Thessalia Merivaki

About the author

Thessalia Merivaki is an Assistant Professor of American Politics in the Department of Political Science and Public Administration at Mississippi State University, USA. Her works on voter list maintenance and provisional ballots have been published in Political Research Quarterly, American Politics Research, State Politics a nd Policy Quarterly, and Social Science Quarterly.

Bibliographic Information

Buying options

eBook USD 54.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • ISBN: 978-3-030-48059-2
  • Instant PDF download
  • Readable on all devices
  • Own it forever
  • Exclusive offer for individuals only
  • Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout
Hardcover Book USD 69.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)