Document Type


Peer Reviewed


Publication Date


Journal/Book/Conference Title

PS: Political Science & Politics

DOI of Published Version


Start Page


End Page



This forum is a unique opportunity to bring social science research to bear on public policy and the practical effects of election reforms in the American states. It is also an opportunity to study America's election system, building on the research of some of the leading scholars working in this area. The American states offer a natural laboratory (a "œlaboratory of democracy"), with significant variation in the rules, institutions, and procedures governing elections. This forum empirically evaluates what we have learned about the effects of various election reforms in the 50 states. The papers included in this forum were originally presented at a conference hosted by Kent State University's department of political science and which had a title similar to that of this symposium. The theme is now shared by the conference and this symposium: that the 2008 presidential election will be crucial for American democracy, especially in light of the apparently related phenomena of decreasing (or flattening) voter participation rates, low trust in government and political efficacy, alleged procedural irregularities in recent elections, uncompetitive congressional elections or uncontested state legislative elections, and lapses in ethical judgment by politicians in the past decade.

Journal Article Version

Version of Record

Published Article/Book Citation

PS: Political Science & Politics, 40:4 (2007) pp. 631-633.


Copyright © 2007 American Political Science Association. Used by permission.