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Reed Political Scientist Awarded Two Contracts to Study Elections and Election Reform


With funding from the Pew Charitable Trusts, Paul Gronke will examine residual and early voting over the next year


With two contracts from the Pew Charitable Trusts, Reed College professor of political science Paul Gronke will further his research which seek ways to improve the accuracy, efficiency and security of U.S. elections. Over the next year, the Pew awards will fund the Residual Voting Project and establish Gronke as a consultant for its Make Voting Work initiative and electionline.org.

Residual votes are ballots that are cast and are either not counted, left unmarked, or over-marked. Gronke and his research team will compile precinct-level variables, including time and manner of voting, in an effort to help understand how voting machine technology, in addition to early and absentee voting, create irregularities in our voting system.

Gronke is a leading researcher on the U.S. voting process. He recently advised the Senate Rules Committee on the Feinstein Ballot Integrity Act. “I've been excited to be drawn into research areas that have an immediate impact on the way we conduct elections in the United States,” Gronke said. “I have met with more elected officials and election administrators in the past three years than I have in my first 20 years in the profession. It's a bit intimidating, but obviously rewarding, when the Senate Rules Committee calls you up for your opinion on legislation being considered by Congress.”

Gronke, a member of the Reed faculty since 2001, earned a B.A. from the University of Chicago, an M.A. from the University of Essex, and a Ph.D. from the University of Michigan. He is the author of The Electorate, The Campaign, and the Vote (Michigan 2000). Gronke founded the Early Voting Information Center to study early voting trends in the United States and abroad.  The center is supported by the college and by the Michael E. and Carol S. Levine Foundation, Carnegie Corporation of New York, the American Enterprise Institute and the Brookings Institution’s Election Reform Project.