Dr. Daniel A. Smith is Professor and Chair of Political Science at the University of Florida and President of ElectionSmith, Inc. He is former Director of the Political Campaigning Program at the University of Florida. He received his Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Wisconsin - Madison in 1994, and his B.A. (Phi Beta Kappa) in History and Political Science (Foreign Affairs) from Penn State University in 1988.
Professor Smith's research examines how political institutions affect political behavior across and within the American states. Currently, he is working with Dr. Michael C. Herron (Dartmouth College), on several projects that exam how changes to election laws in the American states are influencing voter participation.
Dr. Smith has published more than eighty scholarly articles and book chapters on politics in the American states. His book with Caroline J. Tolbert, Educated by Initiative: The Effects of Direct Democracy on Citizens and Political Organizations in the American States (University of Michigan Press, 2004), examines the “educative effects” of the initiative process on voter turnout, citizen engagement, and political efficacy, as well as the indirect impact citizen lawmaking has on interest groups and political parties. Smith’s first book, Tax Crusaders and the Politics of Direct Democracy (Routledge, 1998), investigated the financial backing and the populist-sounding rhetoric of three anti-tax ballot initiatives: Proposition 13 in California (1978), Proposition 2 1/2 in Massachusetts (1980), and Amendment 1 in Colorado (1992). He is also the coauthor, with Todd Donovan, Tracy Osborne, and Christopher Mooney of a widely-used textbook, State and Local Politics: Institutions and Reform (Cengage, 2015), now in its 4th edition.
Professor Smith serves on the Board of Directors of the Ballot Initiative Strategy Center Foundation (BISCF), a nonprofit organization based in Washington, DC, and is a member of the Advisory Board of Common Cause Florida. Smith served as a Senior Fulbright Scholar at the University of Ghana in 2000-01 and as a Senior Research Associate at the Center for Democratic Development in 2011, and has written widely on contemporary Ghanaian electoral politics.
A seasoned observer of election laws, voting rights, and ballot initiative campaigns around the country, and on the politics of Florida, Professor Smith’s commentary has appeared in or has been heard on numerous news media, including The New York Times, the Economist, USA Today, the Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, BBC, National Public Radio, Voice of America, and ABC and NBC News. Professor Smith has advised the state legislatures of Colorado and Florida, as well as numerous groups across the country, on the mechanics of the initiative process and the politics of voting rights and redistricting. He has served as an expert witness in dozens of legal cases dealing with voting rights, ballot measures, campaign finance laws, and redistricting, and is the lead author of an amicus brief in Doe v. Reed, decided by the Supreme Court of the United States in 2010.
The latest legislation, SB 524, places additional restrictions on voting and elections in the Sunshine State. Akin to its 48-page SB 90 predecessor, SB 524 is a 47-page omnibus bill entitled, “An act relating to election administration.” SB 524 creates a costly new, and wholly duplicative, Office of Election Crimes and Security. Millions of dollars are dedicated to forensic and audit systems already required of SOEs at the local level. The new office’s unsworn officers might possibly subvert the efforts of sworn officers who are currently tasked with making sure our elections are safe and secure. With language at times evoking the Ministry of Truth in George Orwell’s dystopian novel, 1984, Florida’s Office of Election Crimes and Security has the potential to chill voter participation. The annual reporting requirements for the new office lack transparency and could lead to unsubstantiated, frivolous, or even fraudulent claims about voter fraud, further dampening confidence in our election system and hampering the efficacy of SOEs to carry out elections securely.
Two important documents (a decision and a filing) in Judge Mark Walker’s federal district court today concerning HB7, Gov. DeSantis’ Individual Freedom Act (aka, the Stop Woke Act).
You must be logged in to post a comment.