Dr. Daniel A. Smith is University of Florida Research Foundation (2010-2012) Professor of Political Science 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), examining how changes to election laws in the American states are influencing voter participation.
Dr. Smith has published more than sixty 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 Board of Scholars with the Initiative and Referendum Institute at the University of Southern California. 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 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 several legal cases dealing with ballot measures, campaign finance laws, voting rights, 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.
since it’s something I’ve written about in my report for the @ACLUFL, and since they lie at the heart of Bill Nelson’s Nelson Complaint in federal court challenging invalidated mail ballots due to mismatched signatures.