Michael Latner

Kendall Science Fellow

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Michael Latner is a Kendall Voting Rights Fellow with the Center for Science and Democracy. His research focuses on political representation and electoral systems. His most recent work has focused on redistricting and gerrymandering in the United States, and the impact of electoral administrative law on political participation. Michael holds a Ph.D. in political science from the University of California at Irvine, and is an associate professor of political science at California State Polytechnic University, where he recently directed the Masters in Public Policy program. See Michael's full bio.

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Michael's Latest Posts

You Can Fix #UnhealthyDemocracy in 2020

If you want to restore evidence-based policymaking in government and promote science for the public good, it is going to take more than voting this year. The electoral process itself is under attack in many states, and nearly a decade of partisan gerrymandering and erosion of voting rights has crippled the public’s ability to hold elected policymakers accountable. Read more >

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A Healthy Resolution: Reclaim Your Democracy in 2020  

As we enter the 2020 election cycle, a handful of states are emerging as test cases for the future of democracy in America. One canary in the coalmine is Georgia, where in 2018 now-Governor Brian Kemp defeated Stacey Abrams by the narrowest of margins (50.2% to 49.8%) under questionable circumstances. Another is Arizona, where a wave of Latinx voter mobilization in 2018 has prompted the state legislature to make changes to early voting rules that could impact the eligibility of over 200,000 voters. In Wisconsin and Ohio, voting rights are being similarly threatened, something that’s likely to continue, given their crucial role in the 2020 presidential election.

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Natural Resources Committee Embraces Collaborative Governance

At a time when the internet and social media seem to be tearing our politics apart, where violent ideology and moral outrage enflame partisan divisions, the democratic promise of information technology is making an appearance in the House Natural Resources Committee. Committee Chair Raúl M. Grijalva and Representative A. Donald McEachin have opened the public participation phase of their Environmental Justice for All Act.

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How Civic Engagement is Protecting the 2020 Census in California

The nation’s largest scientific study is now hiring. As the 2020 decennial census prepares to launch early next year, they need to train approximately half a million enumerators to knock on doors and interview hard-to-reach populations. The challenge has been especially daunting given the Trump administration’s efforts to weaponize the census as a discriminatory tool, a strategy that has amplified xenophobia and nativism, threatening to further depress census participation. Read more >

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Will Democratic Candidates Finally Talk About Democracy Tonight?

Ten Democratic presidential candidates will be onstage tonight for their fifth debate, a little more than two months before the first primary votes are cast. One of the sponsors, The Washington Post, has provided details on six key issue areas and candidate positions that may be addressed during the debate, including “government” and “climate change.” Unfortunately there is little indication that there will be any questions about how “government” affects “climate change” and how strengthening democracy will enable us to find better solutions to climate change. That’s a conversation that can expand public interest in and understanding of the link between our democratic institutions and our ability to solve big problems.

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