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.

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Michael's Latest Posts

Virginia’s Gerrymander Is Still Alive—and a Deadly Threat to Environmental Justice

This week, Virginia’s Board of Elections certified results from the November 7th elections, paving the way for three crucial recounts that will determine control of the Virginia House. The Democratic Party would need to take two of those seats for a majority, having already defeated more than a dozen incumbent Republicans and flipping three seats. If this wave is enough to push the Democratic Party over the 50-seat mark, many in the press will declare that the Virginia GOP’s gerrymandered districting plan is no more. But they will be wrong. Read more >

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Photo: Peter Dutton/CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 (Flickr)

Science and Democracy Engages the Science of Democracy: The Kendall Voting Rights Fellowship

This fall, I am excited to help launch a new chapter in the Union of Concerned Scientists’ commitment to putting science to work toward building a healthier planet and a safer world. My research training is in the field of electoral systems and their impact on representation and public policy. I am most recently a co-author on the book Gerrymandering in America: The Supreme Court, the House of Representatives and The Future of Popular Sovereignty. As the new Kendall Voting Rights Fellow, I will be studying the impact of elections on many of the broader policy goals that UCS is pursuing. Read more >

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Voting Technology Needs an Upgrade: Here’s What Congress Can Do

Voting systems throughout the United States are vulnerable to corruption in a variety of ways, and the federal government has an obligation to protect the integrity of the electoral process. At a recent meeting of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine’s Committee on the Future of Voting, the Department of Homeland Security’s Robert Kolasky put it bluntly: “It’s not a fair fight to pit Orange County (California) against the Russians.” Read more >

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Sociological Gobbledygook or Scientific Standard? Why Judging Gerrymandering is Hard

Chief Justice Roberts described various proposed mathematical techniques to measure gerrymandering as “sociological gobbledygook.” His statement reveals a serious problem for the use of scientific evidence in the court.  Read more >

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Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Can Science (and The Supreme Court) End Partisan Gerrymandering and Save the Republic? Three Scenarios

On October 3, the US Supreme Court will hear a case concerning the state of Wisconsin’s legislative districts that could resolve a pending constitutional crisis and dramatically improve electoral representation. Read more >

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