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Thessalia Merivaki

Dr. Thessalia Merivaki

Office: 105 Bowen Hall
Phone: (662) 325-2711
Email: lia.merivaki@pspa.msstate.edu

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Thessalia Merivaki is an Assistant Professor in American Politics at Mississippi State University. Her My research focuses on the study of election reforms, election administration, voter education, as well as election data transparency and accessibility. 
A description of her research, and her full CV can be found at www.merivaki.com, and her research profile at #WomenAlsoKnowStuff here., .

Dr. Merivaki’s research focuses on the empirical assessment of election reforms and their impact on the administration of elections across the American states. Her forthcoming book, titled The Administration of Voter Registration; Expanding the Electorate Across and Within the States,  (Palgrave McMillan) lays out the complex structure of voter registration in the United States, and demonstrate how the interaction of multiple voter registration partners affects the flow of new voter registrants every election cycle.  

Her newly published paper in American Politics Research, "Who is Left Out? The Process of Validating Voter Registration Applications,"  finds that persistent challenges with paper forms leaves pending registrants out of the process even months after an election has passed, which strongly indicates that paper-based voter registration can be a barrier to voter participation. Her recent manuscript, titled "Our Voter Rolls are Cleaner than yours: Investigating Voter List Maintenance Practices," (APR) shows that inactive voters are more vulnerable to inaccuracies in voter records, which can lead to their premature removal from the voter rolls. 
Dr. Merivaki’s expertise extends to the comprehensive study of provisional ballots, especially as it relates to voter registration. With Daniel A. Smith (University of Florida), they find that voter registration challenges increase the risk of voting provisionally, and disproportionately affect minority voters. Their paper, "A Failsafe for Voters? Cast and Rejected Provisional Ballots in North Carolina," received the MPSA's 2018 Best paper by an Emerging Scholar Award and is published Political research Quarterly. You can find a summary of this work at MIT's Media Lab Blog page.

Currently, she is working on two large-scale data collection projects, both with implications for voter access and equity.  In her project with Dr. Chris Mann (Skidmore College), they assess the complexities of successfully registering to vote online during the heavy celebrity-oriented mobilization via social media.  In her work with Dr. Mara Suttman-Lea (Connecticut College), they take a detailed overview of voter education and outreach policies across the states, in an effort to measure the engagement of local election officials and whether it is conditioned by state election policy (R&R in Election Law Journal). You can find their research brief here.  

Contact Info

Department of Political Science
and Public Administration
Department Phone: 662.325.2711
Department Fax: 662.325.2716
Mailing Address: P. O. Box PC
Mississippi State University, MS 39762
Department Office: 105 Bowen Hall
Email address:polscipubadm@pspa.msstate.edu