Assistant Professor Ariel White is honored with the Heinz Eulau Award

Ariel White

Ariel White, Assistant Professor of Political Science

Image: Stuart Darsch

Ariel White has won the prestigious Heinz Eulau award of the American Political Science Association (APSA).

The Heinz Eulau prize is awarded annually for the best article published in the American Political Science Review in the past calendar year. The award is supported by Cambridge University Press. 

She and co-authors Noah Nathan and Julie Faller won for their article, "What Do I Need to Vote?  Bureaucratic Discretion and Discrimination by Local Election Officials," which appeared in the February 2015 edition of the American Political Science Review.

“It is described as the first large-scale field experiment investigating bureaucratic behavior that provides ‘causal evidence of discrimination on the basis of ethnicity or race by election officials,’” noted Connecticut by the Numbers.

The full text can be found here.  More on her paper from the APSA:

White, Nathan, and Faller examine an important contemporary political issue: voter identification (ID) laws that have emerged in 31 states. Because many citizens do not know if they need IDs to vote, or what type of IDs are required, they ask local officials for help. Using a field experiment involving 7,000 election officials in 48 states, the paper examines whether local election administrators discriminate in the information they provide to voters. In their experiment, the authors e-mailed local officials asking either what ID would be needed in the upcoming election, or whether the citizen was required to vote in the primary election in order to vote in the general election.

The paper finds that officials discriminate on the basis of ethnicity: administrators are less likely to respond to emails sent from Latino aliases as opposed to non-Latino white aliases. Further, responses to Latino aliases are of lower quality. The paper highlights the issue of racial profiling by local officials and how this leads to systematic bias against minority citizens who wish to exercise their franchise. The committee was impressed by the substantive issue of enquiry, which has far reaching implications for the study of democracy and equity. Furthermore, the field experiment was imaginative, well-designed and executed, and allowed the authors to systematically answer their research question.

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