Smith’s scholarship focuses on civic engagement and voting laws. He has worked closely with retired U.S. Senator Bob Graham to implement his proposed curriculum at Emporia State University, whose students have done remarkable things in the community using this curriculum. Smith’s research on voting laws analyzes data on voter turnout changes in states with photo ID and proof-of-citizenship voting laws, discovering a troubling drop in voter turnout under these laws, particularly in counties with higher poverty rates. Smith has also been active in More², a Kansas City-based social justice group affiliated with the Gamaliel Foundation.