Michael A Smith

Michael A. Smith

Professor of Political Science, Emporia State University

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About Michael

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.


Evidence That Photo Identification and Proof-of-Citizenship Laws Lower Voter Turnout

  • Kevin R. Anderson
  • Chapman Rackaway

In the News

Michael A. Smith quoted by Hunter Woodall, "Embracing Trump, Moving Past Brownback, Colyer Tries to Find His Lane in Governor Run" Kansas City News, July 22, 2018.
Michael A. Smith quoted by Hunter Woodall and Mike Hendricks, "Kobach Parade Gun May Be 'Red Meat' for Base, but Would it Hurt in General Election?" The Kansas City Star, June 4, 2018.
Michael A. Smith quoted on Kansas governor race by Mary Clarkin, "Ward Exits Race for Governor" The Hutchinson News, May 9, 2018.
Michael A. Smith quoted on Kansas governor race by Sherman Smith, "Professors: Kansas Governor Race Narrowing, Democrats Could Win Congressional Seats" The Topeka Capital-Journal, April 26, 2018.
Michael A. Smith quoted on candidate strategies by Hunter Woodall, "As Kris Kobach Attacks, Jeff Colyer Holds Back. Is That a Winning Strategy?" The Kansas City Star, April 26, 2018.
Michael A. Smith quoted on transparency in Kansas by Alan Greenblatt, "Secretive Kansas Starts to Open Up" Governing, March 27, 2018.
"Kansas Democrats: Return of the Lunch Bucket Party?," Michael A. Smith, Parsons Sun, March 2, 2018.
Michael A. Smith quoted by Hunter Woodall, "Raise Age to Buy an AR-15? Arm Teachers? Here's Where Kansas Governor Candidates Stand" Kansas City Star, February 28, 2018.
Michael A. Smith quoted by Jonathan Shorman, "Kansas Governor Candidates Fight to Impress after Colyer Drops out of Debate" The Wichita Eagle, February 17, 2018.
"INSIGHT KANSAS: O’Malley for the Moderates," Michael A. Smith, Hays Post, January 25, 2018.
Michael A. Smith quoted on candidates opposing Kobach by Jonathan Shorman, "Kobach Embraces Controversy as Other Candidates Try to Avoid It" The Wichita Eagle, September 30, 2017.
"The Real Problems with Voting Today," Michael A. Smith, The Wichita Eagle, August 6, 2017.
"Kansas’ Post-Truth Fail Goes National," Michael A. Smith, Ottawa Herald, December 3, 2016.
Michael A. Smith quoted on Trump's victory by Jessie Wagoner, "'Stunned' is the Word" Emporia Gazette, November 10, 2016.
Michael A. Smith quoted on voter mobilization by Jesse Wagoner, "Making Your Vote Count" Emporia Gazette, October 19, 2016.
Michael A. Smith quoted on the second presidential debate by Jesse Wagoner, "Emporia State Breaks Down the Debate" Emporia Gazette, October 10, 2016.
"Experience Discredits ‘Anti-Establishment’ Politicians," Michael A. Smith, Ottawa Herald, April 2, 2016.
Michael A. Smith quoted on taking students to the Iowa caucus by Ariana Cowen, "Emporia State Students Experience Iowa Caucus First-Hand" WIBW, February 1, 2016.
"Do Right Thing and Fully Fund Mental Health System," Michael A. Smith, Wichita Eagle, January 8, 2016.
"Welcome to the Age of No-Listening Politics," Michael A. Smith, Wichita Eagle, November 27, 2015.
Michael A. Smith quoted on the suspended voter list, "College Course on Voter Registration Proposed in Kansas" KSL, October 25, 2015.
"Kobach’s New Math: 3 is Greater than 37,000," Michael A. Smith, Ottawa Herald, October 17, 2015.
Michael A. Smith quoted on Kansas' changing electorate, "Young Voters, Wichitans Top Kansas’ Suspended Voter List" Wichita Eagle, September 26, 2015.
"Kobach Can't Stand the Suspense," Michael A. Smith, Salina Journal, September 7, 2015.
Michael A. Smith quoted on voter fraud by Edward M. Eveld, "Kris Kobach Says Voter Registration without 'Proof of Citizenship' Need to Go" Kansas City Star, August 30, 2015.
Michael A. Smith quoted on voting rules by Bryan Lowry, "Proposed Rule Gives Voters 90-Day Deadline to Show Proof of Citizenship" Wichita Eagle, August 7, 2015.
Guest to discuss challengers to the Republican party in state elections on NPR: All Things Considered, Michael A. Smith, August 6, 2015.
Michael A. Smith quoted on job trends in Kansas by Elle Moxley, "Kansas Sees 'OK' Job Growth as Unemployment Rises" KCUR Public Radio, June 19, 2015.
Guest to discuss Republicans' socially conservative agenda on KCUR: Private School Boost Tucked into Kansas Senate Tax Plan, Michael A. Smith, June 10, 2015.
Guest to discuss Utah's Republican Party proposed changes to the party’s nomination process on Utah Public Radio, Michael A. Smith, April 24, 2015.
"One-Page Defense of Higher Education," Michael A. Smith, Hays Post, April 2, 2015.
Michael A. Smith quoted on passing heavy legislation at once by Bryan Lowery, "Kansas Lawmakers Swiftly Advance Groundbreaking Changes on Guns, Abortion, School Funding" Wichita Eagle, March 27, 2015.
Michael A. Smith quoted on bill prohibiting higher education employees from using official title when authoring or contributing to an OpEd by Peter Hancock, "State Rep. Peck Takes on Critics in Debate over University Professor Columns" Lawrence Journal-World, February 18, 2015.
Michael A. Smith quoted on a bill that would prohibit employees of Kansas universities and colleges from using their official job titles in opinion pieces, "Bill Would Impact Titles Used in Newspaper Opinion Pieces" Emporia Gazette, February 6, 2015.
Michael A. Smith quoted by Evan Hall, "GOP: Utah Must Change Its Primary Election Date" Utah Public Radio, February 3, 2015.
"Today’s Fierce Urgency is Voter Mobilization," Michael A. Smith, Hutchinson News, January 25, 2015.
Michael A. Smith quoted on Brownback's budget plans by Bryan Lowry, "Budget Deficit Looms for Sam Brownback, Kansas Legislature as 2015 Session Begins" Wichita Eagle, January 11, 2015.
"Kobach’s Laws Suppressing Votes, Not Fraud," Michael A. Smith, Wichita Eagle, October 19, 2014.
"Primary Elections Have Big Impact," Michael A. Smith, Wichita Eagle, August 3, 2014.
"Texas May Not be Good Model," Michael A. Smith, Wichita Eagle, March 7, 2013.
Regular contributions by Michael A. Smith to Insight Kansas.


State Voting Laws in America: Historical Statutes and Their Modern Implications (with Chapman Rackaway and Kevin Anderson) (Palgrave Macmillan, 2014).
Examines state voting laws throughout U.S. history and their impact on voter turnout; discusses contemporary challenges to the voting process including laws complicating voter registration, photo ID and birth certificate requirements, limits on early voting, and restoration of voting rights after a felony conviction.
"What Burke Teaches Us About Defining Representation" Emporia State Research Studies 50, no. 1 (2015): 36-42.

Examines Edmund Burke's political career and discusses contemporary, practical applications of "Burkean" theories and models.

"Teaching Active Citizenship: A Companion to the Traditional Political Science Curriculum" (with U.S. Senator Bob Graham and retired). PS: Political Science and Politics 47, no. 3 (2014): 703-710.
Advocates a new curriculum that can be applied to American government, introduction to political science, and state and local government courses. Responds to the corresponding decrease in the nation’s civic health by proposing three principles: teaching citizenship rather than teaching civics, teaching citizenship by engagement in the “real world,” with students completing projects that take them step by step through the policy-change process, and encouraging future high school government teachers to teach their students the rights, responsibilities, and competencies of active citizenship.
Bringing Representation Home: State Legislators among Their Constituencies (University of Missouri Press, 2003).
Uses interviews and observations of twelve state representatives in an effort to better understand and define their approaches to representation, ultimately asking not “what is representation?” but “how can we discover what representation is?”