The University of Massachusetts Amherst
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Tatishe Nteta, Associate Professor of Political Science and Director of UMass Poll is quoted in a WGBH story on the prospect of Attorney General Maura Healey running for Governor of Massachusetts in 2022. Most folks on Beacon Hill — whether Democrats, Republicans, bureaucrats, or the mice in the walls — fully expect Attorney General Maura Healey to run for governor next year. So why hasn't Healey, who is expected to lead the Democratic field if she enters the race, officially declared herself a candidate and started her campaign in earnest? Because even as an undeclared candidate, Healey appears to be so far ahead of the pack of three already declared Democratic candidates, that there are very few political downsides to waiting, strategizing and preparing to compete for an open seat now that Gov. Charlie Baker is out of the race. "That might come in the next few days, or it might come sometime in the new year. But I don't think it puts her, given the state of the Democratic field, at any real disadvantage," said Professor Tatishe Nteta. (WGBH, 12/16/2021)

Jesse Rhodes, Professor of Political Science and Associate Director of the UMass Amherst Poll, is quoted in a regionally-syndicated article about the expiration of voting law changes in Massachusetts, including same-day voter registration, which were enacted at the start of the COVID pandemic. Rhodes says research has shown same-day registration – used by at least 20 states, including Connecticut, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine – to be an effective tool in increasing voter turnout and participation by younger voters and voters in marginalized communities. “Same-day registration is a reform that tends to increase both the level and diversity of voter turnout in elections, and the idea is popular in the state,” he says. (The North Andover Eagle-Tribune, 12/12/2021)

Charli Carpenter, Professor of Political Science & International Security Program Fellow, along with Zoe Marks, Lecturer in Public Policy at Harvard Kennedy School were interviewed to share their thoughts on how the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan, and the war in general, has impacted Afghan women, and what the women themselves and others can do to improve their situation. (Harvard Kennedy School, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Fall 2021)

Hometown Inequality: Race, Class and Representation in America's Local Politics (Cambridge University Press, 2021), written by Professors Jesse Rhodes and Raymond La Raja (along with Brian Schaffner), was named a 2021 Outstanding Academic Title by Choice Reviews. This prestigious list reflects the best in scholarly titles, both print and digital, reviewed by Choice during the previous year and brings with it the extraordinary recognition of the academic library community. In naming a work an Outstanding Academic Title, the editors apply several criteria: overall excellence in presentation and scholarship; importance relative to other literature in the field; distinction as a first treatment of a given subject in book or electronic form; originality or uniqueness of treatment; value to undergraduate students; importance in building undergraduate library collections.

Ray La Raja, Professor of Political Science at UMass Amherst, mentions the Baker-Polito campaign has few options about what to do with the $3 million in donations it has amassed, now that they’ve announced they are not running for reelection. “He can donate to a charity, a bona fide charity, if he wants,” La Raja says of Gov. Baker. “He could even give it back to the general fund of the commonwealth, which I doubt he'll do.” (WBUR, 12/10/2021)

 

Political Science major Caroline Sunuwar, a member of the MA Public Interest Group student chapter, has written a column about how UMass Amherst can be an environmental leader by moving to 100% renewable energy for heating, cooling and power systems by 2032. (Daily Hampshire GazetteNewsrust.com, 12/8/21)

Jesse Rhodes, Professor of Political Science & Associate Director of the UMass Amherst Poll, is interviewed about same-day voter registration as a way to promote equity and election reform. Studies show that same-day registration increases voter turnout, he says, and his own research found that to be true among Black and Latinx voters. “It’s really important to keep in mind that the burden of registration requirements fall most heavily on those that have the fewest resources to cope with those,” Rhodes says, such as people who are less educated, lack access to transportation, and are not familiar with elections and voting procedures. (MassLive, 12/8/21)

Paul Collins, Professor of Legal Studies and Political Science says term limits or mandatory retirement ages would reduce the partisan tension of the appointment process. “It would also provide a closer connection between the Supreme Court and the people by regularly rotating folks off of the Supreme Court,” he says. (The National Desk,12/8/21; ABC3 WEAR, 12/9/21)

Professors Jesse Rhodes and Tatishe Nteta participated in a briefing of Massachusetts state legislators, staff, and the media around the VOTES Act, a legislative proposal which would expand voter access by making early voting and vote by mail permanent, establishing same day registration, and increasing voting opportunities for eligible incarcerated persons. Professors Rhodes and Nteta briefed participants on research on the positive effects of same day registration on voter turnout, and shared data from the UMass Poll showing that Massachusetts residents support same day registration. Video from the briefing is available here.

The National Center for Technology and Dispute Resolution (NCTDR), directed by Ethan Katsch, Professor Emeritus of Legal Studies, and co-directed by Leah Wing, Senior Lecturer II of Legal Studies in the department of Political Science, has played a key role in the development of the Indian government's policy adoption of online dispute resolution. The Republic of India became the first national government to issue a whole-of-government comprehensive policy on online dispute resolution. (UMass News, 12/07/2021)

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