Collaborative Research: Routine Maintenance of Registration Lists

Project: Research project

Project Details


Databases that contain information about people need regular attention to keep them up-to-date as individuals move, die, become inactive, or otherwise change status. The refreshing of state and local registration lists must therefore take place periodically to prevent the integrity and usefulness of the data from degrading. Across the United States, though, the particular practices used to maintain registration lists vary with local conditions and traditions. The effects of data-updating choices implemented during the pandemic are particularly hard to understand. This project therefore investigates the relationship between demographic data and registration list updates. Variables of sociological interest in this context include the procedures used, the officials responsible for the process, the socio-demographic characteristics of communities, and the regional effects of Covid-19. To test hypotheses about these variables, the project compiles an open database of list maintenance procedures that can serve as a public resource. This can help scholars, data scientists, and decision-makers better understand the menu of alternatives available to protect the accessibility, accuracy, and security of such lists.

Across all 50 U.S. states, the project will match data about registration lists, the demographics of individuals, the socioeconomic characteristics of their communities and officials, list maintenance procedures, as well as COVID-19 disruptions and responses. The study will use longitudinal, multilevel, and spatial analysis to test hypotheses about different ways of performing maintenance on registration lists. This project is jointly funded by the Sociology Program and the Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR).

This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.

Effective start/end date6/15/215/31/23


  • National Science Foundation: $250,000.00


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