Honors Class Developing National Election Survey

Posted: October 16, 2000 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

By Jeremy Lasich

With a grant from the Technology Across the Curriculum program, freshman in the Honors Program in General Education are implementing, and analyzing a National election survey. Approximately 150 students have developed the questions for the study, and are conducting the telephone interviews.

“This is an incredible opportunity for these students to get hands-on experience with research design, sampling issues, measurement error and data analysis,” says Greg Guagnano, Sociology and Anthropology. “For most of these students (who are 18 years old), it’s their first time participating in an election and

this project should make it a memorable one.”

Participants of all ages will be polled, but the Mason students will be particularly interested in their peers–individuals between 18 and 24 years of age. Only a small percentage of this age cohort (32 percent) voted in the last presidential election, and one of the goals of the survey is to find out what may be keeping them from participating.

The data will be made available for analysis over the World Wide Web, with state-of-the-art analysis software developed at the University of California at Berkeley. Thus, anyone will have access to the data for analysis. The students will be interviewing between 1200 and 1800 randomly selected individuals across the United States, and all interviews will be done out of the Northern Virginia Survey Research Laboratory

at George Mason. The survey will be complete on Nov. 2.

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