Honors Program Theses


Open Access Honors Program Thesis

First Advisor

Donna Hoffman, Honors Thesis Advisor


Political culture--Iowa; Political culture--Pennsylvania; Political culture--Georgia; Elections--Iowa; Elections--Pennsylvania; Elections--Georgia;


Elazar identifies three main political subcultures that intermingle to form the national political culture: traditionalistic, moralistic, and individualistic. I am using these three political subcultures to see if they offer an insight into each state’s decision regarding election administration. In times of crises such as the COVID-19 pandemic, will states react differently as they attempt to administer elections and does political culture inform such varied responses? I conducted case studies of Iowa, Georgia, and Pennsylvania and applied a series of variables including the strength of each state’s voter ID law, the voter turnout, state office control, and relevant events. After completing my case studies, I was able to determine that Elazar’s theory is slightly predictive when it comes to state responses to crises within the context of election administration. By the end of each the 2020 election cycle, each state was able to elect its candidate, deliver those results to the federal government, and ensure someone took office. Some states did it much more smoothly than others, but this can be explained with Elazar’s political subcultures.

Year of Submission



Department of Political Science

University Honors Designation

A thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the designation University Honors

Date Original


Object Description

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