The Decline and Fall of Registered Voters – Hobart and William Smith Colleges \
The HWS Update

The Decline and Fall of Registered Voters

Harvard professor and author of “Vanishing Voter” joins President's Forum series

(Oct. 1, 2004) GENEVA, N.Y.–Thomas E. Patterson, professor of government and the press at Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government, has been studying the steady decline in voter participation for much of his career. This fall, Patterson will offer his insight on the topic in a talk titled “Voting: Will the 2004 Election Stop the Decline in Voter Participation?”

Patterson's appearance at Hobart and William Smith is part of the Colleges' President's Forum lecture series, and will be held at 7:30 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 25, in the Geneva Room of the Warren Hunting Smith Library. The talk is free and the public is invited.

Patterson is the author of “Vanishing Voter: Civic Involvement in an Age of Uncertainty,” which looks at the causes of declining electoral participation, including weakening loyalty to modern campaign techniques and attack journalism. He also is the author of “Out of Order,” an exploration of the media's role in politics that received the American Political Science Association's Doris Graber Award. An earlier book, “The Unseeing Eye,” was named by the American Association for Public Opinion Research as one of the 50 most influential books on public opinion.

Before coming to Harvard in 1996, Patterson taught for more than two decades at Syracuse University's Maxwell School of Citizenship. His research has been funded by the Ford, Markle, Knight, Smith-Richardson, Pew and National Science foundations. He holds a Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota in 1971.

The President's Forum Series, established in the winter of 2000 by HWS President Mark D. Gearan, is designed to bring a variety of speakers to campus to share their knowledge and ideas with students, faculty and staff of the Colleges, as well as interested community members.

Prior to Patterson's talk, the 2004 fall semester will kick off with Elaine Kamarck's discussion, titled “Will History Repeat Itself?–The Election of 2004,” at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 19 in the Geneva Room of the Warren Hunting Smith Library. More information on the series can be found at