I joined the faculty in the Department of Government and Politics at the University of Maryland in the Fall of 2007. I am currently a Professor in GVPT and Director of the Center for Democracy and Civic Engagement. I earned a Ph.D. in Political Science at the University of Michigan in 2004, a M.S. in Economics from the University of Wisconsin at Madison, and a B.A. in Economics from the State University of New York College at Geneseo. From Fall 2004-Spring 2007 I was an assistant professor in the Department of Government at Georgetown University.

I specialize in American politics, with an emphasis on voting rights, civic engagement, and public opinion, and political methodology. My book, Discount Voting: Voter Registration Reforms and Their Effects (Cambridge University Press, 2009), investigates the effects of registration laws on turnout, the composition of the electorate, and party behavior in the United States. I am a co-author of Citizens of the World: Political Engagement and Policy Attitudes of Millennials across the Globe (Oxford University Press, 2023), Voting Technology: The Not-So-Simple Act of Casting a Ballot (Brookings Institution Press, 2008). I've also published articles on the effect of ballot style on electoral outcomes, Election Day registration, voting systems, the over-reporting of voting in surveys, vote-by-mail, absentee and early voting, voter identification laws, limited dependent variable models, the use of ecological inference estimators to understand split-ticket voting, mobilization, the evaluation of political leaders in international affairs, the effects of COVID-19 on comfort with various voting methods, and youth voting. My current research investigates the expansion of voting rights, the intersection of sports and politics, how mobilization influences the use of new voting methods, vote over-reporting, how individuals evaluate responsiveness of political leaders, and question wording effects in surveys.

I am also the faculty advisor for the UMD Mens Club Hockey Teams

I was born and raised in Buffalo, New York, and believe that the Buffalo Bills will someday win the Super Bowl. After growing up watching curling (think shuffle board on ice, not weight lifting) on CBC, I joined the Detroit Curling Club during graduate school. 

Areas of Interest

  • Voting, elections, public opinion, election reform, political methodology, survey research methods
CV: HanmercvNov22.pdf205.41 KB


  • Degree Type
    Degree Details
    Political Science, University of Michigan
  • Degree Type
    Degree Details
    Economics, University of Wisconsin
  • Degree Type
    Degree Details
    Economics, SUNY Geneseo

Featured Publications


  •  “The Impact of Ballot Type on Voter Errors.”  (Paul S. Herrnson, Michael J. Hanmer, and Richard G. Niemi). American Journal of Political Science, 56:716-730, 2012. *Also included in AJPS Virtual Issue: What Has The NSF Wrought, Part II?
  • “Electronic Voting Eliminates Hanging Chads But Introduces New Usability Challenges.”(Frederick G. Conrad, Benjamin B. Bederson, Brian Lewis, Emilia Peytcheva, Michael W. Traugott, Michael J. Hanmer, Paul S. Herrnson, and Richard G. Niemi).  International Journal of Human-Computer Studies, 67:111-124, 2009.








1115B Tydings Hall (use 3140 Tydings for mail)
Department of Government and Politics
mhanmer [at] umd.edu