I am a Ph.D. candidate at Vanderbilt University, and a graduate student affiliate of the Latin American Public Opinion Project (LAPOP). My main research interests include elections and political representation, particularly in the Latin American region. My dissertation project focuses on “invalid” voting (blank or spoiled votes) in Latin America. In particular, I ask why individual voters choose to cast blank or spoiled ballots, and how (and whether) elites respond to this phenomenon. I have a strong background in statistical methods, and use these skills to analyze survey and electoral data in my dissertation. However, much of the data I use in my dissertation is qualitative, ranging from journalistic accounts of electoral processes to focus group interviews with voters and interviews with electoral officials and political elites in Latin America.


For more information, visit my personal webpage, or contact me at mollie.j.cohen@vanderbilt.edu