Curtis Gans, a liberal activist, journalist and recognized expert on voter turnout in the United States, has died. He was 77.
Gans, a northern Virginia resident, died of
Gans was co-founder, with Allard Lowenstein, of the "Dump
Gans later founded the Committee for the Study of the American Electorate, which provided data and analysis of voter turnout. The organization later became affiliated with American University in Washington, D.C., as the Center for the Study of the American Electorate, with Gans as director. He was the author of "Voter Turnout in the United States, 1789-2009," and he wrote syndicated newspaper columns.
The State Department called on Gans to brief foreign governments about voting patterns ahead of U.S. elections.
Lee Sigal, Gans' brother-in-law and a longtime friend and associate, said Gans' research showed that voter turnout was driven largely by closely contested elections that addressed important issues.
"The common theme throughout his life was: How do we improve the functioning of American democracy?" Sigal said.
Born in New York City in 1937, Gans became active in the civil rights movement while at the
Nuckols writes for the Associated Press.