Topic: College of Sciences and Humanities

November 26, 2008

Hoosiers have an opportunity to shape the state's future as part of a survey being conducted by Ball State University.
The first Hoosier Poll produced by Ball State's Bowen Center for Public Affairs will provide legislators with opinions from a sample of about 600 Indiana residents posed with questions on a variety of issues. Poll results will be released to state legislators and to the public at the start of the 2009 legislative session in January. 
"The Hoosier Poll will bring a list of priorities in a nonpartisan format to the Indiana General Assembly for its consideration," said Joe Losco, chair of Ball State's Department of Political Science. "We are asking residents open-ended questions about what they feel are the top priorities facing the state of Indiana in the coming biennium.
"I would imagine the top issues would include property taxes, state reorganization and the economy. The Hoosier Poll will then give some guidance to legislators about what their constituents are thinking."
The survey is being administered by the Princeton Survey Associates, with funds provided by a grant from the Lilly Endowment Inc.
Losco believes the Hoosier Poll will further the Bowen Center's reputation as a source for reliable, nonpartisan research.
"I think legislators are looking for this information more than ever," he said. "We are facing serious problems with ever more limited resources.  Lawmakers need to know where their constituents wish them to focus their attention and state resources."
In addition to the Hoosier Poll, the Bowen Center is working on several major initiatives for state and local government agencies. The center is administering the Voting Systems Technical Oversight Program (VSTOP) for the Indiana Secretary of State's office. An initial $162,000 grant will assist the Indiana Election Commission and Indiana counties with technology issues related to electronic voting systems and training of poll workers.
Among other grants the Bowen Center has received in recent months is $1 million from the Lilly Endowment to expand and strengthen its programs assisting students and lawmakers with sharpening their skills in political participation and civic engagement. The center also provides professional development opportunities for Indiana state, county and local officials.