Run every two years since 2012, the American Municipal Officials Survey (AMOS) is the largest survey of elected municipal officials conducted by political scientists and involves multiple research projects from scholars at universities across the U.S.



The purpose of the survey is to better understand the perceptions of the men and women who are at the heart of the “Great American Experiment” — local democracy.

Unfortunately, scholarly work on American politics overlooks municipal officials even though they form the vast majority of elected policymakers in the U.S. and their decisions have the greatest impact on the daily lives of most Americans. One reason for this oversight is the difficulty of gathering quantitative data about local officials.

The American Municipal Officials Survey fills this void and brings the study of local politics — whether it occurs in a large urban center or a small rural town — to the forefront of political science research, resulting in research publications at one of the top academic journals in the discipline.


We Need Your Help

The success of this endeavor depends on the willingness of you, the local policymakers, to take the survey. If you are (or have been) an elected municipal official and would like to participate in the 2016 American Municipal Officials Survey (or have questions about participating), please email us at municipalsurvey@byu.edu or call us at (801) 422-2337. In addition, please see our Frequently Asked Questions page.


Help Direct $500 to Charity

To thank officials for their participation, a member of our research team is going to donate $500 to a non-profit 501c3 organization based on the responses of one randomly selected municipal official who completes the entire survey.


Researchers from Across the U.S.

The American Municipal Officials Survey was begun in 2012 at Yale University by Professors Adam Dynes and Daniel Butler. The survey has involved many different projects from a team of researchers across the U.S., including the

  • University of Virginia,
  • University of Chicago,
  • Vanderbilt University,
  • University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill,
  • Brigham Young University,
  • Washington University in. St. Louis,
  • Cornell College,
  • University of California-Santa Barbara,
  • Temple University,
  • Northwestern University, and
  • Yale University


About the Directors

The American Municipal Officials Survey is run by Professors Adam Dynes (at Brigham Young University), Daniel Butler (at University and Washington University in St. Louis), and Hans Hassell (at Cornell College).

Adam Dynes is an assistant professor at Brigham Young University and a Faculty Scholar at the Center for the Study of Elections and Democracy. He is also a member of the Laboratories of Democracy, a non-profit organization that collaborates with academics, non-profits, and public officials in the U.S. to evaluate the effectiveness of government policies, programs, and practices to improve America’s communities.  Adam received his Ph.D. from Yale University and was a fellow at the Institution for Social and Policy Studies and the Center for the Study of American Politics. Adam’s research on legislative politics has appeared in the top journals in political science such as the American Political Science Review and the American Journal of Political Science. Prior to graduate school, he worked in state politics for 4 years and grew up near Houston, TX. He and his wife are the parents of 4 kids with 1 on the way.

butler-daniel_95x142Daniel Butler is an associate professor at Washington University in St. Louis. He is also the director of the Laboratories of Democracy. Previously, Daniel Butler was a professor at Yale University and received his Ph.D. (2007) in political science from Stanford University. His research on legislative politics and representation has appeared in the American Journal of Political Science, the Journal of PoliticsPolitical Analysis, the Quarterly Journal of Political ScienceLegislative Studies Quarterly, and other journals.

hans-hassellHans Hassell is an Assistant Professor at Cornell College and a member of the Laboratories of Democracy. He studies how  public officials, parties, campaigns, and other organized interests affect individuals to get involved in politics and public service.  Hans received his Ph.D. from the University of California – San Diego. His research has appeared in the American Journal of Political Science, the Journal of Politics, Political Behavior, and other journals.


Thank you in advance for your interest in the survey and for all that you do to help your community and the “Great American Experiment” continue to move forward. We hope you decide to participate.

Warmest regards,
Adam Dynes, Daniel Butler, and Hans Hassell