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.

Each iteration of the survey includes different questions. In 2017, the survey is focused primarily on obtaining demographic data about municipal officials and should only take 2 to 3 minutes to complete. Click here to learn more about the 2017 AMOS.



The purpose of the survey is to better understand the officials 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 2017 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 page about the survey, here.


Researchers from Across the U.S.

The American Municipal Officials Survey was begun in 2012 at Yale University by Professors Adam Dynes (then a Ph.D. student) and Daniel Butler.  The survey has involved many different projects from political scientists at universities across the U.S., including

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


About the Directors

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

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. Prior to graduate school, he worked in state politics for 4 years and grew up near Houston, TX.


butler-daniel_95x142Daniel Butler is an associate professor at the University of California San Diego. He is also the director of the Laboratories of Democracy. Previously, Daniel Butler was a professor at Yale University and Washington University in St. Louis. He received his Ph.D. (2007) in political science from Stanford University. His research on legislative politics and representation has been published by the top journals and book presses in political science.


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 also been published by the top journals and book presses in political science.



Michelle Torres is a Ph.D. candidate at Washington University in St. Louis. She studies quantitative methods and political behavior, with a special interest in survey methodology, computer vision, causal inference, and public opinion. She also develops tools and techniques to improve survey design and analysis.


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” succeed. We hope you decide to participate.

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