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Achieving Balance Between Security and Ballot Access when Serving Military and Overseas Citizen Voters
Members of The Council of State Governments (CSG) Overseas Voting...
Beyond the Ballot with Paul Lux
“The sun never sets on voting in Okaloosa County,” shared...
Beyond the Ballot with Michael Winn
The Greek philosopher Aristotle said that by nature, man is a...

Featured Work

State Civic Education Toolkit

This Civic Education Toolkit is intended to help stakeholders from all three branches of government, as well as other members of the civic education community in their mission to improve state civic education. There are many unique strategies stakeholders can use to effectively engage students.

How COVID-19 Changed the Ballot Box

The enduring impact of pandemic-era polictics on elections.

Improving Ballot Processes for Overseas Citizens

As of late June 2020, the United States Postal Service (USPS) lists 103 international mail disruptions as a result of COVID-19 pandemic-related complications, with the number of disruptions and specific locations changing regularly.

The Team

Sarah Needler

Director of Research
The Council of State Governments Center of Innovation
Sarah Needler is the Director of Research at The Council of State Governments Center of Innovation. Sarah manages member research requests, evidence-based policymaking initiatives, fiscal policy research, health policy projects and the CSG Book of the States. She earned an M.A. in Economics from the University of British Columbia and an M.P.A in International Development from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government.

Casandra Hockeberry

Project Manager

Carl Sims

Special Projects Manager
The Council of State Governments Center of Innovation
Carl Sims is a Special Projects Manager at The Council of State Governments Center of Innovation. Carl oversees the work of the 2021-22 CSG Healthy States National Task Force, a multi-year project focused on the improvement of state fiscal, civic, economic and workforce and human health. Carl earned his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Kentucky Wesleyan College and his Master’s of Public Administration from the University of Kentucky’s Martin School.

Dexter Horne

Senior Policy Analyst
The Council of State Governments Center of Innovation
Dexter Horne is a Senior Policy Analyst at the Council of State Governments Center of Innovation. He provides research and logistics support to CSG’s Healthy States National Task Force. Dexter works with private sector partners and Task Force members to develop best practices in civic health, economic and workforce health, fiscal health and human health. Dexter earned his bachelor’s degree in Politics from Centre College and his MPA from the Martin School of Public Policy and Administration.

Dakota Thomas

Senior Research Analyst
The Council of State Governments Center of Innovation
Dr. Dakota Thomas is a Senior Research Analyst in the Center of Innovation at CSG. In this role, he provides data analysis and research support for state policymakers. He is currently helping lead CSG’s efforts to analyze federal funding for states and make this information understandable and actionable for members. Dakota also works closely with CSG partners to encourage the use of evidence in policymaking. Dakota earned his Ph.D. in Comparative Politics at the University of Kentucky in 2019.