If you’re a voter living in Maine, you’ve got it sweet. You can register the same day as an election, don’t need to show an ID, and can vote absentee for any reason. There’s no gerrymandering in your state’s districts, and there’s even public financing available to prevent “rich-only” campaigns.
If you live in Alabama, though? Good luck in the upcoming election cycle. Voter registration is hard, and there’s no early or absentee voting. The districts were drawn to favor one party, and you’ll even have a hard time finding out who paid for all those ads trying to influence your vote.
And it was these categories – ballot accessibility, representation in state government, and influence on elections and elected officials – that the Center for American Progress Action Fund used in a recent analysis.
Using those three general topics, which are broken down into a total of 22 relevant sub-categories, CAP Action Fund was able to rank each of the 50 states and District of Columbia in its “Health of State Democracies” report.
Based on these grades, it looks like many states need to head for summer school before starting the next school grade, unfortunately. In “accessibility,” for example, 15 received failing grades.
Seven states got Fs in “representation,” and eight failed in the “influence” category.
Those failing factors may have been intentional in some states, however, based on actions and laws specifically intended to restrict voter participation. Says the report:
Average voter turnout in the 2012 election among the top 10 accessibility states was 62.3 percent. Among the bottom 10 states in that category, turnout was nearly 4 percentage points lower, at 58.5 percent.
The Top 10 states are, in descending order:
7) Washington, D.C.
The Bottom 10 are, in ascending order:
42) North Carolina
44) New York
45) South Carolina
Want to know how your state ranks and why? Just click HERE to access the map, then click on your state’s image to learn its ranking and how it got such a score.
Featured image from “Health of State Democracies“