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Do We Live in a Healthy Democracy?

Recently, the Center for American Progress Action Fund (“Center”) issued a report entitled, The Health of State Democracies.[1] The Center essentially is a think tank that has policy teams in major issues areas and issues reports on these various topics to attempt to shape the debate.[2]

The report “aims to take a broader approach to evaluate state-level democratic performance. It evaluates measures such as voting laws, redistricting, campaign finance, fair courts, and more as vital, interconnected pieces of a state democracy.” The report analyzes the identified criteria to determine whether each state has “a successful democratic system.”

Some of these 22 factors include: voter ID laws; availability of in-person voting; availability of no-fault absentee voting; ballot initiative laws; campaign contribution limits for individual donors; and campaign disclosure laws, to name a few.

The report evaluated all 50 states, plus the District of Columbia, and assigned points based on each state’s performance as it pertains to these 22 factors. Interestingly, the report concludes the state with the healthiest democracy is Maine, while the state with the weakest democracy is Alabama.

On this list, South Carolina places 45th. Interestingly, the states at the bottom of this list generally reside in the south.

Darts definitely can be thrown at the factors or their evaluation; however, this report provides an interesting read as it attempts to rank objectively states on what it believes are factors to ensure a healthier democracy.


Read the full report here.


[1] The Center describes its mission as “an independent, nonpartisan policy institute and advocacy organization that is dedicated to improving the lives of all Americans through bold progressive ides, as well as strong leadership and concerted action. Our aim is not just to change the conversation, but to change the country.” See


[2] The ELECT Blog does not endorse, support, condone, or take a position on this organization and/or its findings. Rather, ELECT seeks to put it out on the blog and engage one in debate.