The Center for American Progress Action Fund recently released its Health of State Democracies analysis. The study evaluates each state by multiple factors in three main buckets – Accessibility of the Ballot, Representation in Government, and Influence in the Political System. North Carolina earned a dismal ranking: 42nd out of the 50 states and the District of Columbia.
Of the three categories, North Carolina fared worst in ballot accessibility (F). We don’t have pre-registration for 16- and 17-year-olds or online voter registration, and starting in 2016 we will require voters to show a government-issued photo ID.
We earned a D- on representation, stumbling in factors like female- and communities of color-elected representation, partisan redistricting, and an exclusionary ballot initiative process.
North Carolina’s best showing – still just a C – is in influence in the political system. We have strong campaign disclosure laws and open access to legislative data; but we also have a weak “revolving door” ban that doesn’t go far enough to ensure that lawmakers-turned-lobbyists can’t spend their time as elected officials building a client list.
CAP Action Fund has a long list of policy recommendations for states like North Carolina to restore their democracies’ health, but it’s clear that North Carolina has a long way to go.
Click here to download the full report.