Texas received a “F” based on voting rights, anti-corruption efforts, and democracy subversion
End Citizens United // Let America Vote Action Fund, a leading anti-corruption and voting rights group with over 4 million members nationwide, released the first-ever State Democracy Scorecard to provide an overall assessment of the health of democracy in all 50 states and spotlight warning signs, areas for advancement, and key democracy defenders ahead of the 2022 midterm elections.
“This new scorecard demonstrates that our democracy is not equal. In reality, your power at the ballot box and your say in your government depends on the state in which you live,” said Tiffany Muller, president of ECU // LAV Action Fund. “While lawmakers in several states work to establish roadblocks to voting, others have expanded voting options. Some states are taking action to protect their elections against attempts to undermine or overturn results – others aren’t doing nearly enough to protect the will of the voters. Our hope is the 2022 State Democracy Scorecard informs voters about the potential consequences of the upcoming midterm election and motivates them to call on their candidates and elected officials to strengthen democracy for everyone.”
While other organizations and analyses have created scorecards that looked at voting and anti-corruption issues as discrete policy areas, this is the first to combine them into an overall grade. The 2022 Scorecard examined three areas of good governance in developing the scores: a state-by-state assessment of voting laws and access to the ballot box, campaign finance and anti-corruption laws, and protections against democracy subversion practices like partisan gerrymandering.
1. There is a stark divergence between states improving access to voting and those restricting access to the ballot, leading us toward a two-tier democracy in which where you live determines the strength of your power in our democracy.
- While most of the public reporting has focused on the states putting up barriers to the ballot, it’s important to highlight others that have expanded voting options since the 2020 election.
2. Very few states have taken action to address the corrupting influence of dark money, which has grown dramatically in the 12 years since the Citizens United decision.
- This is a bipartisan problem that continues to get worse each cycle, leaving Americans unaware of the wealthy donors and special interests trying to influence their vote. Even many states that have increased access to voting have not adequately strengthened campaign finance and ethics laws, leaving voters in the dark about the biggest donors trying to influence their vote.
3. Some states are taking action to protect against election sabotage–attempts to undermine or overturn elections–but overall, they are not doing enough to protect against some of the worst threats.
- The outcome of the 2022 election could make things significantly worse, as many statewide candidates have denied the accuracy of the 2020 election and pledged to overturn future elections if their preferred candidate loses.
About End Citizens United // Let America Vote Action Fund
End Citizens United // Let America Vote Action Fund is a leading anti-corruption and voting rights organization committed to getting big money out of politics and protecting the freedom to vote. We work to end our rigged political system by electing democracy champions, passing meaningful legislative reforms, and elevating these issues in the national conversation. We work in partnership with legislative champions and key allies to overturn the Supreme Court’s Citizens United v. FEC decision, end the unlimited and undisclosed money in politics, and protect and expand the freedom to vote.