An interactive assessment of the strength of the democratic process in each of the 50 states
The U.S. Constitution guarantees certain rights and privileges within our democracy. In practice, however, the extent to which citizens experience the robust benefits of a truly democratic society is too often determined by decisions made at the state level—through legislation, executive or administrative action, and judicial decision. Examining how states perform in 22 factors across the areas of accessibility of the ballot, representation in state government, and influence in the political system, the Health of State Democracies report contends that these issues must be addressed in sum—and no longer in silos.
Accompanying the evaluation of the strengths and weaknesses of state democracies, the Center for American Progress Action Fund offers a series of policy recommendations that states should implement to improve based on the findings of this report. A summary of these recommendations is listed below; click here to view the policy recommendations page for a more in-depth description.
Provide preregistration to 16 and 17 year olds
Provide online voter registration
Provide same-day voter registration
End Participation in the Crosscheck program
Better integrate voter registration opportunities into transactions at state Motor Vehicle Departments and other public agencies.
Expand in-person early voting, including evening and weekend hours
Provide no-fault absentee voting
Eliminate voter ID laws
Re-enfranchise ex-offenders after they have served their prison sentences
Allow citizen ballot initiatives
Create fair district maps
Create sustainable public campaign finance options
Set appropriate campaign contribution limits
Strengthen disclosure laws
Require a broad, two-year cooling off period for former elected officials
Provide complete, accessible information to “empower the public’s use of government-held data.”
Strengthen judicial recusal laws