WASHINGTON—The Heritage Foundation today released its Election Integrity Scorecard, a new interactive tool that analyzes the election laws of all 50 states and the District of Columbia and grades each state on how well it protects the security and integrity of the election process. The Election Integrity Scorecard gives states a clear picture of where their laws and regulations meet the best practices, where vulnerabilities exist, and how to fix them.
The right to free and fair elections and to having every legal vote count is one of the most basic civil rights in our republic. Americans should be able to have complete confidence in the security of the electoral process, and that their vote will not be lost, stolen, altered, or negated by fraud. This scorecard on the states’ election laws is a vital roadmap to restoring and strengthening that confidence.
Heritage Foundation President Kevin Roberts said:
“Americans need and deserve elections that they can trust. Heritage’s Election Integrity Scorecard gives states a better idea of how their state laws and regulations compare to best practices and where they need improvement. In the coming weeks and months, Heritage will work with our state partners to ensure policymakers and officeholders have this valuable information to make reforms. At a time when cynicism runs deep on both ends of the political spectrum, the need to protect the people’s elections, and to safeguard the value of every citizen’s vote, couldn’t be clearer.”
The grading system in the scorecard is based on an in-depth analysis of the specific election laws in each state. The Heritage Foundation provided individual scores in 12 different areas essential to honest, secure elections, with a final score based on a compilation of the individual scores for each best-practice recommendation. The scorecard will be updated on a rolling basis as states make changes to their election laws.
As the country heads into another election year, policymakers would be wise to consider these recommendations and commit to improving the integrity of their elections.
John Malcolm, vice president for the Institute for Constitutional Government and the director of the Meese Center for Legal and Judicial Studies at The Heritage Foundation, said:
“No matter one’s politics, every reasonable American agrees that our electoral process should make it easy to vote and harder to cheat. The right to vote is a sacred right that our leaders must protect. The Election Integrity Scorecard is the result of an intensive, in-depth review of state election laws and will provide voters, legislators, and election officials with a tool that can be used to compare their election system to a model system and that of other states. The model bills we provide can be used to improve their elections to guarantee both access and security. We strongly urge them to do so.”
The current election system is plagued with vulnerabilities that make election fraud easy to commit and hard to catch. Not only does fraud diminish voters’ say in their government, but it also diminishes their faith in the integrity of the electoral process.
To make matters worse, these vulnerabilities have been ignored and the American people have been misled by those promoting unwise policies such as automatic and same-day voter registration, ballot trafficking, and banning voter ID laws. These policies serve only one purpose—giving bad actors an avenue to cheat. The elimination of election integrity measures under the guise of the pandemic in 2020 only exacerbated these vulnerabilities.
Hans von Spakovsky, the manager of The Heritage Foundation’s Election Law Reform Initiative and a former commissioner on the Federal Election Commission, said:
“Heritage has been working for many years to protect the integrity of our elections in order to ensure that all eligible Americans are able to vote and that their votes are counted honestly, fairly, and are not diluted by fraud, errors, or mistakes. Our new Election Integrity Scorecard, along with the Heritage Election Fraud Database, will help ensure that happens.”
The Heritage Foundation’s Election Fraud Database shows that election fraud occurs all too frequently in American elections. The database contains a sampling of recent instances of election fraud from across the country. Each case in the database ended in a finding that an individual or multiple individuals engaged in wrongdoing in connection with an election hoping to affect its outcome or that the results of an election were sufficiently in question to be overturned.