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Who Has the Worst Election Laws? These 10 States, According to Scorecard

Posted on Tuesday, August 30, 2022
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by Outside Contributor
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Hawaii may be paradise for vacation spots, but the Aloha State comes in last place in a ranking of all 50 states based on the strength of their election laws.

Going into the midterm elections Nov. 8, the nominal battleground state of Nevada comes in second to last in laws promoting clean and honest elections, while California—the largest state in the nation—is third from the bottom, according to The Heritage Foundation Election Integrity Scorecard. (The Daily Signal is Heritage’s multimedia news organization.)

Heritage’s scorecard ranks the states and the District of Columbia based on factors such as voter ID implementation; accuracy of vote registration lists; absentee ballot management; restrictions on ballot trafficking, also known as ballot harvesting; access for election observers; vote-counting practices; and restrictions on private funding for election administration. 

Rounding out the 10 worst states are Oregon at 48, Vermont, Washington and New Jersey in a tie, and Massachusetts, New York, and Nebraska at 42.

The District of Columbia came in at No. 25.

Nebraska scored 0 out of 20 in the category of voter ID, but scored well in other categories, Nebraska Secretary of State Robert Evnen, a Republican, said. 

“If Nebraska had voter ID, we’d be in the top 15,” Evnen told The Daily Signal. “There is a voter ID initiative petition that would put it on the ballot in November. If it goes on the ballot, we believe that it would be overwhelmingly adopted.”

Nebraska has an overall score of 47 out of 100. It scored well, 19 out of 30 points, on accuracy of voter registration lists, and 14 out of 21 on absentee ballot management. But the state also scored 0 out of 4 points on ballot-trafficking restrictions and 0 out of 4 on citizenship verification. 

Nebraskans will cast ballots for governor, among other offices, in November. 

“I have several other legislative initiatives, for example, restricting drop boxes and making ballot harvesting a felony, some of which passed, and others didn’t,” Evnen said. “If my initiatives had all passed, Nebraska would be about No. 10 in the rankings.”

The Daily Signal sought comment from the offices of chief state election officials or state election boards for each state in the bottom 10 of Heritage’s Election Integrity Scorecard. Only Evnen responded by publication time. 

The top four states in the Election Integrity Scorecard—Tennessee, followed by Georgia, Alabama, and Missouri—all have overall scores of 80 or higher. The remaining states in the top 10—South Carolina, then Arkansas, Florida, Texas, and, in a tie, Louisiana and Wisconsin—scored 75 or higher.  

Coming in dead last, Hawaii’s overall score was 26 out of 100 points. The state, which has a gubernatorial election this year, scored 0 in most categories. Its highest score was 13 out of 30 for the accuracy of voting lists. 

Nevada, where voters in November will decide races for governor and U.S. Senate among other offices, has an overall score of 28 out of 100. Its highest score was 16 out of 30 points on accuracy of voter registration lists. The state scored 2 out of 20 on voter ID. 

California, where statewide races on the ballot also include governor and U.S. Senate, has an overall score of 30 out of 100. The state scored 0 in most categories but got 19 points for accuracy of voter registration lists. 

Oregon, also with races for governor and U.S. Senate, rolled up an overall score of 38 out of 100. Notably for a state with all-mail voting, it scored 7 out of 21 points for absentee ballot management and 0 for restrictions on ballot trafficking. Oregon scored relatively well for accuracy of voter registration lists, access for election observers, and restrictions on same-day voter registration. 

Vermont scored 39 overall, with the highest score, 22, for accuracy of voter registration lists. Vermont voters also will cast ballots in races for governor and U.S. Senate. 

Washington, another all-mail voting state, scores just 4 points out of 21 for absentee ballot management and zero for ballot-trafficking restrictions—areas that most affect mail-in voting. Washington, where voters will decide a U.S. Senate race, had an overall score of 42.

New Jersey, where voters will decide U.S. House and local races, had an overall score of 42. Its highest scores were 16 points for accuracy of voter registration lists and 10 out of 21 for absentee ballot management. 

Massachusetts, with a race for governor among other offices, scored 45 overall. The state scored well, with the maximum 4 points, on ballot trafficking restrictions. Its highest score was 17 for accuracy of voter registration lists. 

New York scored 46 overall on the Election Integrity Scorecard in a year with a gubernatorial and a U.S. Senate race on the ballot. The state’s best scores were 20 out of 30 points for accuracy of voter registration lists and 11 out of 21 for absentee ballot management. 

“Some states have improved, but some of the worst states have gotten worse,” Hans von Spakovsky, senior legal fellow for The Heritage Foundation, told The Daily Signal. “Too many states aren’t willing to have basic voter ID laws in place, and some are making matters worse with automatic voter registration and same-day voter registration.”

Residents of these states should speak up, said von Spakovsky, who manages Heritage’s Election Law Reform Initiative.

“I would tell folks in these states [to] show up at meetings of the county election boards, volunteer to be a poll worker,” he said. “Getting involved at the grassroots level can prompt improvement.” 

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PaulE
PaulE
1 year ago

Gee, what a surprise. Democrat states all end up with lousy election integrity laws. Who would have ever guessed? Is anyone actually surprised? I’m not and neither would I say are most of you out there.

Democrats need lots of “options” (holes in the integrity of their election laws) in order to be able to consistently win in close races over and over again. How else are they going to maintain power with such disastrous policies?

Robert
Robert
1 year ago

Based on my memory I would say Pennsylvania, Michigan, GEORGIA, ARIZONA, and Wisconson

BillC
BillC
1 year ago

I live in Nevada and it wasn’t always this bad, but ever since Sissylack took the Governor’s office, (thanks to half of the California refugees who forgot why they moved into Clark and Washoe counties), things went downhill fast! I had a coworker who was here on a work Visa who was automatically registered to vote when she got her driver’s license. She had to contact the registrar to be removed from the voter roll. When I moved within the state, I checked the box on the USPS form to update my registration and when I checked, my party affiliation had been changed! I corrected that in time for the recent primary and notified the Secretary of State. And now, with COVID-19 far in the rear view mirror, we are still doing vote by mail, (you can drop off if you prefer, but they are mailing ballots to everyone, alive, dead, moved with no forwarding, etc.). Sissylack has been copying many of Gruesome Newsom’s moves with lockdowns, mask mandates and diminished gun rights, (the Dem legislature served up gun restrictions that Sissylack was happy to sign). I am still furious that Soros, Zuckerberg, Gates, et al, could buy the last election through censorship, social influence/electioneering and pray that the red wave this time is strong enough to overcome the blatant corruption. The last election took us into Socialism. If we can’t prevail this time, the next stop is full blown Communism!

Michael Venaccio
Michael Venaccio
1 year ago

Hello..

All of this serves to underscore the fact that people need to get out and vote in local and state elections.

Find out where candidates for state legislatures, both senate and representatives, stand on the issues of voting integrity, getting rid of compromised voting machines, etc. These people are closest to the voters and can be held more accountable.

Same goes for city and county races like mayor, district attorney, county and city councils, etc.

So, please encourage for friends to get out and vote in these elections, they can prove to be very significant.

Larry Humphrey
Larry Humphrey
1 year ago

Lots of room to cheat.

MariaRose
MariaRose
1 year ago

As a resident of New York, I have been closely watching how New York does its election voter registration, especially since they don’t allow any voter to be asked for an ID to help match the voter to their correct voting site. Most active registered voters in New York will voluntarily hand you their ID or that card they are sent by the BOE which has a scan section to use with the PollPads (modified iPods programmed for the BOE in place of the paper books which were never updated and hard to use if one had a reading issue with names. A first-time voter has to show an ID, there is a list of acceptable ID forms to be allowed to sign in to vote. Any voter who shows up and is not on the active voter list but in the correct polling place gets an affidavit ballot–or they can go get a court order which will allow them to vote using the ballot scanned on the voting machine. All last-minute changes on the day of voting by the individual voter–want to register to vote, had sent in or requested an absentee ballot but want to vote in person, want to change party registration, name change, address change in same voting site–all those individuals get to vote with affidavit ballots and no tantrums, protests, will change that if they don’t want to get a court order decision, which also may tell them that they have to fill out an affidavit ballot.
The problem is that newly registered (registered after the last date prior to an election) or assumed registered via DMV individuals get false information giving them the impression that they are entitled to vote and register immediately. NYS legislation has been told that the same day register/vote by concerned registered active voter residents–on the same day has to be through a process that allows the BOE to verify the information of the person registering. That verification technology is not available at poll sites, only at the main headquarters of the BOE, which only within recent years digitalized the active voter rolls.
Also, most voters don’t vote in the most important elections (the locals and the primaries) and the candidates like to get voted in with minimum voter turnout. People also change addresses, names from marriage, die, etc and forget that notify the BOE of those changes. The USPS doesn’t pass on those changes, one has to notify every government program to be kept on the active voter rolls if one is constantly moving.

papayec
papayec
1 year ago

Sorry, but this has to be a joke. Michigan got full points for access of election observers, when we all saw that observers were locked out in Detroit and the windows blocked

Jeb
Jeb
1 year ago

Many Americans are asking why should I vote in the midterms, my vote will never count. I get where they are coming from. Vote anyway. It is a mess and many states are shameful in their approach. Vote, vote, vote.

Debra Reynolds
Debra Reynolds
1 year ago

PA is 17th……wow….election fraud was absolutely RIFE throughout PA. We’re in a world of hurt if PA is in the top!

HocasPocas
HocasPocas
1 year ago

I tried to register to be a poll worker. AMAC had that push out a while back. I clicked on the link and was connected to Harrisburg for some reason. I never heard a word in writing or by phone

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