The Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank based out of Washington, D.C., developed an election integrity scorecard to track which states have improved their election security laws. Thus far, 14 states have improved their laws since 2021.
The states that score the highest on election integrity are Tennessee scoring 84 out of 100, Georgia scoring 83 out of 100, and Alabama scoring 82 out of 100. Other notable states are Florida, Texas, Missouri, South Carolina, Arkansas, Louisiana, and Wisconsin.
Tennessee topped the rankings due to a bill passed through the legislature that would allow election officials to utilize additional sources to verify voter rolls such as credit agency data and the entitlements program database.
Some of the most improved states included Missouri and Oklahoma which added eight points to their 2021 score and South Carolina which earned five additional points. Meanwhile, Rhode Island ranked 19th, and Wyoming, ranked 37th, went down by one point in their score.
The least secure states for election integrity are Hawaii with a score of 26 out of 100, Nevada scoring 28 out of 100, California with 30 out of 100, and Oregon with a score of 38 out of 100.
Each state is ranked based on 12 criteria which are, “Voter identification; Maintaining the accuracy of a state’s voter registration list; Rules governing absentee ballots; Rules governing vote trafficking; Access of election observers to ensure transparency; Citizenship verification; Voter assistance procedures; Vote-counting practices; Election litigation procedures; Rules governing voter registration; Restriction of automatic registration; and Rules surrounding the private funding of elections.”
Among these 12 categories, however, three are given extra weight according to Heritage legal fellow Zack Smith who told the Epoch Times that the accuracy of voter lists is given 30 points out of 100, absentee ballot management is given 21 points, and voter ID usage is valued at 20 points.
In addition to scoring states on the various metrics, Heritage also provides model legislation for any state legislator that may be interested in strengthening the election in their respective states.
The foundation outlines the importance of the scorecard and the necessity for states to take the correct steps to ensure the integrity of the vote via election protection that roots out potential fraud.
“Right now, there are many vulnerabilities in our system that make election fraud easy to commit and hard to catch either before or after the fact. Not only does fraud diminish voters’ say in their government, but it also diminishes their faith in the integrity of our unique American experiment,” the think tank wrote, adding, “Thomas Jefferson noted that ‘we do not have a government by the majority. We have a government by the majority who participate.’ To increase participation, we must protect Americans’ faith that their votes matter. Fraud makes votes not matter; to continue our tradition of defending the right to vote, we must therefore eliminate fraud.”
“The Heritage Foundation’s Election Fraud Database shows that election fraud occurs all too frequently in American elections,” the foundation continued. “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.”
While states across the country are strengthening their laws related to elections, the Heritage legal fellow told Epoch Times, “Unfortunately, no state is 100 percent or close to it.” With midterms coming up this November, it will be important to see how different states handle the carrying out of their elections.
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