Thursday, July 9, 2015

Kentucky Flunks Democracy

If democracy is government of, by and for the people.

Via Kevin Drum, the Center for American Progress ranked the 50 states and the District of Columbia on the state of democracy in each, based on how easy it is for citizens to participate in their own government.

Kentucky ranks 48th, just ahead of Tennessee, Virginia and Alabama. Worse than Mississippi, Georgia, Arkansas, and Texas.  Worse even than voter suppression / election fraud centers Florida and Arizona.

Kentucky gets an F on ballot access, F on political representation in state government and D+ on influence on the political system.  

Hard to argue with that grade once you know the metrics that compose each category.
Accessibility of the ballot:
•Availability of preregistration
•Availability of online voter registration
•Availability of portable voter registration
•Availability of in-person early voting
•Availability of no-fault absentee voting
•Voter ID laws
•Voting wait time, 2008 and 2012
•Provisional balloting rate, 2008 and 2012
•Participation in the Interstate Crosscheck system
•Motor Voter implementation performance
Big fat zippo for Kentucky on everyone one of those.
Representation in state government
•Felony disenfranchisement laws
•Ballot initiative laws
•District distortion
•Female elected representation
•Communities of color elected representation
Another obese zero.
Influence in the political system
•Campaign contribution limits for individual donors
•Availability of public campaign financing
•Campaign disclosure laws
•Revolving door bans
•Open legislative data
•Judicial recusal laws
D+ on this only because Kentucky limits individual donations and bans corporation donations.

Wondering how to judge state senate and house candidates next year?  Ask them what they are going to do specifically to increase actual democracy in Kentucky, based on these metrics.

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