The Electoral Integrity Project (EIP) is an independent academic study that evaluates the quality of elections around the world. It measures 50 elements of the election process including legal framework, access to voting, and how ballots are counted. According to its latest report, North Carolina received such poor ratings that it can no longer be classified as a fully functioning democracy.
Some issues in North Carolina include extreme gerrymandering, voter suppression of communities of color, and the recent stripping of power of the Democratic governor-elect by Republican legislators.
The EIP rated North Carolina’s overall integrity score for the 2016 elections as 58 out of 100. This is the same level as those in authoritarian states and “pseudo-democracies” such as Indonesia and Sierra Leone. The ratings were so poor on measures of legal framework and voter registration, that on those indicators North Carolina ranked beside Iran and Venezuela.
North Carolina received a score of 7 out of 100 for the fairness of its voting district boundaries. No country has ever received such a low score. North Carolina is therefore both the worst state in the U.S for unfair districting and the worst entity in the world ever evaluated by the EIP for this indicator.
The EIP is widely agreed to be the most accurate method for evaluating the freedom and fairness of democratic elections across time and place. The research team is based in part at Harvard’s Kentucky School of Government. Created in 2012, the EIP has evaluated 213 elections in 153 countries.