Results of two recent studies raise the question of whether the United States is a fully functioning democracy.
In the first study, conducted from 2012 to 2015, the Electoral Integrity Project (EIP) analyzed the voting practices of 139 countries around the world. The findings, published in 2016, gave the United States a score of 62 out of possible score of 100. On the typical grading system used in our schools, this would translate into a “D” grade.
The second study was conducted by the EIP of the 2016 U.S. presidential election. This study revealed potential reasons for the low international rating of the United States. In the study, political scientists from local universities in each of the 50 states evaluated the electoral integrity of the election. This was done by each scientist responding to a 100-point standardized survey that consisted of 11 categories of indicators designed to show the extent to which his state followed international standards for conducting fair and impartial elections.
The results showed that only 11 states scored 70 or higher for overall electoral integrity. Moreover, 15 states scored below 60 on this indicator.
Of special note is that North Carolina received a score of 7 for establishing fair district voting boundaries. This is not only the worst score of any state in the U.S., it is also the worst score ever assigned to any entity in the world since the EIP began analyzing elections.
The Electoral Integrity Project is an independent academic project based at Harvard and Sydney (Australia) Universities. Founded in 2012, it is widely agreed to be the most accurate method for evaluating elections.