During and after the 2020 presidential election, many Conservatives questioned the integrity of the vote. Numerous Democratic-led state courts allowed governors to bend election laws during the pandemic, leading to accusations of cheating. Whether or not President Joe Biden won wasn’t the central question. Instead, corruption has become the primary issue.
When people believe elections aren’t fair, it erodes trust in the system. Without confidence everyone is playing by the rules, it throws every election into question.
The Heritage Foundation is a conservative icon in the heart of Washington, DC, and the highly influential think tank created an election integrity scorecard. Over the last year, 14 states improved their rankings, but there is still work to do to demonstrate to voters their votes count.
Election Integrity Scorecard Shows Conservative States Improving
In 2000 and 2004, Democrats questioned President George W. Bush’s victory. They called for hearings and demanded answers after accusing Republicans of cheating. So, it’s clear that 2020 wasn’t an aberration for political parties to declare someone rigged the outcome of the results. Still, 2020 was different.
The Heritage Foundation designed its scorecard to provide voters, election officials, and state legislators with comparisons of laws and regulations in each state. Its purpose is to give the organization a roadmap to understanding election integrity and create a list of best-practice recommendations.
As the midterm elections approach quickly, the think tank said 14 states had improved their score since 2021. Tennessee earned the top spot with a five-point increase, now scoring 84 out of 100 points. Missouri and Oklahoma improved the most, jumping eight points each. South Carolina added five. Check out the complete list of scores.
The 14 states that improved are:
- Missouri (8)
- Oklahoma (8)
- Tennessee (5)
- South Carolina (5)
- Kentucky (3)
- Virginia (3)
- Pennsylvania (3)
- South Dakota (3)
- Utah (3)
- Nebraska (2)
- Wisconsin (1)
- Kansas (1)
- Arizona (1)
- West Virginia (1)
How Does the Heritage Foundation Score System Work?
Heritage fellow Zack Smith helped create the ranking structure. He told the Epoch Times there are 12 categories that use scores totaling 100 points. The top three are:
- Voters list accuracy – 30 points
- Absentee ballot management – 21 points
- Voter ID – 20 points
Election fraud watchdog groups say the accuracy of voter rolls is the most significant challenge to safeguarding elections as incorrect information makes it easier to cheat.
Still, the Heritage Foundation says while improving election security laws is a positive first step, more that must be done. Not a single state earned above an 84 score. It added that rules don’t matter if officials don’t enforce them.
The Foundation doesn’t represent a political party or a special interest group, unlike other think tanks. Instead, over 500,000 Americans support its work. It has a deep well of resources from those experienced in business, government, the military, communications, academia, and nonprofits. Experts create solutions to problems and then present them to policymakers to improve America.