January 12, 2023

RELEASE: 50 States Graded in New Institute for Responsive Government Election Policy Progress Report

For Immediate Release:
January 12, 2023

Abigail Louisin, abigail.louisin@firesidecampaigns.com

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Yesterday, Wednesday, January 11, the Institute for Responsive Government (IRG) held a virtual webinar to release its Election Policy Progress Reports, a new resource for tracking individual states’ legislative action to expand and protect the right to vote.

Instead of a total state-to-state comparison of election laws, which already exists in several formats, these reports grade each state based on its own unique existing election law landscape and, primarily, any legislative improvements it made or any setbacks it experienced in making elections more secure, helping election administrators do their jobs, and creating an efficient process for eligible voters over the past two years. Relevant executive and administrative actions were also considered.

View IRG’s new report HERE

Watch Recorded Press Briefing HERE

IRG panelists provided more information on key findings, opportunities for legislative action, and the report’s methodology, including how each state grade was assigned and the use of tiered grading to consider how each state fared both in comparison to their cohort and based on their unique existing election law landscape.

“As an election administrator, which I will forever be, it is not feasible nor effective to go from 0 to 100 in a short period of time. This report recognizes that. If you try to do too much at once, or you expect too much at once, it doesn’t benefit the voters, election administrators, or democracy. I think we need to celebrate each step forward that any state takes, no matter what their starting point is,” said Kathy Boockvar, former Pennsylvania Secretary of State and IRG senior advisor.

“To some degree, these grades that are provided for the states are measuring the political courage, and the initiative really, of policymakers to make elections work better for eligible voters,” said Ashish Sinha, IRG’s chief of staff.

“It’s clear on both sides that there isn’t a partisan divide here. Let’s make it work better, because we can make elections operate more efficiently, more securely and frankly cheaper if we work together. The voters will be the winner here,” said Trey Grayson, former Kentucky Secretary of State and IRG senior advisor.

“In 2023, I want more focus on some of the practical policies we can work together on that actually lead to the type of outcomes that marry access and security. How can we make voter registration both more secure and make sure that more eligible voters are on those voter rolls? How can we add more anti-fraud mechanisms, while making sure that it’s easy for folks to cast a ballot? I want to see more of the legislatures that got below those A grades spend less time on big ticket slogans and more time on the practical policy making,” said Sam Oliker-Friedland, IRG’s executive director.

To speak with IRG Executive Director Sam Oliker-Friedland about their work to provide states with tools to create a more responsive election infrastructure, please contact Abigail Louisin at abigail.louisin@firesidecampaigns.com