Overall, the U.S. electoral system has about as much integrity as those in Argentina, Mongolia and Rwanda, according to the joint project from Harvard University and the University of Sydney shows.
The findings come amid an increasingly partisan debate over election laws and electoral boundaries that is undermining the perceived integrity of American elections, as Republicans and Democrats set up rules — which vary widely between states — governing everything from access to the ballot box to campaign finance.
The study surveyed more than 700 American political scientists on the perceived integrity of their states’ electoral systems. The experts were asked to rate the state’s performance on everything from election laws and procedures to district boundaries, voter registration and campaign finance laws.
Unlike many other Western democracies, there is wide variance in the integrity of individual systems in American states, which have the constitutional authority to administer elections, draw their own district lines and set rules that govern voter access.
The survey found Vermont has the best electoral system in the United States, while Arizona and Wisconsin ranked at the bottom of the pack.