ROILED BY REPUBLICANS: The legislative usurpation of power in North Carolina has produced protests and a negative rating on a test of election integrity.

These are hard times for those with a progressive outlook in Arkansas, but it could be worse. We could be in Kansas. Or North Carolina.

(At a holiday gathering populated by liberals last week, I can’t tell you how many people commented favorably, at least in the context, on Gov. Asa Hutchinson.)


All of that aside, read this op-ed from Raleigh on affairs in North Carolina, once a solidly purple state with a booming high-tech business climatet and a blend of progressives and conservatives that still managed to elect Democrats now and then. Through Republican-controlled redistricting, vote suppression and a rogue legislature, people who’ve studied what make up a good democracy conclude that North Carolina no longer qualifies.

The Election Integrity Project measures a variety of indicators.

In the just released EIP report, North Carolina’s overall electoral integrity score of 58/100 for the 2016 election places us alongside authoritarian states and pseudo-democracies like Cuba, Indonesia and Sierra Leone. If it were a nation state, North Carolina would rank right in the middle of the global league table – a deeply flawed, partly free democracy that is only slightly ahead of the failed democracies that constitute much of the developing world.

Indeed, North Carolina does so poorly on the measures of legal framework and voter registration, that on those indicators we rank alongside Iran and Venezuela. When it comes to the integrity of the voting district boundaries no country has ever received as low a score as the 7/100 North Carolina received. North Carolina is not only the worst state in the USA for unfair districting but the worst entity in the world ever analyzed by the Electoral Integrity Project.

So here’s a resolution for 2017 for Arkansas: Let’s stay ahead of North Carolina. One step would be avoiding a bathroom bill. Alas …..