Report: The Sad State of Pennsylvania’s Demockracy

Tides go in, tides go out, and demockracy in Pennsylvania is in a sad state of affairs.

Yesterday, the Center For American Progress released a report showing that Pennsylvania is failing it’s people when it comes to voter access to the polls, the people’s influence on our government and limits on campaign finance.  However, the state did pull a “C” when it came to “representation.”

Accessibility to the Ballot Box – F

Should we be surprised at this?  Pennsylvania does not have same day voter registration, early voting, or other laws that encourage people to get to the polls.  One bright spot is that the state has a program where you can register to vote at the Department of Motor vehicle when getting, or renewing, your drivers license.

Representation in State Government – C

This is probably the only bright spot in the report.  Pennsylvania allows felons to vote, which is good for the minority community.  However, the ratio of the representation of minorities who hold public office is pretty weak.  You can most likely thank the state’s segregation and gerrymandering for that.

The state does not have ballot initiatives, referendums or constitutional amendment initiatives.

The female population accounts for 51 percent of the state, but only 31 percent of state offices are held by women and zero women hold a congressional seat.

22 percent of the state’s population is that of people of color, but only 11 percent of state offices are held by people of color.

Influence in the Political System – F

Pennsylvania is one of a handful of states – and the only state in the northeast – that has zero campaign finance limitations on state races.  That should be alarming enough, but our state has one of the worst campaign finance disclosure laws.  According to the report, we are one of the best when it comes to transparency.

For more, listen to Lauren Harmon, author of the report, talk to Rick Smith on the Rick Smith Show.

The Health of State Democracies

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About Sean Kitchen 594 Articles
Assistant Editor of the Raging Chicken Press and living in Harrisburg pursuing journalistic opportunities. You can send tips to SeanKitchen@RagingChickenPress.org and reach me on twitter at @RCPress_Sean!
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