United States Electoral System Advisory

U.S. democracy receives a failing grade in a global study

The United States’ federal electoral system received an overall score of 30 percent for electoral
fairness in a global study being conducted by the Foundation for Democratic Advancement (FDA), a
non-partisan organization which advances fair and transparent democratic processes. Areas of
analysis in the study includes fairness in electoral spending, equality of voter say, equality of
candidate and party influence and equality of media coverage. A group of diverse and non-partisan
FDA electoral auditors rated each section out of 10 points in terms of fairness.

Key points gleaned from the study:

The U.S. federal electoral system, in terms of electoral legislation and regulations, received
an overall failing grade of 30 percent. (A passing grade is 50 percent.)
The U.S. score of 0.5 percent on electoral finance borders on full inequality in terms of
candidate and party electoral finance.
The U.S. score of 25 percent for the political content of the media and broadcasters means
that the political content of US media and broadcasters is significantly more unfair than fair.
The U.S. scored 30 percent for equality of political candidate and party influence.
The only passing score of 60 percent was for equality of voter say and is based on third-party
freedom of expression and the inequality of third-party say.

Media contacts:

Stephen Garvey, Executive Director
Foundation for Democratic Advancement
Phone: (403) 669-8132
Email: stephen.garvey@democracychange.com

Aurangzeb Qureshi, Director of Marketing
Foundation for Democratic Advancement
Phone: (403) 390-9750
Email: zeb.qureshi@democracychange.com

About the FDA:

The Foundation for Democratic Advancement (“FDA”)’s mission is to advance fair and
transparent democratic processes wherever elections occur. The FDA believes that fairer
electoral systems and a more informed public will help ensure the election of candidates
who truly represent the will of the people. The FDA fulfills its mission by performing detailed
electoral audits on political candidates and parties to inform the public, objectively and
impartially, about their electoral choices. Also, the FDA audits electoral legislation in terms
of fairness and equity, and conducts ground level assessments of democratic processes.

2011 FDA Electoral Fairness Report on the United States

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