democracy is a work in progress
Scope2021-03-15T14:18:53-05:00

Problem Scope

The American two-party system creates incentives to rig the rules of elections and reduce competition. Additionally, many states work to put barriers in the way of voting. These barriers are often justified by invoking concerns about voter fraud. While these fraud claims are typically overblown, election security is a concern that deserves constant vigilance. Finally, the electoral college and other structural factors can lead to imbalanced representation in Congress.

In short, the flaws in our electoral system are largely captured by these four categories:

Gerrymandering and Other Anti-Competitive Rules
Voter Suppression
Election Security
Electoral College and Other Structural Factors

Related Problems: Money in Politics, Income and Wealth Inequality

Contributors: George LinzerMichael Deal, Kyle Mullins

Reviewed by: Center for the Study of the Presidency and Congress

Published: December 5, 2019

Last Updated: June 16, 2021

Please support our work. Your donation helps make our journalism possible. Rooted in history, analysis, problem-solving, and leadership – ingredients we believe can build common ground and inspire a better future.

Donate Now
Related Pages
Expansion of Voting Rights Storyline

Voter imageThe right to vote in America is a fundamental democratic liberty – it is one of those rights that we fight wars to defend. Yet, when the nation was founded, voting was almost exclusively reserved for propertied white men. Since then, voting rights have slowly grown more inclusive, expanding to an ever broader cross-section of the American public, but this progress has almost always been hard won.

Leader Profiles
Progress Updates

Voting Rights Battle: Partisan Conflict or Attack on Democracy?

2021-09-23T15:28:00-05:00July 19th, 2021|

The battle being waged over voting rights in state legislatures and the US Congress has been too easily mischaracterized as a partisan fight. Texas Democrats walked out to avoid a floor vote and bring attention to a state-by-state attack on our democracy.

Go to Top