Tuesday, December 6, 2022

Ross Sherman, RepresentUs Media Relations Manager, 207-749-2660,


WASHINGTONMoore v. Harper is one of the most significant elections cases the Supreme Court will hear in years, and the stakes for every state and every voter in America are enormous. According to a new RepresentUs analysis released Tuesday, the outcome of Moore v. Harper could endanger hundreds of state election rules that Americans of all political stripes depend on and fought hard to pass. 

At its core, Moore v. Harper is about checks and balances. If the justices embrace the fringe Independent State Legislature Theory (ISL), only the U.S. Congress or state legislatures would have the power to make rules about federal elections. Not state constitutions, state courts, governors, election administrators or voters. 

RepresentUs’ report, States of chaos, identifies more than 200 constitutional provisions and at least 20 voter-passed laws at risk, including absentee voting, voter ID requirements, and Ranked Choice Voting. Using the interactive map that accompanies the report, the public can click on their state and see which election rules could be on the chopping block.

“The idea behind Moore is simply bananas. There’s a reason America has a nearly 250-year history of rejecting fringe ideas that give politicians absolute power,” said RepresentUs CEO Joshua Graham Lynn. “Giving state lawmakers unchecked power over election rules is like giving a toddler unfettered access to the cookie jar. We already know they’re going to abuse their power – and the American people will end up paying for it.”

In States of chaos, RepresentUs takes a state-by-state look at two categories: state constitutions and voter-passed laws. The Moore ruling threatens more than 200 bedrock constitutional protections, including the right to a secret ballot, the requirement that elections use ballots, and qualifications for voter registration.

Crucially for the anti-corruption movement, Moore also threatens at least 20 laws that the voters fought hard to pass by ballot initiative, including Ranked Choice Voting in Maine and Alaska, and independent redistricting commissions in Michigan and Colorado. With Congress gridlocked, the ballot initiative process has been a critical tool for voters to improve elections and representation. Eliminating that avenue for change would make reform more difficult.

“The ruling in Moore could disrupt how every voter in America casts their ballot. Any state constitutional provision, state court judgment, or ballot measure relating to those elections could be at risk,” said RepresentUs Policy Director and report co-author David O’Brien. “Letting state legislatures ignore checks and balances is antithetical to our constitutional system and a recipe for electoral chaos.”

Moore v. Harper is the culmination of politicians’ ongoing national legislative and legal effort to take away voters’ voice in government. RepresentUs outlined earlier this year how politicians in 11 states have introduced more than 60 bills to make passing ballot initiatives harder. 

The justices will hear oral arguments in the Moore v. Harper case on Wednesday morning. Before and during the hearing, RepresentUs will rally with anti-corruption allies and supporters outside the Supreme Court and call on the justices to reject giving politicians unchecked power.


RepresentUs is America’s leading nonpartisan organization fighting to protect and strengthen democracy. We unite unlikely allies from across the political spectrum who put country over party to pass pro-democracy laws, fight corruption, and defeat authoritarian threats. We have won more than 170 victories in cities and states across America since our founding 10 years ago. Each win is one step closer to our vision of making America the world’s strongest democracy.

RepresentUs is America’s leading anti-corruption organization working city-by-city, state-by-state to fix our broken political system.