Civitas Action Ranking Methodology

How Civitas Action gets its legislator rankings.

The Methodology

The Civitas Action Conservative Effectiveness Ranking is modeled on a similar system of scoring Congressional votes. Civitas selects bills and amendments based on a commitment to conservative ideals that are derived from free-market economic policies, limited government, personal responsibility and civic engagement. Civitas analyzes each member's vote on important legislation, amendments and motions to decipher a member's ideological stance on issues.

House and Senate members are ranked on an effectiveness scale from zero to 100, with zero being least conservative and 100 being most conservative.

Why Our Rankings Are Important

The Civitas Conservative Effectiveness Ranking is the only rating system in North Carolina that allows the citizens of North Carolina to gauge how effective their state legislator is in relation to Conservative-Liberal issues.

Civitas tracks and reports on a wide variety of issues before the North Carolina General Assembly, ranging from taxes and spending to social issues. Accordingly, our rankings encompass three general categories: (1) economic and budget matters; (2) social and cultural issues, and (3) crime and justice topics. Civitas analyzes votes from each category to obtain a balanced, comprehensive picture of each individual member based upon recorded votes.

The purpose of the "ranking" is to inform the public, in as unbiased a method as possible, exactly where individual legislators stand on the ideological spectrum from liberal to conservative.

If a legislator did not request an excused absence or excused vote and did not cast a vote (marked "miss") it is counted the same as voting against ("0") the Conservative position.

If a legislator had an excused absence or excused vote ("E"), the missed vote is not counted against their total and reduces the number of eligible votes on which they are scored. For example, if a legislator had an excused absence from a vote, they would only be scored on 49 votes, not the full 50 in the scorecard.