More Proof Academia Is Useless: Harvard Study on 'Electoral Integrity' Ranks N. Carolina Alongside Iran

We'll give you two guesses why it reached that conclusion.

As if we needed further proof that the sole purpose of colleges and universities -- in particular the Ivy Leagues -- is now to serve as indoctrination vehicles: in conjunction with the University of Sydney, Harvard University released the findings of its latest Electoral Integrity Project (EIP) and claims that North Carolina's electoral integrity is no different from Iran's or Venezuela's. 

EIP senior research fellow Andrew Reynolds claims that "North Carolina does so poorly on the measures of legal framework and voter registration, that on those indicators we rank alongside Iran and Venezuela."

"When we evolved the project I could never imagine that as we enter 2017, my state, North Carolina, would perform so badly on this, and other, measures that we are no longer considered to be a fully functioning democracy," he wrote in an article for the Raleigh News & Observer. CNSNews provides additional details from EIP: 

“North Carolina’s overall electoral integrity score of 58/100 for the 2016 election places us alongside authoritarian states and pseudo-democracies like Cuba, Indonesia and Sierra Leone,” Reynolds stated.

The latest EIP ranking following November’s presidential election placed Vermont in the top spot for electoral integrity, according to a survey of “726 election experts” who used “49 core items on electoral integrity” – including electoral laws and voting registration procedures – to rank the states and the District of Columbia.

Of course Bernie Sander's home state would rank right at the top. States where Republicans have a "huge legislative majority" means that state government "can no longer be classified as a full democracy," according to Reynolds, who seems not think the same rule applies for Democrat-controlled states. 

Of course the real reason Reynolds finds fault with North Carolina is obvious. It's all about the HB2 public restroom law that "limits citizens’ rights on the basis of their born identities."

“Targeted attempts to reduce African-American and Latino access to the vote and pernicious laws to constrain the ability of women to act as autonomous citizens” were also cited by Reynolds as reasons for North Carolina’s low ranking on the EIP.

The professor also took aim at the Republican-led legislature’s attempt to limit the power of incoming Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper, who took office on Sunday, calling it “a direct attack upon the separation of powers that defines American democracy.

Thankfully, Columbia University statistics and political science Professor Andrew Gelman thinks Reynolds' claims are bogus self-promotion and, quite frankly, absurd. He said Reynold's findings are "an unstable combination of political ideology, academic self-promotion, credulous journalism, and plain old incompetence":

Gelman pointed to the 2014 EIP, which “gave North Korea a rating of 65.3 out of 100 and Cuba a rating of 65.6. Both these numbers are higher than at least 27 of the 50 U.S. states in 2016, according to the savants at the Electoral Integrity Project,” he noted. “Political science, indeed.”

"The poor saps in Bulgaria and Romania are ranked #90 and #92, respectively," Gelman said. "Clearly what they need is a dose of Kim Jong-il.”

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