What are Scorecards?  Do we care?  I'm busy.  I don't have time to go through these Scorecards!

Scorecards are one of the best way to understand how our lawmakers are doing for we the people.  Americans for Prosperity creates Scorecards for local City Councils and to our knowledge, no other organization scores that level of government.  We have had a few disagreements with them on how they have scored some city council members.  They have admitted to being sloppy about how they have handled the actual votes and actions among these councils.  If that happens in your city council - if you see the scores given to council members and start to scratch your head because you think they are way off, have your council member contact AFP for a correction!  We tend to take those scores with a huge grain of salt the last couple of years.

In Arizona, the Arizona Republic Assembly scores the State Legislature on a number of criteria.  Legislators are scored on bills they sponsor as Primary sponsors or Co-Sponsors, whether they show up to vote, how they vote, etc.  They use a very comprehensive method that was formerly known as the Pachyderm Scorecard but now is the AzRA Scorecard.  While there are times when anyone paying close attention could disagree with a particular score - and our lawmakers WILL disagree with a low score - for the most part, the Scorecard methodology uses a number of 'fail/safe' actions to assure accuracy.

Ballotpedia adds AzRA Scorecards to their website:

On Ballotpedia, we define scorecards as records produced by newspapers, interest groups, think tanks, partisan groups, 501(c)(3)s and 501(c)(4)s that provide relative rankings and cover all state or federal lawmakers. Some scorecards are created with a focus on specific issues, while others are broad in scope.

Because scorecards can be specific to particular issues or general to a state’s legislative term, each report should be considered on its own merits. The entities that publish these reports may use different methodologies and definitions for the terms used.

Ballotpedia is in the process of developing an encyclopedic list of published scorecards. Some states have a limited number of available scorecards or scorecards produced only by select groups. It is Ballotpedia’s goal to incorporate all available scorecards regardless of ideology or number. 

We are also in the process of providing in-depth description about the reports and the grading processes. However, for those scorecards that do not yet feature such descriptions, we offer a tutorial so you can help us expand these areas. See our writing guidelines to contribute. 

Ballotpedia

On that site, scroll to the end of the 2015 Scorecard section to see how Arizona Legislators scored.  The Legislation is still in session and the Scorecard is subject to change until the Legislature goes Sine die.

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The AzRA Scorecard is the only Scorecard that is created "real time" with the legislators being advised in advance of the bill weights.  In addition, the AzRA Scorecard is the only one that rates over 200 bills every year (230 this year).  If you go to the AzRA website -www.AzRA2016.com - you will be able to see the 2016 Scorecard as of March 18 votes.  The in-depth description of the grading methodology is also listed on the website.

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