State of My Democracy

Vote Run Lead / 2022 / Gender Equality, Politics & Government

The main view of the


Graphicacy helps Vote Run Lead reveal the vast underrepresentation of women in state legislatures. This exploratory visualization tool allows the user to see gaps in representation for every state, learn about issues of importance, and take action.

Background & Challenge

Across the country, the percentage of women holding state legislative seats is far less than their percentage of the state population. Take South Carolina, where women make up only 10.9% of state senators yet 52% of the population. Vote Run Lead, an organization that inspires more women to run for office, is calling attention to the disparities.

Vote Run Lead worked with Graphicacy to build the State of My Democracy data explorer — released in time for the 2022 midterm elections. It’s a robust tool that allows users to easily explore women’s representation in state legislatures, learn about issues of importance to them, and take action.

Opportunity & Solution

The State of My Democracy explorer offers options for national and state views. In both views, users can see data for different racial and ethnic identity groups as well as for overall women of color. One of the demographic groups included is men, which illustrates the staggering contrast in representation. When there’s a major gap in representation, a preview card appears that users can share on Twitter with a single click.

On the National view, Graphicacy built in a “Tour This Page” feature, which sequentially leads users through each design element on the page. It calls out opportunities to sort the chart data by Representation, Size of Gap, or Abortion Access. Users can also view the data in a tile map format.

The state view, meanwhile, gives users a dedicated report card page for every state. Users see each state chamber’s representation gap for the various demographic groups along with helpful information such as state legislators’ salaries, current party control, and Vote Run Lead alumni. To promote VRL’s unique initiatives and encourage Women and Women of Color to run for the state legislature, Graphicacy devised a prominent Run for Office button that directly links to VRL’s Run51. It serves as a call to action for women to sign up to run for office or nominate a co-worker or friend, reaffirming the tools’ dual purpose for education and candidate recruitment.

A collection of views designed for the

“I just appreciate this tool so much because it highlights how much work we have to do, and we know that our democracy works best when we actually have a representative democracy.”

Faith Winter, Colorado State Senator

Interested in working on a project like this?