Women serve as governors in only nine states (3 Republicans and 6 Democrats), making it one of the most underrepresented positions. Only 45 women have ever served as governor of a state, and 19 states have never had a woman governor. Ninety-three of the 310 elected statewide executive positions (30%) are currently filled by women.
Only three women of color have ever served as governor of a state, including Susana Martinez (R-NM) who served from 2011-2019, Nikki Haley (R-SC) who served from 2011-2017, and Michelle Lujan Grisham (D-NM) who has currently served since 2019. Only 5.8% of all elected statewide executive offices are filled by women of color.
Ranked choice voting would help to represent states more accurately and to dismantle the overwhelming incumbent advantage that puts women on an unequal playing field.
Sources Consulted: Center for American Women and Politics, Rutgers University
Some states have incorporated multi-member districts into their state legislatures, and RepresentWomen believes every state should move in this direction. When districts are represented by more that one person, constituents are more likely to have representation for their divergent views, and elected officials are more likely to come from diverse backgrounds and have diverse views, better reflecting the American people. This is particularly true when ranked choice voting is combined with multi-winner districts.
Every year, RepresentWomen grades and ranks all 50 states for gender parity at the local, state and national levels. To see how each state ranked view the map below: