We base 30% of a state’s Gender Parity Index score on its statewide elected executive officials, including governor. Offices are weighted comparatively based on their importance.
For the single-seat office of governor, we count the last three elections to give ourselves a clearer picture of whether a woman is likely to become governor in the state. If a state’s only statewide elected executive is governor (as is the case in Maine, New Hampshire, and Tennessee), then the last gubernatorial election is worth 15 points and the preceding two are worth 7.5 points each. If a state’s only elected executive other than the governor is the lieutenant governor (as is the case in Alaska, Hawaii, and New Jersey), then a woman winning the most recent gubernatorial election would be worth 12.5 points and the winners from the two preceding gubernatorial elections would be worth 6.25 points each. The remaining five points are divided between the three most recent elections for lieutenant governor – 2.5 points for the most recent election, and 1.25 each for the two preceding elections.
In states with three or more statewide elected executives, 10 points are awarded for electing a woman in the last gubernatorial election, and 5 points are awarded each for electing a woman in the two previous gubernatorial elections. The remaining 10 points are awarded based on the number of women holding non-gubernatorial elected executive positions (even if the person currently holding that office was appointed). Half a point is awarded for each elected superintendent of public instruction and commissioner if the office is single-seat, or to the popularly elected president of a commission if the commission includes multiple commissioners. Commissions with an appointed rather elected president or chair are excluded from the tally.
The remaining points are allocated for the offices of lieutenant governor, secretary of state, attorney general, treasurer, and auditor/comptroller. Points are weighted so that the first three offices are always worth twice as much as the last two. For example, if a state had each of the five positions listed above, but no elected commissioners, then a state would receive 2.5 points for a woman lieutenant governor and 1.25 points for a woman state treasurer.
See how many points your state received in our report, The State of Women's Representation 2014-15, for its elected executives here.