State legislature websites, compared

Having recently spent some time with OpenStates data, I noticed the state government websites varied … a lot. Wanting to quantify this variation, I used the SSL Labs scanner, Lighthouse, and some Ruby scripts to compare the 50 states, DC and Puerto Rico’s legislature’s websites.

The table below covers usability (is the hostname flexible), security (does it allow or require HTTPS), server configuration (SSL Labs) and performance (Google Lighthouse).

Lighthouse
state URL www .gov HTTPS Support HTTP Upgrade SSL Labs Perf AX Best Practices SEO
AKakleg.gov ✔️C56747369
ALlegislature.state.al.us 🚫 root15766075
ARarkleg.state.ar.us 🚫 root✔️B65948784
AZazleg.gov ✔️✔️A43907382
CAassembly.ca.gov ✔️✔️B31926080
CAsenate.ca.gov ✔️✔️B30688091
COleg.colorado.gov ✔️A29938090
CTcga.ct.gov ✔️✔️B22896792
DCdccouncil.us ✔️A64817377
DElegis.delaware.gov ✔️✔️B14856776
FLflsenate.gov ✔️✔️B44888791
FLmyfloridahouse.gov ✔️✔️B69827391
GAlegis.ga.gov 🚫 root✔️✔️A231008092
HIcapitol.hawaii.gov ✔️✔️B85567350
IAlegis.iowa.gov 🚫 root✔️✔️A+94718078
IDlegislature.idaho.gov ✔️✔️B27877369
ILilga.gov ✔️✔️C87615350
INiga.in.gov ✔️B96776775
KSkslegislature.org72786067
KYlegislature.ky.gov 🚫 www✔️✔️B38898068
LAhouse.louisiana.gov ✔️✔️B48738074
LAsenate.la.gov ✔️✔️B41858091
MAmalegislature.gov ✔️✔️F301007371
MDmgaleg.maryland.gov ✔️B60926088
MDmsa.maryland.gov ✔️✔️F41827377
MElegislature.maine.gov ✔️A76857389
MIhouse.mi.gov ✔️✔️B98946762
MIsenate.michigan.gov ✔️✔️C86978791
MNhouse.leg.state.mn.us 🚫 root✔️B32988090
MNsenate.mn ✔️A+91008779
MOhouse.mo.gov ✔️✔️B94619354
MOsenate.mo.gov ✔️✔️B10937384
MSlegislature.ms.gov ✔️❌❌B34658082
MTleg.mt.gov ✔️✔️B37916777
NCncleg.gov ✔️✔️B40936788
NDlegis.nd.gov ✔️✔️B651007364
NEnebraskalegislature.gov ✔️✔️B80998097
NHgencourt.state.nh.us F0846075
NJnjleg.state.nj.us ✔️A+89674775
NMnmlegis.gov ✔️✔️B87807383
NVleg.state.nv.us ✔️B581006791
NYnyassembly.gov ✔️✔️B57988799
NYnysenate.gov ✔️✔️A39806785
OHohiohouse.gov ✔️✔️B27987369
OHohiosenate.gov ✔️✔️B34616075
OKoksenate.gov ✔️✔️A7767383
OKokhouse.gov ✔️✔️B43907388
ORoregonlegislature.gov ✔️✔️B29977374
PAlegis.state.pa.us ✔️B82638074
PRtucamarapr.org14846067
PRsenado.pr.gov ✔️✔️B12736769
RIrilegislature.gov ✔️F58694742
SCscstatehouse.gov ✔️✔️B89827379
SDsdlegislature.gov ✔️✔️A69893100
TNcapitol.tn.gov ✔️✔️B641006782
TXhouse.texas.gov ✔️✔️B68976769
TXsenate.texas.gov ✔️✔️B52807377
UTle.utah.gov ✔️✔️A71988085
VAvirginiageneralassembly.gov 🚫 www✔️✔️B46876769
VTlegislature.vermont.gov 🚫 www✔️✔️B90947387
WAleg.wa.gov ✔️✔️B34897380
WIlegis.wisconsin.gov ✔️✔️B80958770
WVwvlegislature.gov ✔️B86847390
WYwyoleg.gov ✔️✔️B4928083

Notes

  • Three sites don’t support HTTPS: Alabama, Kansas and Puerto Rico’s lower house. Mississippi downgrades HTTPS request to HTTP.
  • Of the sites supporting HTTPS, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Hampshire and Rhode Island get an “F” grade. (Get it together, northeast!)
  • New York’s old state assembly site (assembly.state.ny.us) still works and doesn’t redirect you to nyassembly.gov.
  • The Michigan House uses house.mi.gov; house.michigan.gov redirects there (but doesn’t have a valid certificate).
  • The Michigan Senate uses the opposite: senate.michigan.gov. Going to senate.mi.gov redirects you there (and also lacks a valid certificate).
  • Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Iowa and Minnesota require you add a www prefix.
  • Kentucky, Virginia and Vermont don’t permit www prefixes.
  • The Minnesota state senate uses an .mn domain, which belongs to the country of Mongolia. Seems like a security risk.

Join the Conversation

1 Comment

  1. Utah & Iowa seem to be the best of the lot. Utah’s performance could be a bit better but it still better than most & Iowa just needs to fix that one issue with the root domain.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.