The Limited Government Index (LGI) utilizes the voting records of elected officials to showcase exactly what they view as the proper role, scope and duty of government. Unlike the vast majority of scorecards that are based on a particular political party or philosophy (which tend to evolve overtime), the LGI provides a non-partisan measurement that is based on the limited government principles of the U.S. Constitution.

ILA’s analysts are trained to review each policy through a constitutional and limited government lens – regardless of how the issue may fall along political lines. The votes selected and scored are designed to serve as clear reflectors of how a lawmaker views the role of government, and are free of any conflicting provisions which may cloud the reasoning behind a lawmaker’s vote. Furthermore, just as the Constitution does not specifically address social and cultural issues, such as abortion, marriage, or gender, these issues are not included within the underlying LGI ratings. However, the Limited Government Index Scorecard Platform (LGISP) does provide its allied organizations with the research and ability to include social and cultural issues within their own scorecards if they wish to include them.
All elected officials are graded on a “0” to “100” percentage scale which showcases how they view the role of government.

*A score of “0%” represents an elected official who believes government should have a large role in society and the lives of individuals. This includes high levels of government involvement in the private sector, especially in relation to regulation, taxation and market steering and oversight. The duties and services government provides are not just limited to core and essential duties but also include significant involvement in the everyday lives of individuals and businesses.

​**A score of “100%” represents an elected official who believes government should be limited in its size and scope and only perform a small set of duties aligned with the U.S. Constitution. These duties largely surround protecting property rights, maintaining a strong national defense, upholding the rule of law and ensuring equal application, fostering a free market place and maintaining essential services such as K-12 education, core infrastructure, emergency management, etc.

LGI Policy Categorization System

The ILA research team categorizes the hundreds of issues it evaluates into 10 main policy categories. As a result, individuals not only have an overall LGI rating they can utilize to evaluate their lawmakers, but also see how their lawmakers perform across each specific policy field.