ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10)- The collective voice of New York voters is not being heard as much as it is in 43 other states. The findings were part of a report published by FairVote.
New York ranked 44 in the country for “Voter Voice,” according to the report which took five metrics into account for the ranking. FairVote said the report, which used Congressional voting statistics, indicates a lack of competition which ultimately erodes democratic values.
“For three decades now, we’ve shown that elections for the ‘people’s house’ are deeply flawed,” said President and CEO of FairVote, Rob Richie. “In our dubious democracy, more voters than ever are trapped in one-party districts where their voices aren’t heard, and their votes don’t make a difference.”
By calculating the margin of victory, landslide victories, voter turnout, voter consensus, and partisan skew from the latest U.S. House of Representatives elections, FairVote scored states (A-F) for voter’s voice. New York received an F, the lowest grade, along with nine other states: Alabama, Arkansas, Hawaii, Indiana, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma, West Virginia, and Tennessee.
Top and bottom 10 states for voter’s voice
|Top 10 (A grade)||Bottom 10 (F grade)|
|1. Minnesota||50. Hawaii|
|2. Wisconsin||49. Tennessee|
|3. Montana||48. Oklahoma|
|4. Maine||47. Arkansas|
|5. Colorado||46. West Virginia|
|6. Michigan||45. Louisiana|
|7. Iowa||44. New York|
|8. New Hampshire||43. Alabama|
|9. Oregon||42. Mississippi|
|10. Washington||41. Indiana|
New York ranked the most poorly for voter turnout and voter consensus, last out of all 50 states. Voter turnout was 44.93%, while voter consensus was 26.23%. See how New York scored in all five metrics below:
|Metric||Description||National rank||N.Y. percentage/rank out of 50|
|Margin of victory||The average difference between the winner’s percentage of the vote and the second-place candidate’s percentage of the vote.||28%||35.13% (32)|
|Landslide victories||The percentage of races won by a margin of victory of 20 percentage points or greater. Uncontested races are considered landslides.||65%||66.67% (25)|
|Voter turnout||The percentage of the voting-age population who voted in a state’s U.S. House elections.||63%||44.93% (50)|
|Voter consensus||The percentage of the voting-age population in a state who voted for the winning candidates in U.S. House elections.||36%||26.23% (50)|
|Partisan skew||The average by which one party wins a greater percentage of seats than votes and the other party wins a smaller percentage of seats than votes.||–||11.39% (14)|
FairVote said states can work on their ranking because they are responsible for drawing their own congressional maps and voter eligibility requirements. However, New York’s Independent Redistricting Commission, a bi-partisan group of individuals tasked with redrawing voting district maps failed to agree on a single map earlier in 2021, with democrats and republican members submitting two different maps.
The New York Legislature then came up with its own state Assembly and Senate maps as well as Congressional maps. The map was passed by the Assembly and Senate, only to be rejected by a state supreme court judge in Steuben County, after the constitutionality of the maps was challenged in a lawsuit brought by 14 Steuben County residents. The legislature was ordered to make new maps.
At that time, Gov. Kathy Hochul and Attorney General Letitia James said they planned to appeal the judge’s decision. Last week an appellate court judge said the old maps would remain in play throughout the appeal process.