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Elections Are Rigged

Filed under: State Politics


Which is why most incumbents won again

As usual incumbent politicians across New York State in the Senate and Assembly won re-election. The fact is that incumbents almost always win because running for public office is a rigged game. More state legislators have left office due to criminal charges over the past few years than due to losing an election.

95% of Incumbents Were Re-elected

The New York State Legislature consists of 63 Senators and 150 Assembly Members for a total of 213 districts. Twenty three seats in the State Legislature this election did not have an incumbent due to retirement, resignation to serve in another position, or resignation due to criminal conviction. Out of 190 incumbent legislators seeking re-election only nine lost. In other words 95 percent of incumbent state legislators were re-elected. It is easy to win an election when you do not have an opponent. Seventy three legislators or 39 percent of all incumbents did not have any opponent.

The 61 percent of incumbents that did have an opponent typically won big as very few races were even close. Out of the 190 incumbents seeking re-election only 15 had a race that was decided by a margin of 10 percent or less. In other words only 8 percent of incumbents had a race that was even competitive. Two democratic incumbent Senators did lose by a margin of more than 10 percent, which some attribute to the fact that the Republican Senate redistricting in 2012 made the districts more Republican. On average, incumbent legislators who won received 72 percent of the vote, which is victory by a landslide.

In Western New York, two out of five incumbent Senators did not have opponents. Seven out of eleven Assembly Members did not have an opponent. None of the races except for the Grisanti Senate seat were even close for any incumbent.

To learn more about how elections are rigged read the full article below which appears in the print edition of Artvoice as well.

  • rhmaccallum

    We don’t need to read more Mr. Wolf. Everybody knows the gerrymandering game and, like the weather, everyone bitches about it but nobody does anything about it.
    It would be easy as pie to utilize a dedicated computer program that takes into account the latest census figures, has bias for not unnecessarily dividing county and town lines and could draw sensible districts without ANY political interference or gamesmanship.
    Instead what we get are feel good ideas about some sort of “non-partisan” panel to do the job. But we know that a non-partisan panel is a myth and not possible. So we bitch and everything stays the same.
    Just once I’d like to see people like you Mr. Wolf and reporters across the State asking candidates flat out if they would support such a thing as computer generated districts fairly drawn. Just once I’d like to see the press make that the big issue.
    But no. Every election cycle we get articles like yours, post election, bitching about what we already know, not suggesting or pressing for a truly fair redistricting done the only way possible….by computer.
    So save your ink Mr. Wolf…or…get out in front of the ball next time around.