Sunday, August 28, 2005

Research Results

I am currently in the draft mode for an article on the gerrymandering of districts. Think it isn't a problem in Indiana?

In 2004, there were 100 races for State Representative, as all 100 seats are contested each year. I use the word "contested" with some hesitation. 32 seats were not contested at all. Completely unchallenged. Free pass for the incumbent.

Of the remaining 69, 9 were challenged only by the Libertarian candidate. One more was contested by a write-in candidate, who received five (5) votes.

In fact, only 13 of the 100 were in any way competitive. In this sense, I define competitive as a non-blowout, where the second-place finisher was at least within 10% of the victor.

On over to the State Senate in 2004, 25 races were "contested". Here 9 seats were completely unchallenged, with the incumbent getting a free pass. 5 seats were contested only by a Libertarian candidate.

Only one race, for District 5, was competitive. Get that. Only one. 24 of the 25 races were uncompetitive, meaning, blowouts.

If you are wondering why your elected officials seem a bit aloof to your concerns, here you go. Both sides know they are going to be re-elected in certain districts because people are not willing to vote against their natural inclinations no matter how bone-headed the elected official is with policy; and, the major party opposition will not field a serious candidate with serious financial backing to honestly challenge. The reason these two statements are so is gerrymandering: The practice of creating electoral districts in such a way that satisfies electoral rules for population distribution, while creating outcome certainties so that the major political parties can largely conserve their resources.

Not exactly representative government at its finest.

This is one of two issues that will make up my main campaign platform.

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