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Methodology and Notes

General Notes

General Election Results: All election results provided in the 2010 edition of Dubious Democracy are those that have been verified and certified by Secretaries of State and Election Commissions in every state.

High/Low % Voter Turnout: Since 2002, the methodology for calculating voter turnout has changed. Previously, FairVote calculated voter turnout by using the percentage found from dividing the total votes cast by the total voting age population (VAP) in each Congressional district. We then contrasted the district with the highest voter turnout and the district with the lowest voter turnout. However, beginning with the 2002 release of Dubious Democracy, FairVote started measuring voter turnout using the statewide total voting eligible population (VEP), which is calculated by dividing the total votes cast by the total voting eligible population for a given state. The VEP is obtained by subtracting from the VAP all non-citizens, prisoners, ex-felons, overseas voters, and/or any other classes of people that may be restricted or prohibited from voting under a particular state's statutes and regulations. Since the VEP looks at the state aggregate and not individual districts, our data sets no longer distinguish between districts with the highest and lowest voter turnout. The VEP statistics were developed by Prof. Michael McDonald of George Mason University. For more information about VEP and voter turnout, please see his work.

Uncontested Elections: Candidates in uncontested U.S. House races in Florida (district 21) and Oklahoma (district 4) were not listed on the ballot, so voters were not able to cast votes for them. A vote total of 1 was used to signify the incumbent for such uncontested races.

State-specific Notes

Connecticut: Connecticut allows fusion voting, meaning that candidates can represent more than one party (for instance, John B. Larson, running in District 1 represented both the Democratic Party and the Working Families Party). In this report, all votes for a candidate representing a major party (including those cast in the name of a third party) are counted towards that major party's vote total.

New York: New York allows fusion voting, meaning that candidates can represent more than one party (for instance, John B. Gomez, running in District 2 represented both the Republican Party and the Conservative Party). In this report, all votes for a candidate representing a major party (including those cast in the name of a third party) are counted towards that major party's vote total.

Washington: Washington has a primary system in which the top two vote-getters, regardless of party, advance to the general election. This can lead to situations in which two candidates from the same party are running against each other in the general election (although this did not happen in any Congressional races in 2010). Other states moving to this system in 2012 will be Louisiana and California.