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Lost Votes in Vermont State Senate Elections

by Terry Bouricius // Published September 1, 2001

 

The partisan makeup of the Vermont legislature is not in line with the partisan vote for state officers. Democrats are under-represented in both the House and Senate.

An analysis of withheld votes in the State Senate races in 2000, 1998, and 1996 reveals that the primary cause of this disproportionality is the tendency of Democratic voters to bullet vote, giving up some of their votes, and possibly splitting their ticket, at a far higher rate than Republican voters.  We calculate that partial franchise bullet voting on average results in Vermont voters withholding over 14% of the votes they are entitled to cast in State Senate races.