December 13, 2010- Mayor Bloomberg today released a report showing that nonpartisan reforms to the redistricting process can increase the competitiveness of legislative elections at the state and federal level. In the most recent elections, the report found that across the country, 49 percent of candidates elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, and 57 percent of candidates elected to state legislatures won their races with margins of victory greater than 30 points, or faced no opposition at all.
Download a PDF of the report here.
States with nonpartisan redistricting had races that were, on average, 14 percent closer for the state legislature and 24% closer for congress, and candidates in state legislative districts drawn through a nonpartisan process were 20 percent less likely to run unopposed. Mayor Bloomberg joined former Mayor Ed Koch in urging the New York State Legislature to create an independent commission to re-draw state legislative and congressional district lines in advance of the 2012 elections.
“The current system for drawing districts protects incumbents, promotes ideological extremism, and reduces voter choice,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “Gerrymandering is part of the reason why compromise and bi-partisanship are so rare these days. Voters in California and Florida overwhelmingly passed redistricting reforms in recent elections, and there’s no reason why, working with Ed Koch and our state legislative leaders, we can’t do the same here. It would be one of the best things to happen to Albany since the building of the Erie Canal.”