Methodology and Notes

General Results: All election results provided in the 2007 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. In the past, 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.

Texas Runoffs: In 2006, the Texas Supreme Court ruled that the state legislature violated the Voting Rights Act in assigning the predominately Latino city of Laredo to Congressional district 23. In order to deal with the dilemma, a federal panel was ordered to adjust the lines of districts 15, 21, 23, and 28 and hold open primaries in each of the newly assigned districts on the day of the 2006 general election. If no candidate received a minimum of 50% of the vote, the district would proceed to runoff elections. The only district that had to hold a runoff was district 23, where incumbent Henry Bonilla lost to Ciro Rodriguez. In all of the open primaries that did not proceed to runoffs, FairVote has reported the total votes for each party rather than the total votes for individual candidates in order to provide the most accurate picture of district partisanship. In district 23, data totals were obtained only from the runoff election between Ciro Rodriguez and Henry Bonilla.