NYC
11/16/2010 05:19 pm ET Updated May 25, 2011

New York Ranked LAST In Voter Turnout: Report

Looks like all the wild, eccentric characters in the recent New York election really had an effect on voter turnout -- for the worst.

City Room is reporting that New York state was ranked last in voter turnout throughout the entire country in the most recent election.

On the basis of unofficial returns, about 40 percent of registered New Yorkers voted on Nov. 2. But an analysis by the United States Election Project at George Mason University found that only 32.1 percent of the 13.4 million who were eligible -- citizens 18 and older who are not convicted felons -- actually voted.

What was unique about New York this year to make us dead last, just behind Texas and Utah? "Mostly, I suspect that the uncompetitive elections is the main cause," Michael P. McDonald, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and a professor at George Mason, told the Times.

Also at play were the nasty, at times downright belligerent tone of the campaigns (remember that Paladino character? with the bat?) which seemed to turn many voters away.

Larry J. Sabato, director of the University of Virginia's Center for Politics, told the Times:

"Sometimes exceptional negativism can turn an electorate against voting, the 'plague on both your houses' effect. Often the effect seems most pronounced when voters already think they know the inevitable outcome of the election -- which they clearly did in this case."