A total of 122 Virginia legislators sought re-election Tuesday. Not a one was defeated. The Virginia Public Access Project said it is the first such clean sweep for incumbents since it started tracking Virginia’s legislative elections in 1995. “In modern times, it is apparently unprecedented,” added Larry Sabato, a veteran political analyst at the University of Virginia. Analysts cited several factors in the incumbents’ overwhelming dominance, but one topped the list — carefully drawn district boundaries. The result boils down to three words — “gerrymandering, gerrymandering, gerrymandering,” said Stephen J. Farnsworth of the University of Mary Washington.
Turnout on Tuesday was just over 26 percent statewide, according to unofficial voter tallies from the State Board of Elections.
“The turnout is low in these off-off year elections because most people don’t have a contest to consider,” Farnsworth said. “Without genuine competition, it’s hard to blame voters for not showing up.”