Recent advances in fabricating controlled-morphology vertically aligned carbon nanotube (VA-CNTs) with ultrahigh volume fraction create unique opportunities for markedly improving the electromechanical performance of ionic polymer conductor network composite actuators (IPCNCs). Actuator experiments show that the continuous paths through inter-VA-CNT channels and low electrical conduction resistance due to the continuous CNTs in the composite electrodes of the IPCNC lead to fast ion transport and actuation speed (>10% strain/second). One critical issue in developing advanced actuator materials is how to suppress or eliminate unwanted strains generated under electric stimulation, which reduce the actuation efficiency and also the actuation strains. We observe that the VA-CNTs in the composite electrodes yields non-isotropic elastic modulus that suppresses the unwanted strain and markedly enhances the actuation strain (>8% strain under 4 volts). A transmission line model has been developed to understand the electrical properties of the actuator device.