In the ideal view of American government, voters choose the leaders who will guide their states and country. But some say the way U.S. House and state legislative districts are drawn has turned that idea on its head: Every 10 years, the party in power picks which voters incumbents will face in the next election. Results of this year’s general election have once again fueled concerns about North Carolina’s redistricting process, one in which the state General Assembly draws lines for U.S. House and legislative districts once a decade. Exactly half of all 120 state Houses races in November featured only one candidate. In the Senate, 19 of 50 races had just the one candidate. Only 30-40 of the remaining seats in the two chambers were truly “in play,” meaning either candidate had a realistic chance of winning, according to state political experts.
There were at least two candidates on the ballot for all but one of the state’s 13 U.S. House seats, but the makeup of the districts meant most contests were little more than formalities.
The closest race was decided by a margin of 57.3 percent to 42.7 percent and there were only three races in which the loser’s share of the vote topped 40 percent.
Critics attribute the sparse number of choices for voters to the fact that districts were drawn to so heavily favor one party or another that other candidates don’t bother to run.
Full Article: Redrawn political lines create sparse choice for voters.