1 in 6 Utah Legislature Candidates Run Unopposed in Safe Seats

Posted by Austin Plier on March 22, 2016

The Salt Lake Tribune writes that one out of every six Utah legislative candidates is running unopposed and can already declare victory, nearly eight months in advance of the elections on November 8th, 2016. The culprit? Districting. When it's easy to draw safe seats--which is inevitably the case with single-winner districts--those in charge of drawing the districts will always do so. “Honestly, it would be politically irrational not to do it,” said Utah State University political science professor Michael Lyons. On average, more than one in three state legislator races are uncontested across the country every 2 years. Multi-winner districts using fair representation voting would make the redistricting process largely irrelevant, which is the only way to keep it from being manipulated.

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