What if they held an election & nobody came to vote?

Bob Gibson of the Charlottesville Daily Progress points to the effect of redistricting on the races around the area.

What if they put a lot of elections on the Nov. 6 ballot and few candidates came?

Voter turnout, election coverage and incumbent worries would flag, suffer and diminish.

As of today, it appears that most General Assembly members around Charlottesville, like others elsewhere, will not be challenged for re-election.

This is the real problem with partisan redistricting: the lack of competitive races. The same folks who say that competition is good for business say -by their actions – that it’s bad for politics. I think that’s BS.

Presented with the opportunity, the Senate passed non-partisan redistricting but the House – well, let’s just say that “doing the right thing” didn’t occur to the members of the P&E committee.

This should be an issue in the fall campaign. As much as transportation effects us all, so does the ability to have a choice.

What if they held an election and nobody came to vote? The longer partisan redistricting goes on, the likelihood of that happening increases.

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4 thoughts on “What if they held an election & nobody came to vote?

  1. I’d be perfectly happy to give the redistricting process over to math, even if it had some strange or unfortunate results (e.g., splitting otherwise cohesive communities or diluting some bloc votes). So long as it’s left in the hands of the people who would rather use it as an unemployment insurance policy, We The People are screwed.


    Semi-related: this is why Howard Dean’s “50 state strategy” is so important, I think. Even when faced with a very favorable partisan district, the opposition party should *always* field a candidate. To fail to do so is to agree that everything is going swimmingly.

  2. Vivian, your posts make me think. Thank you.

    I don’t think I’m ever going to favor unelected panels drawing election districts. It’s easy to criticize the current system, but it’s even easier to imagine the hell if a bunch of appointees had the job.

    I’ve long thought the lack of candidates running has been a problem. I think campaigns lead to better govenrment.

    Here’s what I notice. Those unopposed races quickly become contested seats when an incumbant isn’t running.

    Term limits could accomplish a lot of what you mention in this post.

  3. MB – I understand what you’re saying about the “50 state strategy” but in reality, there are limited dollars available for candidates, even less so for candidates in non-competitive districts. But for the money, I would agree with fielding candidates everywhere.

    As for redistricting – the key has to be giving up incumbent protection as a tool. I think it makes sense to have districts that are compact and contiguous.

    Brian – term limits would go a long way in helping but it won’t solve the issue completely. If you have a 90% R-performing district, the battle will be between R candidates in the primary, and we all know how many folks turn out for a primary. If, instead, the district is only 55% R-performing, then a D candidate has a chance.

    Will this dilute some voting blocs, as MB alluded to? Absolutely. But is that a bad thing? Not if you believe that competition is a good thing.

  4. I did Kids Voting for a number of years. It was embarrassing to explain to elementary school children that they could vote, but that there was only one person running in a number of local races. They really felt cheated, since they had gone to the trouble of learning about the process. I think we should all feel cheated. Money notwithstanding, there should always be at least two names on the ballot.

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