Forty-one state House districts and 13 state Senate districts will have only one legislator on the ballot.
These uncontested elections are a direct result of gerrymandering, according to Common Cause North Carolina, a grass-roots organization that advocates for government accountability.
Bob Phillips, the organization’s executive director, said the majority party draws districts to maintain an advantage in the legislature.
“The party in power wins so decisively that the opposing party is marginalized to irrelevancy,” Phillips said. “And yet that is not reflecting where North Carolina truly is — a very evenly politically divided state that is very competitive.”
Phillips said after primaries an additional 18 candidates will have no further competition, meaning 72 of 170 seats in the N.C. General Assembly will be uncontested in the general election.
“That’s not healthy for democracy,” he said. “It basically disenfranchises the people who live in all those districts in that they don’t have a vote that matters in these legislative races.”
Rep. Grier Martin, D-Wake, and Rep. Chuck McGrady, R-Henderson, are two co-sponsors of a bill in the N.C. House of Representatives to establish a nonpartisan redistricting commission.
Candidates who run unopposed in partisan districts are less likely to be effective legislators as they do not have to build a bipartisan coalition of voters, Martin said.