Here’s a congressional primary election year where if you need a scorecard to keep track of the candidates, you’d better make it a long one, and you’d also better read up on the candidates’ bios, because it’s likely many voters won’t know them.
It’s all the result of goofy district lines redrawn after federal judges ruled that two district were illegally gerrymandered so that black voters were packed into them. So Republicans in charge of the legislature redrew all the districts.
To facilitate the primaries (now set for June 7) and elections, given that the legal troubles over the district lines shortened the election season, legislators also added a one-time-only law that will eliminate runoffs, which means a candidate could win a primary without 40 percent of the vote.
That’s going to make the 13th District, just north of Mecklenburg, mighty interesting. There are five Democrats running for their party’s nomination, and 17 — 17 — Republicans running for the GOP nod. With 17 candidates in that race, it’s possible that someone could grab the nomination with ... well, with a small fraction, say 20 percent or less, of the vote. The Democrats also are likely to have a winner with less than 40 percent.
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This is fractured democracy, chaos being the product of skewing districts for political advantage.