Compare seats awarded versus votes received in contested Utah legislative elections — which currently use the first-past-the-post, single-member district method — over the past two decades. Is one party over-represented? Is one party under-represented? Decide for yourself.

2010HouseContestedFigure1

2010SenateContestedFigure2

Another way to measure how competitive an electoral system is to look at the percentage of contested races and voter turnout. Potential participants (both candidates and voters) who perceive an unfair contest are discouraged from participating. As a result, the number of both contested races and voters casting a ballot decline.

2010HousePieChartUncontested

And see the “Voter Turnout” chart (PDF file) accompanying the article titled “Utah voter turnout: A state of apathy” in the October 23, 2010 edition of the Deseret News.

Using the single transferable vote method to populate multi-member districts is a competitive and representative way to create a closer fit between voter preferences and electoral outcomes.

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