Yes, Massachusetts is like that. It might as well be an honourary part of the South in terms of unopposed elections. Note the unopposed Republican districts are routinely won by Democratic candidates in statewide elections (also in the state house).While I can't make an official map before Massachusetts certifies its results next week, here's the state senate as per AP. There was, on average, 1.2 candidates per seat. This is very low. There were also all of five primaries that had multiple candidates, and that only brings the number of candidates per district up to 1.325; still very low.
View attachment 27781
Wyoming has (in the past) had a similar, even less competitive dynamic. There was a point at the end of the 2000's into the early 2010's where the state Republicans literally just didn't run candidates to ensure there was a functioning Minority in the state Senate. Seems to have gone by the wayside in recent years (with the net result that half the Democrats are gone).Yes, Massachusetts is like that. It might as well be an honourary part of the South in terms of unopposed elections. Note the unopposed Republican districts are routinely won by Democratic candidates in statewide elections (also in the state house).
Would be interesting to see what would happen if this constitution passed.The rejected constitution said:WE therefore the Council and Representatives of the people of the State of Massachusetts-Bay, in Convention assembled, by virtue of the power delegated to us, and acknowledging our dependence upon the all-wise Governor of the Universe for direction, do agree upon the following form of a constitution of government for this State, to be sent out to the people, that they may act thereon agreeably to the afore-recited resolve.
- THERE shall be convened, held and kept a General Court, upon the last Wednesday in the month of May every year, and at all other times as the said General Court shall order and appoint ; which general Court shall consist of a Senate and House of Representative to be elected as this Constitution hereafter directs.
- There shall be elected annually a Governor and Lieutenant Governor, who shall each have, by virtue of such election, a seat and voice in the Senate ; and the stile and title of the Governor shall be His Excellency, and the stile and title of the Lieutenant-Governor shall be His Honor.
- No person shall be considered as qualified to serve as Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Senator or Representative, unless qualified respectively at the time of their several elections as follows, viz The Governor and Lieutenant Governor shall have been inhabitants of this State five years, immediately preceeding the time of their respective elections ; the Governor shall be possessed, in his own right, of an estate of the value of one thousand pounds, whereof five hundred pounds value, at the least, shall be in real estate, within this State ; the Lieutenant Governor shall be possessed, in his own right, of an estate of the value of five hundred pounds, two hundred pounds thereof, at the least, to be in real estate, within this State : A Senator shall be possessed in his own right, of an estate to the value of four hundred pounds, two hundred pounds thereof, at the least, to be in real estate, lying in the district for which he shall be elected : A Representative shall be possessed, in his own right, of an estate to the value of two hundred pounds, one hundred pounds thereof, at the least, to be in real estate lying in the town for which he shall be elected. Senators and Representative shall have been inhabitants of districts and towns for which they shall be respectively elected, one full year immediately preceeding such election : provided that when two or more towns join in the choice of a Representative, they may choose an inhabitant of either of said towns, he being otherwise qualified as this article directs.
- The Judges of the Superior Court, Secretary, Treasurer-General, Commissary-General, and settled Ministers of the Gospel, while in office, also all military officers, while in the pay of this or of the United States, shall be considered as disqualified for holding a seat in the General Court ; and the Judges and Registers of Probate for holding a seat in the Senate.
- Every male inhabitant of any town in this State, being free, and twenty-one years of age, excepting Negroes, Indians and Molattoes, shall be intitled to vote for a Representative or Representatives, as the case may be, in the town where he is resident, provided he has paid taxes in said town (unless by law excused from taxes) and been resident therein one full year, immediately preceeding such voting, or that such town has been his known and usual place of abode for that time, or that he is considered as an inhabitant thereof ; and every such inhabitant qualified as above, and worth sixty pounds clear of all charges thereon, shall be intitled to put in his vote for Governor, Lieutenant-Governor and Senators ; and all such voting for Governor, Lieutenant-Governor, Senators or Representatives, shall be by ballot and not otherwise.
- Every incorporated town within the State shall be intitled to send one representative to the General Court ; any town having three hundred voters, may send two ; having five hundred and twenty voters, may send three ; having seven hundred and sixty, may send four, and so on ; making the increasing number necessary for another member, twenty more than the last immediately preceeding increasing number, ‘till the whole number of voters in any town are reckoned. And each town shall pay the expence of its own Representative or Representatives ; and the inhabitants of any two or more towns who do not incline to send a Representative for each town, may join in the choice of one, if they shall so agree.
- The Selectmen of each town shall sometime in the month of April annually, issue their warrant or warrants under their hands and seals, directed to some Constable or Constables within their towns respectively, requiring him or them to notify the inhabitants qualified to vote for a Representative, to assemble in some convenient place in such town, for the choice of some person or persons, as the case may be, to represent them in the General Court the ensuing year ; the time and place of meeting to be mentioned in the warrant or warrants for calling such meeting : And the Selectmen of each town respectively, or the major part of them, shall make return of the name or names of the person or persons elected by the major part of the voters present, and voting in such meeting, to represent said town in the General Court the ensuing year, into the Secretary’s office, on or before the last Wednesday of May, then next ensuing : And when two or more towns shall agree to join for such choice, the major part of the Selectmen of those towns, shall in the manner above directed, warn a meeting to be held in either of the said towns, as they shall judge most convenient, for that purpose, and shall make return as aforesaid, of the person chosen at such meeting.
- The number of Senators shall be twenty-eight : (exclusive of the Governor and Lieutenant-Governor) Their election shall be annual, and from certain districts into which the State shall be divided as follows, viz. The middle district to contain the counties of Suffolk, Essex and Middlesex, within which ten Senators shall be elected ; the southern district to contain the counties of Plymouth, Barnstable, Bristol, Dukes-County and Nantucket, within which six Senators shall be elected ; the western district to contain the counties of Hampshire, Worcester and Berkshire, within which eight Senators shall be elected ; the northern district to contain the counties of York and Cumberland, within which three shall be elected ; the eastern district to contain the county of Lincoln, within which one shall be elected : And as the numbers of inhabitants in the several districts may vary from time to time, the General Court shall in the way they shall judge best, sometime in the year one thousand seven hundred and ninety, and once in twenty years ever after, order the number of the inhabitants in the several districts to be taken, that the Senators may be apportioned to the numbers of inhabitants therein. And the General Court may at such new apportionment increase the number of Senators to be chosen as they may see fit, provided that the whole number shall never exceed thirty six exclusive of the Governor and Lieutenant Governor.
- The inhabitants of the several t owns in this State qualified as this Constitution directs, shall on the first Wednesday in the month of November annually, give in their votes in their respective towns, at a meeting which the Selectmen shall call for that purpose, for Senators for the year ensuing the last Wednesday in May then next. The votes shall be given in for the members of each district separately, according to the aforegoing apportionment, or such as shall be hereafter ordered ; and the Selectmen and Town-Clerk of each town, shall sort and count the votes, and by the third Wednesday in December then next, transmit to the Secretary’s office, a list certified by the Town-Clerk, of all the persons who had votes as Senators for each district at such meeting, and the number each person had, affixed to his name. The lists so sent in shall be examined by the General Court at their then next sitting, and a list for each district of those voted for, to the amount of double the number assigned such district, (if so many shall have votes) taking those who had the highest numbers, shall be made out and sent by the first of March, then next after, to the several towns in this State, as a nomination list, from which said towns shall, at their meetings for the choice of Governor in the month of May, vote for the Senators assigned the respective districts ; which votes shall be counted and sorted, and lists certified as before directed, made out and sent into the Secretary’s office, by ten o’clock in the forenoon of the last Wednesday in said May, and not afterwards ; which lists shall be examined by the House of Representatives for the first time of the election of Senators, and ever afterwards by the Senate and House of Representatives on said last Wednesday of May, or as soon after as may be ; and those persons in each district, equal to the number assigned such district, who have the greatest number of votes, shall be Senators for the ensuing year, unless it shall appear to the Senate that any member of members thereof were unduly elected, or not legally qualified ; of which the senate shall be the judges. And the senate when so constituted, shall continue in being ‘till another senate is chosen, and the members thereof gone through all the steps necessary to qualify them to enter on the the business assigned them by this Constitution.
- There shall forever hereafter, on the first Wednesday in the month of May annually, be held, in each town in this State, a meeting of the inhabitants of such towns respectively, to give or put in their votes for Governor, Lieutenant Governor and Senators ; which meeting the selectmen shall cause to be notified in the manner before directed, for the meeting for the choice of Representatives : and the town clerk shall return into the secretary’s office by ten o’clock in the morning of the last Wednesday of said May, and not afterwards, an attested list of all the persons who had votes for Governor and Lieutenant Governor respectively, certifying the number of votes each person so voted for had, which lists shall be, on said last Wednesday of May, or as soon after as may be, examined by the senate and House of Representative ; and the persons who, on such examination, shall appear to have the greatest number of votes for those offices respectively, provided it be a majority of the whole number, shall be by the two Houses declared Governor and Lieutenant Governor, and intitled to act as such the ensuing year ; and if no person shall have such majority for Governor or for Lieutenant-Governor, the senate and House of Representatives shall as soon as may be, after examining said lists, proceed by joint ballot to elect a Governor or Lieutenant-Governor, or both, as the case may require, confining themselves to one of those three who had the greatest number of votes collected in the several towns for the office to be filled.
- If any person chosen Governor, Lieutenant-Governor, senator, or Representative, whose qualifications shall be questioned by any one member of the senate or House of Representatives, within twenty four days after his appearing to enter upon the execution of his office, shall not make oath before a senator, the speaker of the house of representatives, or some justice of the peace, that he is qualified as required by this Constitution, and lodge a certificate thereof in the secretary’s office, within ten days after notice given him of such questioning by the secretary, whose duty it shall be to give such notice, his election shall be void ; and any person claiming privilege of voting for Governor, Lieutenant Governor, senators, or representatives, and whose qualifications shall be questioned in town meeting, shall, by the selectmen, be prevented from voting, unless he shall make oath that he is qualified as this Constitution requires ; said oath to be administered by a justice of the peace, or the town clerk, who is hereby impowered to administer the same when no justice is present.
- Whenever any person who may be chosen a member of the senate, shall decline the office to which he is elected, or shall resign his place, or die, or remove out of the state, or be any way disqualified, the House of Representatives may, if they see fit, by ballot, fill up any vacancy occasioned thereby, confining themselves in the choice to the nomination list for the district to which such member belonged, whose place is to be supplied, if a sufficient number is thereon for the purpose ; otherwise the choice may be made at large in said district.
- The General Court shall be the supreme legislative authority of this State, and shall accordingly have full power and authority to erect and constitute Judicatories and Courts of record, or other Courts, and from time to time to make and establish all manner of wholsome and reasonable order, laws, and statutes ; and also, for the necessary support and defence of this Government, they shall have full power and authority to levy proportionable and reasonable assessments, rates and taxes, and to do all and every thing they shall judge to be for the good and welfare of the state, and for the Government and ordering thereof ; provided nevertheless, they shall not have nay power to add to, alter, abolish, or infringe any part of this Constitution. And the enacting stile in making laws shall be “by the senate and House of Representatives in General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same.”
- The senate and House of Representatives shall be two separate and distinct bodies, each to appoint its own officers, and settle its own rules of proceeding ; and each shall have an equal right to originate or reject any bill, resolve or order, or to propose amendments in the same, excepting bills and resolves, levying and granting money or other property of the State, which shall originate in the House of Representatives only, and be concurred or non-concurred in whole by the senate.
- Not less than sixty members shall constitute or make a quorum of the House of Representatives ; and not less than nine shall make a quorum of the Senate.
- The Senate and House of Representatives shall have power to adjourn themselves respectively ; provided such adjournment shall not exceed two days at any one time.
- The Governor shall be President of the Senate. He shall be General and Commander in Chief of the militia, and Admiral of the navy of this State ; and impowered to embody the militia, and cause them to be marched to any part of the state, for the public safety, when he shall think necessary ; and in the recess of the General Court, to march the militia, by advice of the senate, out of the state, for the defence of this, or any other of the united states ; provided always that the Governor shall exercise the power given him by this Constitution, over the militia and navy of the state, according to the laws thereof, or the resolves of the General Court. He shall, with the advice of the senate, in the recess of the General Court, have power to prorogue the same from time to time, not exceeding forty days in any one recess of said Court ; and in the sitting of said Court, to adjourn or prorogue said Court to any time they shall desire, or to dissolve the same at their request, or to call said Court together sooner than the time to which it may be adjourned or prorogued, if the welfare of the state should require the same. He shall have power at his discretion to grant reprieves to condemned criminals for a term or terms of time, not exceeding six months. It shall be the duty of the Governor to inform the legislature at every session of the general court, of the condition of the state, and from time to time to recommend such matters to their consideration, as shall appear to him to concern its good government, welfare and prosperity.
- Whenever the person who may be chosen Governor shall decline the trust to which he is thereby elected, or shall resign, or die, or remove out of this state, or be otherwise disqualified, the Lieutenant Governor shall have the like power during the vacancy in the office of Governor, as the Governor is by this Constitution vested with : and in case of a vacancy in the office of Governor and Lieutenant Governor, the major part of the senate shall have authority to exercise all the powers of a Governor during such vacancy ; and in case the Governor and Lieutenant-Governor are both absent from the senate, the senior or first senator then present shall preside therein.
- All civil officers annually chosen with salaries annually granted for their services, shall be appointed by the General Court, by ballot, each branch to have a right to originate or negative the choice : All other Civil officers, and also all General, Field and staff officers, both of the militia and of the troops, which may be raised by and be in the pay of this state, shall be appointed by the Governor and senate : Captains and subalterns of troops raised by and in the pay of this state, to be also appointed by the Governor and senate.
- The Governor and Senate shall be a Court for the trial of all impeachments of any officers of this State, provided that if any impeachment shall be prosecuted against the Governor, Lieutenant Governor, or any one of the Senate ; in such case the person impeached shall not continue one of the Court for such trial : Previous to the trial of any impeachment, the members of the Court shall be respectively sworn, truly and impartially to try and determine the charge in question, according to evidence, which oath shall be administered to the members by the President, and to him by any one of the Senate ; and no judgment of said Court shall be valid, unless it be assented to by two thirds of the members of said Court present at such trial ; nor shall judgment extend further than to removal of the person tried from office, and disqualification to hold or enjoy and place of honor, trust or profit, under the State ; the party so convicted shall nevertheless be liable and subject to indictment, trial, judgment and punishment, according to the laws of the State ; and the power of impeaching all officers of the State for malc conduct in their respective offices, shall be vested in the House of Representatives.
- The Governor may, with advice of the Senate, in the recess of the General Court, lay an embargo, or prohibit the exportation of any commodity for any term of time, not exceeding forty days in any one recess of said Court.
- The Governor shall have no negative as governor, in any matter pointed out by this Constitution to be done by the Governor and Senate, but shall have an equal voice with any Senator, on any question before them ; provided that the Governor (or in his absence out of this State the Lieutenant Governor) shall be present in Senate to enable them to proceed on the business assigned them by this Constitution, as Governor and Senate.
- The power of granting pardons shall be vested in the Governor, Lieutenant Governor and Speaker of the House of Representatives, for the time being, or in either two of them.
- The Justices of the Superior Court, the Justices of the Inferior Courts of Common-Pleas, Judges of Probate of Wills, Judges of the Maritime Courts, and Justices of the Peace, shall hold their respective places during good behaviour.
- The Secretary, Treasurer-General, and Commissary General, shall be appointed annually.
- The Attorney General, Sheriffs, Registers of the Courts of Probate, Coroners, Notaries Public and Naval-Officers, shall be appointed and hold their places during pleasure.
- The Justices of the Superior Court, Justices of the Inferior Courts, Courts of General Sessions of the Peace, and Judges of the Maritime Courts, shall appoint their respective Clerks.
- The Delegates for this State to the Continental Congress shall be chosen annually by joint ballot of the Senate and House of Representatives, and may be superseded in the mean time in the same manner. If any person holding the office of Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Senator, Judge of the Superior Court, Secretary, Attorney General, Treasurer-General or Commissary-General, shall be chosen a member of Congress and accept the trust, the place which he so held as aforesaid shall be considered as vacated thereby, and some other person chosen to succeed him therein : And if any person, serving for this State and said Congress, shall be appointed to either of the aforesaid offices, and accept thereof, he shall be considered as resigning his seat in Congress, and some other person shall be chosen in his stead.
- No person unless of the Protestant religion shall be Governor, Lieutenant Governor, a member of the Senate or of the House of Representatives, or hold any judiciary employment within this State.
- All commissions shall run in the name of the “State of Massachusetts Bay,” bear test, and be signed by the Governor or Commander in Chief of the State, for the time being, and have the seal of the State thereunto affixed, and be attested by the Secretary or his deputy.
- All write issuing out of the Clerk’s office of any of the Courts of law within this State, shall be in the name of the “State of Massachusetts Bay,” under the seal of the Court from whence they issue, bear test of the Chief Justice, or senior or first justice of the Court where such writ is returnable, and be signed by the Clerk of such Court. Indictments shall conclude “against the peace and dignity of the State.”
- All the statute laws of this State, the common law, and all such parts of the English and British statue laws, as have been adopted and usually practised in the Courts of law in this State, shall still remain and be in full force until altered or repealed by a future law or laws of the legislature ; and shall be accordingly observed and obeyed by the people of this State, such parts only excepted as are repugnant to the rights and privileged contained in this Constitution : and all parts of such laws as refer to and mention the Council, shall be construed to extend to the Senate ; and the inestimable right of trial by jury, shall remain confirmed as part of this Constitution forever.
- All monies shall be issued out of this Treasury of this State, and disposed of by warrants, under the hand of the Governor for the time being, with the advice and consent of the Senate, for the necessary defence and support of the Government, and the protection and preservation of the inhabitants thereof ; agreeably to the acts and resolves of the General Court.
- The free exercise and enjoyment of Religious profession and worship shall forever be allowed to every denomination of protestants within this State.
- The following oath shall be taken by every person appointed to any office in this State, before his entering on the execution of his office, viz.
I A. B. do swear (or affirm as the case may be) that I will bear faith and true allegiance to the State of Massachusetts-Bay, and that I will faithfully execute the business of the office of agreeably to the laws of this State, according to my best skill and judgment, without fear, favour, affection or partiality.
- And whereas it may not be practicable to conform to this Constitution in the election of Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Senator; and Representatives for the first year:
Therefore the present Convention, if in being, or the next General Assembly, that shall be chosen upon the present Constitution, shall determine the time and manner in which the people shall choose said officers for the first year, and upon said choice, the General Assembly, then in being, shall be dissolved, and give place to the free execution of this Constitution.