Utah lawmaker tries again to rid state of straight ticket voting
UTAH STATE CAPITOL – Lawmakers are trying, again, to make big changes to what you see on your ballot in November. Opponents of straight-ticket voting are bringing back a bill that would do away with it.
According to the sponsors of HB 71, there are only seven states in the country that allow for straight-ticket voting. In this state, it’s still a very popular method of casting a ballot.
Representative Craig Hall says, “It actually is used by tens of thousands of voters in the state of Utah.”
Hall says his intention behind getting rid of the straight-ticket option is to create a more informed voter. He believes it’s a mistake to believe every candidate from any specific party are all the same.
“In this day and age of hyper-partisanship, it gives individuals the opportunity to look at the names, not just the parties, but to look at the names of those individuals that will be representing them,” Hall says, adding, “When a representative or a senator is pushing the button on a bill, it’s an individual doing the voting. It’s not a political party.”
Hall also believes this kind of voting creates confusion since many people check the straight-ticket box and wrongly assume their ballot was completely finished.
“They actually haven’t made any decisions for several issues, including any propositions or the retention of all judges,” he says.
Lawmakers showed a lot of support for a similar bill when it was presented last year. Hall says it passed through the House and it was unanimously supported in the Senate committee. However, it died on the floor in the Senate on the last day of the session.
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