Rep. Ron Simmons (R-Carrollton) filed House Bill 25, which would eliminate the option of voting for every candidate of a given party by making a single mark on the ballot, known as straight-party or straight-ticket voting. It is identical to House Bill 433, also filed by Simmons, but its new number suggests priority status.

Rep. Ron Simmons

Rep. Ron

Earlier this month, Speaker Joe Straus (R-San Antonio) said he favored eliminating straight-party voting.

Texas is one of 10 states to use a straight-party option, and Texans use the straight-party option more than voters of any other state. More than 5.6M straight-party votes were cast in the November general election, up from just short of 5M straight-party votes cast in 2012 and 4.5M cast in 2008. In 2016, a record 63% of all votes cast were straight-party votes.

We estimate that Texans cast approximately 3M straight-party Republican and 2.5M straight-party Democratic votes, based on data collected from 243 counties. We estimate that Texans cast approximately 75K straight-party Libertarian and 30K straight-party Green votes, based on data collected from the state’s 25 most populous counties.

In 30 counties, at least two out of every three votes cast was a straight-party vote. This is more than triple the number of counties with similar straight-party voting rates in 2012 and potentially 10 times the number from 2008. High rates of straight-party voting are not limited to large counties. In Donley Co., more than four out of every five votes cast was a straight-party vote.

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