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.
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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