The bill that would end straight-ticket voting in West Virginia will get a final vote from the state Senate Tuesday before moving to the state House of Delegates for consideration during the ongoing Regular Legislative Session. George Carenbauer, a former state Democratic Party chair, said on Monday’s MetroNews “Talkline” it’s long past time for the change. “I’m all in favor of things that make it easier and more accessible for people to vote, but I also think the voter has a responsibility to really know what he or she is doing when they go into the voting booth,” he said.
With straight-ticket voting, a voter can make one mark, either electronically or on a paper ballot, and vote for a party’s full list of candidates. The change would require voters to consider each race individually.
Democrats have long pushed back against eliminating straight-ticket voting in West Virginia because of the Democratic advantage in party registrations. Last November, though, unofficial numbers from the Secretary of State’s Office showed 56 percent of straight-ticket ballots were Republican.