The Texas House late Saturday gave final approval to a bill that would eliminate “one-punch” voting, forcing voters to make an individual decision on every ballot item, starting with the 2020 election. House Bill 25, approved 88-57, could drastically change Texas politics considering straight-ticket ballots accounted for almost 64 percent of total votes cast in the state’s 10 largest counties in 2016. Forty-one states don’t allow straight-ticket voting, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. The final vote fell largely on partisan lines; only three Democrats voted for it, while only seven Republicans voted to keep one-punch voting.
State Rep. Ron Simmons, R-Carrollton, one of the authors of HB 25, said he filed the measure to foster more educated voters since they’d have to go down the ballot and make a decision on every race.
“People will still come out to vote, they’ll just take a few more seconds to get down the ballot. And it’ll make sure people know who they’re voting for,” he said.