Senate Democrats have introduced a bill to reinstate straight-party ticket voting in New Mexico. Before the 2012 election, New Mexico voters could select every Democratic or Republican candidate on the ballot by checking a single box at the top of the page. But Secretary of State Dianna Duran eliminated the decades-old practice last year, saying it was not specifically allowed by state law. “Without really any notice or any awareness, there was this change that was made that, I think, caused some confusion for individuals that went to the polls,” said Sen. Howie Morales, D-Silver City, a co-sponsor of Senate Bill 276 to restore the straight-party voting option.
“My purpose for wanting to bring this forward … it gives options for the voter regardless for which party affiliation they may have. It just gives options,” Morales said.
The chief sponsor of the bill is Senate Majority Leader Michael Sanchez, D-Belen.
Republicans, however, have called the practice out-of-date, and some say it gives the majority party Democrats an advantage.
Critics say straight-party voting allows voters to ignore the candidates on down-ballot races, such as state legislative or county commission districts.
“I don’t agree with it. I think you need to look at your ballot, look down your ballot, instead of hitting the top button and moving on,” said Senate Minority Leader Stuart Ingle, R-Portales.
Ingle said he has not heard complaints about added confusion at the polls in November because straight-party voting had been eliminated.
Full Article: » Bill Would Reinstate Straight-Party Vote | ABQ Journal.