The push to eliminate one-punch voting in Texas is once again alive. A bill proposed by Rep. Ron Simmons, R-Carollton, was voted out of the House Elections Committee Monday evening, 5-2, and will face debate on the House floor. Texas is one of nine states nationally that currently still offers this option to voters on election days. This style of voting has become a popular topic of contention among statewide officeholders because of its nature to vote out less popular office holders with partisan trends. When Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick served in the state Senate, he was one of the leaders behind this charge.
When explaining his motivation for again taking up the charge, Simmons said he dismisses the concerns many have that eliminating one-punch voting will drive away voters who are not as educated in down-ballot elections. “The facts are what the facts are,” Simmons said. “People will vote down the ballot, if you give them a reason.”
Simmons also mentioned a problem in current elections that could be solved with the removal of one-punch voting.
In elections that also feature ballot propositions, which are not subject to partisan choices, many voters accidentally forgo voting in important local decisions. For example, Simmons said there was a 17 percent drop-off between the 2014 gubernatorial race and votes on state Proposition 1, which determined the allocation of roughly $5 billion in transportation money.