The Texas House has approved a bill eliminating straight-ticket voting statewide. Sponsored by Carrollton Republican Rep. Ron Simmons, the measure passed Saturday despite objections from outnumbered Democrats. It now heads to the state Senate. The idea has been endorsed by House Speaker Joe Straus, who, before he was elected to his current post once filed legislation prohibiting voters from choosing a party’s full slate of candidates with just a single ballot marking.
For now, Texas is one of 10 states allowing straight-ticket voting. Twelve states have scrapped it since 1994, though.
Backers say the move will force voters to do more research on down-ballot races. Opponents note that people can still vote for all candidates from one party, but that the process will just become more onerous and time-consuming.