Texas House Speaker Joe Straus on Wednesday called on his fellow lawmakers to end straight-ticket voting. Straus, R-San Antonio, issued the call in a news release following a speech in which Texas State Supreme Court Chief Justice Nathan Hecht said Texas should end the option for judicial elections. “I agree with Chief Justice Hecht that we should end straight ticket voting in judicial elections, but we shouldn’t stop there,” said Straus, noting that 40 other states do not have the option in any elections.
“This change would encourage voters to learn more about individual candidates, their platforms and their qualifications.”
It was a rare public pronouncement from Straus, who tends to defer to his colleagues. But the issue is one that has been on his mind for awhile. In 2008, before he became speaker, he filed legislation to end straight-ticket voting.