As we approach the November election, we know some people like to choose the straight party option to vote for all Republicans or all Democrats. This time around in Indiana, there’s a small change voters need to take note of. When you step up to your voting machine in just over a couple of months, right there on page one is the “Straight Party Ticket” function. Let’s say you push the button for the Democratic Party, the machine automatically puts an “X” next to the Democrat for President, U.S.Senate, Governor and on down the line for all the partisan races. Under a state law that took effect in July, there’s one exception, where you need to guard against being tripped up.
Here in Allen County, we’re talking about the county council at-large race, where you’re supposed to vote for not one, but three candidates.
Under the new law, in city, county or township at-large contests, where you’re electing more than one person, you now have to physically fill in your individual choices, even if you select straight party on page one.
The problem wasn’t so much with machines, but absentee paper ballots. People marked straight ticket, but in at-large races pretty routinely also checked the boxes of candidates from the opposite party.