Straight-ticket voting is a thing of the past, a local state legislator says, and he is carrying a bill to officially make that statement a reality. Currently, Hoosiers can vote for all the candidates from one party with the click of a single button during a general or municipal election. Rep. David Ober, R-Albion, has introduced a bill to remove that option. Ober said the change would update Indiana ballots for modern voting norms. “The way that Hoosier votes are trending is more based on individual candidates and their views rather than a party or platform,” said Ober. “This bill codifies what Hoosier voters are already doing.”
Currently, Indiana is one of only 11 states in the country that still gives voters the option for straight-ticket ballots. Ober hopes to drop that number to ten. “I just think that it’s a bad thing for our election process,” he said. “A bad thing for our democracy.”
According to county election results, a little more than 30 percent of DeKalb County and Steuben County voters chose straight tickets in the 2014 general election. Around 25 percent of voters selected straight tickets in Noble and LaGrange counties.
At least in northeast Indiana, the percentage of straight-ticket voters has trended slightly upward in the recent elections, according to a review of voting records dating back to 2006.