Rep. Bruce Cutler proudly describes himself as a Republican and a fiscal conservative. But he believes that’s not necessarily why you should vote for him. “I hate labels. I’m not one to like labels,” the state representative from Murray told FOX 13 recently. It’s partly why he’s proposing a bill in the 2018 legislative session that would eliminate straight ticket voting in Utah. “I just think that people need to vote for the person rather than the party. We’ve seen this on the national level,” he said, referring to the recent Alabama senate race involving Roy Moore, who faced accusations of sexual misconduct involving girls. (Rep. Cutler added he would not support Moore.)
Utah is one of eight states remaining that still allow “straight ticket voting,” where you can push one button or fill in one bubble, and vote for all the candidates of one particular party. Critics argue that it skips some of the non-partisan candidates and ballot initiatives, and voters don’t vet the candidates.
… Rep. Cutler is the latest lawmaker to attempt to eliminate straight ticket voting. Rep. Patrice Arent, D-Millcreek, tried to end it last year and it failed in the Utah State Legislature. Then-Utah Republican Party Chairman James Evans testified against Rep. Arent’s bill, arguing that straight ticket voting should remain an option for voters who choose it.