Indiana lawmakers have enacted a significant change for anyone casting a straight-party ballot. A new state law requires that those opting for just one party on the ballot take the additional steps of selecting individual candidates in all at-large races, according to one of the bill’s sponsors, Rep. David Ober, R-Albion. No ballots will be cast in at-large races without taking these additional few steps, he said. The change was enacted because when those casting a straight-party ballot on electronic equipment chose to support candidates of the opposing party in at-large races, those latter changes were not being counted, Ober said.
There have also been problems with straight-party voters not going to the end of the electronic ballots as is required to complete their vote, he said.
Porter County Councilman Dan Whitten, D- at-large, who is seeking re-election, to his at-large seat, does not buy the explanation. “It’s completely unnecessary,” he said. “It completely divests voters of the strength of their vote.”
Democrats cast more straight-party ballots than Republicans in every general election in Porter County for the last five years, with the exception of 2014, according to records posted online by county government.