When you go to the polls on election day, you can either vote in each individual race or cast a ballot for all of the members of one political party. It’s called straight-ticket voting and fewer than a dozen states allow it. Hoosier lawmakers are considering putting an end to the practice. A framed poster hanging on the wall of the Marion County Democratic Headquarters in Indianapolis prominently features a rooster – the symbol that represents the Democratic Party on Indiana’s ballots. “They were posters that were placed at the precincts on the walls outside of the precincts to remind voters to vote straight party,” Marion County Democratic Chairman Joel Miller says. Basically check a box and all your votes go to either Democrats, Republicans or Libertarians in every race. A proposed bill in the Statehouse could soon make that poster an artifact. House Bill 1008, recently passed by the Indiana House, would eliminate straight-ticket voting in the state.
But Miller says the poster is here to stay. “This will never be taken down because it’s still the way we should be able to vote,” he says.
Last year, Marion County Democrats received 58 percent of the straight-ticket votes in the county.
In 2012, they received double the amount of straight ticket votes as their Republican counterparts. “They are trying to cut into vote totals that Democrats get in the larger urban counties. That’s all it is,” Miller says.