Records show that 54 percent of city of Milwaukee voters—or 149,546 of them—cast straight-party ballots in the 2008 presidential election and that 53 percent of them voted that way in 2010. In both elections, city of Milwaukee voters cast six straight-party Democratic ballots for every one cast for Republicans. Straight-party voting has also been popular elsewhere: In Jefferson County, 46 percent of 2010 voters cast straight-party ballots in 2010. In La Crosse County, almost 44 percent of all votes cast in 2010 were straight-party ballots. In Rock County, straight-party ballots were 39 percent of votes cast in 2010 and 2008. But straight-party ballots—used by voters wanting to vote for all candidates of one party, unless they make exceptions for individual offices—are no longer allowed in Wisconsin. In a change that was overshadowed by the controversy over whether voters should have to show a photo ID to cast a ballot, Republican state officials banned straight-ticket voting.
Republican Rep. Robin Vos, who will be the next speaker of the Assembly if his party keeps control of that house, bluntly explained that change in a recent wispolitics.com forum: Straight-ticket voting helped Democratic candidates more than Republicans. “Straight-party voting gives about a 1 percent to 2 percent advantage to Democrats, when you look at statewide races,” Vos said at the wispolitics.com luncheon with Democratic Assembly Leader Peter Barca.
Responding, State Democratic Party Chairman Mike Tate said, “Vos’ claim is in error—straight-party voting actually helped Republicans slightly more.” Tate also said Vos’ statement “shows he is motivated not by doing what is good for people of Wisconsin. (Vos) is merely out for the good of his political party.” Not all counties track straight-party votes. Dane County does not do so, for example.
Full Article: Popular straight-party voting abolished — GazetteXtra.