Editorials

Keep straight-ticket option

Surely you’ve noted when casting your ballot that Texans can vote a straight-party ticket.

For counties with long ballots or a series of unopposed candidates, the party-line option can save time and ensure that voters are not leaving any category blank.

But some policymakers, including state Rep. Ron Simmons, R-Carrollton, say the straight-party option can lead to other problems, like decreased participation in ballot initiatives.

This week a House committee heard testimony on Simmons’ bill to do away with the straight-ticket selection.

Proponents argue that the measure would lead to better-informed voters and better turnout for nonpartisan ballot initiatives and could potentially improve the odds for third-party candidates.

The national trend has been away from the straight-party ticket, Simmons says, and only 10 states still use it.

Simmons’ arguments are not illogical, but neither are they convincing.

Creating a better-informed voting populace is a worthy goal. But this bill probably isn’t the means to that end.

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