Straight-Ticket Voting

Voting signs
Salvador Castro for KUT

Minorities and elderly voters will likely be the most affected by the elimination of straight-ticket voting in 2020, according to a new report from the Austin Community College Center for Public Policy and Political Studies.

Julia Reihs / KUT

Almost 68 percent of voters in Texas voted straight ticket during the 2018 general election, according to a new report from the Austin Community College Center for Public Policy and Political Studies.

Julia Reihs / KUT

UPDATE Oct. 27: In a statement, Texas Secretary of State Rolando Pablos said that the eSlate voting machines are not malfunctioning. He said Texans using straight-ticket voting need to make sure they wait for screens to load.

“It is important for all voters in the 82 Texas counties utilizing the Hart Intercivic eSlate to understand that the voting machines are not malfunctioning, nor are they arbitrarily ‘switching’ the choices of voters who cast a straight-party ballot,” he said.

Pablos said voters voting a straight-party ballot should "wait at least three to five seconds for all choices to be rendered on the eSlate voting machines."

Our original post continues:

A voting rights group is warning Texans to double check their ballots if they are voting straight ticket, because some voters are reporting problems with a commonly used voting machine in the state.  

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

A bill was sent to Gov. Greg Abbott last week that would eliminate straight-ticket voting in Texas. But opponents say the legislation could be headed to court.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon/KUT

From Texas Standard:

The end may be near for straight-ticket voting in Texas. House Bill 25, which would ban the practice, passed out of the Senate on Thursday. It's got one more stop in the lower chamber before heading to Gov. Greg Abbott's desk. Prominent Democrats are decrying the bill – saying it would dilute Democratic votes.

Texas State Capitol Building
Image courtesy Dave Wilson Photography http://www.flickr.com/photos/dawilson/

Texas is one of sixteen states that offers voters the option of simply checking a box for a political party at the ballot box, forgoing the task of individually voting for each candidate. The practice is called "straight-ticket voting" or "straight-party voting" and Republican State Senator Jeff Wentworth (R-San Antonio) doesn't like it.