Straight-Ticket Voting

Michael Stravato for The Texas Tribune

A federal judge on Wednesday threw out Democrats’ effort to reinstate the straight-ticket voting option in Texas.

Siding with the state, U.S. District Judge Marina Garcia Marmolejo found that Democrats lacked standing to challenge Texas Republicans’ decision to kill straight-ticket voting ahead of the November general election. The judge dismissed the federal lawsuit after ruling that Democrats’ claims of the electoral fallout that could come from eliminating straight-ticket voting were too speculative.

Travis County residents wait in line to vote at the Church of Christ in Hyde Park on Super Tuesday.
Julia Reihs / KUT

On the heels of Super Tuesday voting that left Texans waiting for hours to cast their ballots, Democrats are suing the state to overturn Republicans’ decision to kill 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.

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.