Texas is one of 10 states that allow straight-ticket voting during elections. Straight-ticket voting is the option for voters to check one box that will cast a ballot for every candidate from a single political party. During the past Legislative Session, we approved eliminating straight-ticket voting beginning in September 2020. House Bill 25 will prohibit Texans from choosing a party's full slate of candidates with a single ballot marking.
Texas voters will still be able to select all the candidates that are affiliated with a certain political party but voters will have to make that selection for each contested race. The goal of this legislation is to have voters become more engaged and informed about their down-ballot elections and candidates. Many law makers and their constituents believe that straight-party voting pulls a voter's attention away from down-ballot candidates, especially local candidates that most directly affect voters. Straight-ticket voting discourages a voter from researching all the candidates on their ballot. House Bill 25 will eliminate that practice.
Many good candidates in down-ballot races have fallen victim to losing their election due to a polarized political climate or the partisan makeup of their counties. This legislation will encourage all political candidates to work as hard as possible to educate voters about their issues and priorities, despite their political party affiliation. Texas will then be in line with the forty other states that do not allow straight-ticket voting. Hopefully this will produce a more engaged and informed political process for voters and candidates.