With only days left before the 85th Regular Session of the Texas Legislature set to adjourn, there are many outstanding must pass legislative items and disagreements in need of resolution.
Despite the partisan turmoil, one thing a majority of Lone Star lawmakers were able to agree on ahead of the Sine die deadline is that Texans need to think beyond party lines at the polls — even among lawmakers’ clearly defined party lines of their own.
If signed into law, the legislation would prohibit straight-ticket party voting on ballots, which supporters of the bill say encourages voters to become more informed.
Opponents say the change will contribute to an already discriminatory environment in Texas elections and slow down the voting process, meaning longer lines and time it takes to process ballots for everyone.
Despite the convenience of checking one box instead of one for each of the candidates, HB 25 would bring Texas up to speed with the rest of the nation, which is slowly phasing out straight-ticket options.
Earlier this year, Iowa passed its own legislation to prohibit straight-ticket voting.
The practice still exists in eight states, including Oklahoma.