Thursday, December 5, 2013

Delph Wants to Spoil Ballot on Straight-Ticket Voting

Sen. Delph
Senator Mike Delph wants you to think before you vote.

The Carmel-based Republican is filing legislation to do away with straight-ticket voting.  He tells Abdul-Hakim Shabazz that it's so people have to actually look at the ballot they vote instead of simply marking a straight ticket oval or pushing the appropriate button and walking away.

As someone that has voted straight ticket in the past, I like having the option, but I understand where Delph is coming from.  I just didn't know that this was such a big problem that there was this groundswell to do away with the straight ticket option.  Other than a few libertarians, I have never really heard anyone rail against it.

I think before I vote.  I don't simply mark a straight-ticket oval without first examining all the candidates.  Of course, I'm in the odd position that I will know many of the candidates on the ballot.  Others are not in my position, and this won't change that.  Now folks will have to agonize over what candidates they want for township advisory board.  I wonder if they will just walk away and leave that portion of the ballot blank.

Most people that take the time to show up at the polls on Election Day have made up their minds.  This will simply slow down the process.  I doubt if Delph's legislation will go anywhere, but I guess we'll see.


Indy Student said...

I was under the mistaken impression that straight ticket voting was a fairly common practice. But in fact, only 15 states allow it.

I don't think everything in the legislature has to be a groundswell of demand or have lobbyists pushing for it. Sometimes there's just some fairly simple tweaks that can be done. This is one of those, and it should be discussed.

Greg Purvis said...

I think Sen. Delph's Hamilton County GOP base may have a problem with this, as they have greatly benefited from mindless straight-ticket voting in the past. A major beneficiary of this knee-jerk voting was Charlie White in 2010. I think this is an interesting proposal, but it has many positive and negative factors. I think abolishing the straight ticket button would help elect Democrats in a one-party-dominated county like Hamilton, and I am in favor of breaking up such one-party control. I doubt Delph had this in mind however.

Unknown said...

Delph has decided that straight ticket voting probably helps Democrats. Illinois had straight ticket voting. The Democrats were very successful in urging voters to use this method. The next time the Republicans took control, they banned it.

Delph's proposal is about as benign and non-partisan as eliminating At-large Council seats in Indianapolis.

guy77money said...

Most people don't have a clue who they are voting for in most elections. I don't know the judges so I usually side with a woman on the bench then a man. Woman are usually more organized then guys and do a better job deciding issues. You could obviously prove me wrong but what the heck there are bad woman judges and guy judges. I don't have the time to sort it out unless I read it on Gary or your blog. Nobody else takes the time to give me the honest truth.

The great thing about straight line voting is the hispanic people I talk to hate the Republicans because they don't want their family to come to America to have a better life. So they vote straight Democrat! Saves them time and effort. If I was a Republican I would see theat immigration is (hey their relatives were immigrants) good but it needs to be controlled. As a government I would set up large processing centers on the Mexician border and screen who was coming into America. Mexico doesn't care they have way to many people in poverty. Go to the US and a whole lot ot Mexicans send money to their relatives across the border which helps their economy. Oh well off my soap box I have a blog to run!

William said...

I can see it from a couple of points of view. As someone whom has worked the polls numerous times, it would eliminate the confusion of do I need to mark both the party & candidate space.

It will make it more difficult though on some voters such as some senior voters, those with disabilities and language issues.

Many voters don't know who is running for offices not at or near the top of the ticket, so I agree with Jon that many people may end up leaving them blank if there is no straight party option.

Some may even see this as an extra burden and not even choose to vote because of the longer process which is really bad since Indiana already ranks near the bottom in voter participation.

On the whole I can see having the discussion, but really believe the negatives would and do outway any benefits.