Some Legislators want to Change the way Texans Vote

Texas is one of the few states that still allow straight ticket voting. But there's a movement in the legislature to try to end the practice.

Rice political science professor Bob Stein says his research shows an end to straight ticket ballots would mean a lot of us would only vote for the races at the top of the ticket.

"If we were to remove straight ticket voting there's no question that there would be fewer votes cast for all of the races on the ballot."

Professor Stein says this is a bigger deal for democrats.

"And that will probably adversely affect democrats which is why I think republicans are making the suggestion."

Some republicans claim straight ticket balloting is kicking a lot of good officials -- particularly judges -- out of office arbitrarily.

Professor Stein says there are other ideas.

"Doing something that other states do which is called retention; judges might get appointed and we'd get to vote on them in or out -- not against somebody democrat or republican."

Professor Stein says, in Texas, more democrats vote straight ticket than republicans. He expects hearings on the matter, but he doubts there's enough support in the legislature to do away with straight ticket voting.

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