Sunday, November 16, 2008

Texas HB 135 Deserves Consideration

The Dallas Morning News includes Texas House Bill 135, which is authored by Rep. Joe Straus (R-San Antonio), in a list of "off-the-wall" bills, but it is actually a good idea that should receive serious consideration. The bill would remove the "straight party" vote option from Texas ballots, thus requiring voters filling out their ballots to go through and select for whom they are voting for each office up for election.

Currently, voters can simply select the straight party option at the top and run the ballot through the optical machine. The practical result of this is that people frequently cast votes for numerous offices for which they know nothing about the candidates. Denying the straight party option will require voters to at least briefly consider each race individually.

The DMN may be correct that the bill has little chance of passage. If so, that is unfortunate. As public policy, it makes sense.

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