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Lawmaker Wants to Do Away With Auto Straight-Party-Ticket Voting Option

Steven Depolo via Creative Commons

Democratic State Representative Patrice Arent says Utah should get rid of the straight-party-ticket box, Utah voters can check when they go to the polls.

Arent says the straight-party-ticket box has caused a lot of confusion. 

“Some people check it and think they’re done with voting,” Arent says. “And so they skip the non-partisan races like the judicial races. They will often also skip the ballot propositions and the constitutional amendments. And then there is just the confusion, people thinking they’ve voted for someone they didn’t vote for.”

Arent and Republican Representative Jeremy Peterson are sponsoring House Bill 119 to eliminate that box. She stressed people would still be able to vote for everyone in the same political party, but under they would have to do so candidate by candidate.

Arent says it’s the responsible way to vote.

“By looking at the individual names, it really does encourage thoughtful consideration,” Arent says. “And when people are having ballots mailed to their homes, it gives them time for thoughtful consideration.”

Utah is one of only nine states that allows or offers straight-party-ticket voting. 

Whittney Evans grew up southern Ohio and has worked in public radio since 2005. She has a communications degree from Morehead State University in Morehead, Kentucky, where she learned the ropes of reporting, producing and hosting. Whittney moved to Utah in 2009 where she became a reporter, producer and morning host at KCPW. Her reporting ranges from the hyper-local issues affecting Salt Lake City residents, to state-wide issues of national interest. Outside of work, she enjoys playing the guitar and getting to know the breathtaking landscape of the Mountain West.
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