Tracing from forty years ago in the U.S.A., straight ticket voting (STV) allows the electorates to vote for political candidates belonging to the same political party within a single ballot box. That is, all candidates ranging the President, governorship, Senate, county officials, among others belonging to the same party, the Democrats or Republics in the U.S. for instance, would have their names voted for by just one slate in the same ballot marking (Alvarez, 2013). However, due to political and socio-economic developments coupled with technological advancements, the straight ticketing in many States have abandoned the system. The alternatives to this system include the sweeping voter ID and the split system.
The proponents for the use of STV system in Texas, on one hand, opine that the system helps the voters easily identify and distinguish between the two major parties thus helping them make a reasonable choice (Star-Telegram, 2013). The advocates for the method claim that following the last three elections in Texas, the electorates were glad to have the system because it is impossible to know the qualifications of all the politicians running. Thus, Texans can intelligently vote for one of the major parties, the Democrats or the Republicans, based on the popularity of one candidate, who most often is the President. These, according to the proponents are the advantages of the system.
On the other hand, the opponents claim that the system denies the people the chance to know in details the credentials, strengths and weaknesses of the leaders they choose (Ramsey, 2015). For instance, in 1994, Steve Mansfield, a Republican candidate for a criminal court was voted in together with George W. Bush and others because they belonged to the same party thus under the same ballot marking. What people did not know about Mansfield was that he was a con and not a criminal lawyer in practice. Other elections have followed the same suit. Moreover, in order to make sure that their ballots are cast during the voting process, parties color-code the ballots or shape them uniquely making awareness to the public on this thus manipulating the voters (Ramsey, 2015). In conclusion, I ardently opine that the STV should be abolished as the fact that the public has no knowledge of the leaders they choose impede democracy and the rule of law. Additionally, although the process is far, it is problematic as it encourages manipulation of voters, especially at voter stations.
Alvarez, J. (2013). History of Straight Ticket Voting and the Movement to Abolish It - IVN.us. IVN.us. Retrieved 30 September 2015, from http://ivn.us/2013/11/18/history-straight-ticket-voting-movement-abolish/?utm_source=ivn&utm_medium=featured&utm_content=prevnext&utm_campaign=opt-beta-v-1-0
Ramsey, R. (2015). Express-Lane Voting: It's Fast, but Problematic, by Ross Ramsey. The Texas Tribune. Retrieved 30 September 2015, from http://www.texastribune.org/2012/10/15/express-lane-voting-fast-problematic/
Star-Telegram,. (2013). No Compelling Reason to End Straight-Ticket Voting. Retrieved 30 September 2015, from http://www.star-telegram.com/2013/03/16/v-print/4707459/no-compelling-reason-to-end-straight.html?rh=1
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