Senate backs ending straight-party voting


Highlights

Legislation would require Texas voters to choose every candidate individually.

Final Senate approval expected Thursday, returning the bill to the House.

Split along party lines, the Texas Senate on Wednesday gave initial approval to a bill that would end straight-party voting, requiring every candidate on state ballots to be chosen individually.

Democrats opposed House Bill 25, saying it could discourage voting in a state with an already low voter participation rate.

“Frankly, I don’t see any purpose for this legislation other than trying to dilute the vote of Democrats and, more specifically, minorities,” said Sen. Royce West, D-Dallas.

The Senate sponsor of the bill, Sen. Kelly Hancock, R-North Richland Hills, said the change would “encourage candidates to work as hard as they possibly can to educate voters as much as possible.” Other supporters have said the change would encourage voters to better research candidates whose races appear lower on ballots.

LIKE US ON FACEBOOK: Our Lone Star Politics page brings Capitol news to your Facebook feed

West, who predicted the change would be challenged in court if it becomes law, asked Hancock if the bill’s authors had studied its impact on minority voters.

Such a study was not conducted, Hancock replied. “We considered all voters,” he said.

Final Senate approval is expected Thursday, sending HB 25 back to the House because an amendment was added delaying the end of straight-party voting until 2020.

Hancock said the delay was intended to give candidates and election officials time to adapt to the change.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Local

Austin police seek info from public on crash that killed mom, teen on U.S. 183
Austin police seek info from public on crash that killed mom, teen on U.S. 183

Austin police detectives are trying to piece together the events that led up to a head-on collision on U.S. 183 last Saturday that left two dead and two injured. Police said 41-year-old Guy Brasted was headed north in the 9400 block of Research Boulevard, a stretch of the highway where the north and southbound lanes are separated by steel cables, rather...
Sheriff’s summit aims to help churches focus on security measures
Sheriff’s summit aims to help churches focus on security measures

Law enforcement officials in Williamson County will be giving local churches information on how to protect their congregations during a security summit Sunday. The meeting comes in the wake of the deadly shooting during services Nov. 5 at the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, where a gunman killed 26 people and injured 20 more. Williamson...
BREAKING: State alcohol regulators investigating death of Texas State student
BREAKING: State alcohol regulators investigating death of Texas State student

The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission is investigating the death of a 20-year-old Texas State University student who was found dead on Monday after a fraternity event the night before. Sophomore Matthew Ellis was pronounced dead at 12:28 p.m. at the off-campus Millennium Apartments, according to San Marcos police. “This is an incredibly tragic...
NASA to launch JPSS-1 weather satellite Saturday morning
NASA to launch JPSS-1 weather satellite Saturday morning

NASA, in partnership with the NOAA, will launch a satellite Saturday that will help improve weather forecasts. The satellite launch was scheduled for earlier this week, but was postponed twice, once because of high winds and once because of technical difficulties. The launch for the JPSS-1 satellite is scheduled at 4:47 a.m. Saturday, according to...
You’ve got one more day to see Waller Creek’s ‘Creek Show.’ Here’s what you’ll miss if you pass
You’ve got one more day to see Waller Creek’s ‘Creek Show.’ Here’s what you’ll miss if you pass

Waller Creek is alight. But only for two more nights.  The Waller Creek Conservancy’s fourth annual “Creek Show” will light up downtown for the last night Saturday, and if you haven’t made your way out for a self-led tour yet, you’re missing quite a sight.  Check out some of the images of the show Instagram users...
More Stories