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Does Texas Still Have Straight-Ticket Voting?

Most states have ended straight-ticket, or “one-punch,” voting, but Texas kept it going — as long as it helped the majority party. The state is getting rid of it starting in 2020.

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This article originally appeared in The Texas Tribune

The short answer: Not for long. Straight-ticket voting allows a voter to cast a ballot for every candidate in a particular political party without having to vote in each race. The 2018 general election was the last time it will be on Texas ballots.

The Texas Tribune partnered with the education publisher Pearson to answer that and other questions for Texas students. Watch the video to learn more — or read our related coverage below:

  • The Legislature voted last year to end straight-party voting for the 2020 elections. After a tough election for some down-ballot Republicans, some are wishing they’d done it sooner.
  • After years of Texas voters having the option to vote for an entire party’s slate in one fell swoop, the straight-ticket option will no longer be available beginning in 2020 under a bill signed by Gov. Greg Abbott.
  • Straight-ticket ballots — where voters choose parties instead of individual candidates — accounted for almost 64 percent of total votes cast in the state’s 10 biggest counties in 2016.

The Texas Tribune is a nonpartisan, nonprofit media organization that informs Texans — and engages with them – about public policy, politics, government and statewide issues.

Ross Ramsey is executive editor and co-founder of The Texas Tribune, where he writes regular columns on politics, government and public policy. Before joining the Tribune, Ross was editor and co-owner of Texas Weekly. He did a 28-month stint in government as associate deputy comptroller for policy and director of communications with the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts. Before that, he reported for the Houston Chronicle from its Austin bureau and for the Dallas Times Herald, first on the business desk in Dallas and later as its Austin bureau chief, and worked as a Dallas-based freelance business writer, writing for regional and national magazines and newspapers. Ross got his start in journalism in broadcasting, covering news for radio stations in Denton and Dallas.

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september 2020

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