URGENT! Pass this bipartisan bill to modernize UT ballots and end the straight ticket voting option!

Ask legislators on the Senate Government Operations Committee to pass HB 70 to end single-mark straight ticket voting at last!

Utah currently permits “straight ticket voting,” which provides an opportunity for a voter to select a political party on the ballot and with just that one mark also vote for all of the other candidates for that political party on the ballot. In other words, the voter can make one mark for “Democratic Party” or “Republican Party” and all of the other candidates for that party will be selected. Although this method of voting was commonplace 50 years ago, Utah is now one of only seven remaining states with this option, and the straight ticket voting option is found to be confusing and outdated. It’s time to modernize our ballots and remove single-mark straight ticket to reduce confusion, ensure voters cast ballots that accurately reflect their wishes and encourage more informed voting.

Help pass a good bipartisan bill, HB 70, to repeal the outdated single-mark straight ticket voting option by sending an email to the members of the Senate Government Operations Committee BEFORE 8:50AM ON TUESDAY!

Simply scroll down and click “Start Writing” to ask senators to vote YES on HB 70.

What would HB 70 Repeal of Single-Mark Straight Ticket Voting do?

HB 70 by Rep. Patrice Arent and Sen. Curtis Bramble would update Utah election code by eliminating the option to use one box to vote for all candidates in a political party on Utah ballots. HB 70 does not prohibit anyone if voting for all of the candidates in one party.

This bill passed through the full House and a Senate Committee in 2019, but ran out of time to get a vote on the last night of the session. It is time to pass HB 70!

(Remember to personalize your comments for the greatest impact! Why do YOU support this proposal?)

  • Checking one box for straight ticket voting (STV) is an outdated voting method, particularly now that almost all Utah voters use mail-in ballots. No state with extensive mail-in ballot program has straight ticket voting.
  • County Clerks said that they receive more calls about confusion with the straight ticket voting option than anything else on ballot. Selecting the straight ticket voting option can cause confusion for voters who sometimes believe they are checking a box to register for a political party, that they are checking a box to indicate their political party, that they have voted for a candidate by assuming they are in a particular party when they are not, or that they have completed their ballot with a single mark, causing them to miss the opportunity to vote in nonpartisan races, in nonpartisan races, such as for judges, school boards and constitutional amendments, farther down the ballot. Eliminating this option eases the confusion and allows voters to cast ballots that more accurately reflect their wishes.
  • Elimination of the straight ticket voting option does not prohibit a person from voting for candidates from a single party. However, voting for each individual candidate often creates a more thoughtful voter, as well as one who is more likely to know the names of their elected officials.
  • If the straight ticket option is no longer available we may also see more informed voters and greater participation in nonpartisan races and votes for issues listed on the ballot.
  • Eliminating straight ticket voting reflects the way that we currently cast our ballots — since most Utahns cast ballots by mail, they have the time to research individual candidates. There is no need to speed up the voting process by providing a quick one-mark option.
  • In addition to Utah, six states still have STV. Those states are: Alabama, Michigan, Kentucky, Oklahoma, and South Carolina. Indiana eliminated STV in 2016 for at-large races. All state legislatures that have voted on this issue in past 25 years have eliminated STV. (Michigan Legislature abolished STV, then a ballot initiative reinstated). No Western State allows straight ticket voting.
How to make sure your letter is successful:

  1. Use a clear and specific subject heading.
  2. Start with a salutation (“Dear …”).
  3. Be CIVIL, PERSONAL and as CONCISE as possible.
  4. Mention that you are a CONSTITUENT and include your full address with zip code.
  5. Sign your name at the end.

Write Your Letter Here

One Comment

  1. Naresh Kumar March 2, 2020 at 3:40 pm

    Dear Legislator,

    I am a constituent residing at 543 Marion Street, Salt Lake City, Utah 84116. Straight-ticket voting undermines informed voting. It is antiquated and why most other states no longer offer it. Please pass HB70 to omit straight-ticket voting from future ballots.

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