URGENT: Ask House leadership to prioritize a vote on HB 70 to update election law!

Good election bill HB 70 – which has strong bipartisan support – must get prioritized for a vote in the Senate!

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one of only seven remaining states with this option, and the straight ticket voting option is found to be confusing and outdated.

Moving away from single-mark straight ticket voting eliminates voter confusion, ensures voters cast ballots that accurately reflect their wishes and encourages voters to learn about each and every candidate on the ballot to make an informed decision. Eliminating the straight ticket option also reduces the risk that voters miss out on the opportunity to vote for non-partisan races or ballot issues farther down the ballot.

URGENT: Ask House leadership to prioritize a vote on the good bipartisan bill, HB 70, to repeal the outdated single-mark straight ticket voting option!

Simply scroll down and click the red “Start Writing” to ask state your senator 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 good, bipartisan bill has 33 House co-sponsors from both sides of the aisle. It passed through the House and Senate Committee in 2019, but ran out of time to get a vote on the last night of the session. HB 70 awaits a final vote in the Senate once again. Ask House leadership to prioritize it for a vote!

(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  • Checking one box for straight ticket voting (STV) is an outdated voting method, particularly now that almost all Utah voters use mail-in ballots.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.
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