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Pennsylvania House of Representatives
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House Co-Sponsorship Memoranda

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House of Representatives
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session


Posted: December 13, 2018 02:28 PM
From: Representative Justin J. Simmons
To: All House members
Subject: Election Reform-Straight Ballot Voting
I plan to re-introduce legislation that will eliminate the straight-party ballot option in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

Straight-party ballot voting is the practice of voting for candidates of the same party for multiple positions by pushing one button on the voting machine. This legislation would not eliminate or prohibit a voter from voting for candidates all from the same party itself. It would merely remove the option of casting one ballot for all candidates of a single party or checking one box to choose a particular party’s candidate in every race. Under this proposal, candidates still would be identified on the ballot by their political party.

Pennsylvania is currently one of only fifteen states that have an option to “vote straight-ticket Democrat” or “vote straight-ticket Republican”.

We believe that having a straight-party voting option on the ballot creates an election process that is inherently more partisan. Our hope is that if the option of casting a single vote for an entire party is eliminated then votes will be cast based on a candidate’s merit and the issues they stand for, rather than party labels.

Please join me in co-sponsoring this important legislation.

Introduced as HB282