Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Why do we allow straight party tickets?

I know the presidential election isn't part of it, but other important elections are. Why do we allow ballots to be done that way? What possible rationale is there for it? Can people who truly want to do that not fill in a few extra bubbles? Seems like allowing elections to swing simply because of convenience is silly.

Now we have a governor who is chastising her own crowd for being rowdy because she "used to be a teacher" and looking like a twit doing it. It's entirely possible that had there been no straight party ticket on the ballot she would NOT be the governor. Amazing.


Jane Elizabeth said...

That's an interesting comment because straight party voting has been around for a VERY long time (I remember my parents voting that way when I was a child, and I would venture a guess that it's been around even longer than that). I wonder if there is any evidence that it changes the outcome.
Even if I vote straight party, I usually like to fill in each and every bubble. It's really not that hard. I guess punching little chads in Florida wasn't that hard 8 years ago, but people managed to screw it up anyway. Go figure.

Donnie Barnes said...

All I know is that if you have a VERY tight race (like we had for governor) and then you see that there were a large percentage of straight tickets and that 60% of them were democrat and 40% republican, it's not hard to imagine that had there been no straight ticket then more people that went democrat on the straight ticket would have gone republican for governor than vice versa (instead of actually going completely straight ticket...I do admit some people would have just blindly done the straight ticket thing with individual bubbles).

It sounded to me that exit polls uphold my theory, too.

Now, the real question is why anyone WOULD straight ticket vote? I believe it's completely wrong to let party affiliation be the deciding factor in a race you otherwise know NOTHING about. There were races I knew nothing about (and there always will be as I'm a little lazy about it sometimes) and therefore I skipped them. Seemed better than accidentally voting for a wife beater that happened to belong to my party of choice. *shrug*

Maybe people would still vote party-style in that case more than not, I don't know, but encouraging that kind of behavior with a straight ticket option seems incredibly wrong to me.

Donnie Barnes said...

The more depressing thing is it was the democrats who pushed straight ticket voting through a long time ago. Made it easier for them to go out and haul in folks from nursing homes and homeless shelters and be more sure they'd vote properly. Now they want more early voting for exactly the same reason...instead of having only election day to go do that, they have DAYS to do it.

Why don't people wonder why so much higher a percentage of early voter ballots were democrat than the election day votes?!?