A new bill has been filed in the General Assembly that will eliminate straight-party voting. This bill has been a long time coming. Republicans have been complaining about straight-party voting for many years. The Obama campaign aggressively used this feature in order to aid Democrats further down the ballot. Arguably, straight-party voting helped elect Bev Perdue Governor in 2008.
Therefore, it’s likely that eliminating this method voting will help Republican candidates. Voters will now have to put more effort, and perhaps more thought, into their choices for political office. The benefit to Republican candidates will be minimal, but it should help at the margins.
This bill will probably be passed without controversy. In an era where voters identify less and less with political parties, straight-ticket voting is viewed with disdain by many Americans. The person who votes a straight party ticket is seen as overly partisan at best and a closed-minded neanderthal at worst. The argument that voters should actually consider individual races is a winning one with the public.
More election reform bills are going to be proposed in the legislature. This is not the last one, not by a long shot.
John Wynne is the “conservative voice” at PoliticsNC, where he also provides polling analysis and commentary on legislative campaigns. When not writing about politics, he enjoys gardening and listening to opera. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.