Straight-ticket Balloting Option Clears Senate

Mar 8, 2013

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A proposal to restore the option of voting a straight party ticket in New Mexico elections is heading to the House.

The Senate approved the measure Thursday on a party-line 24-17 vote. Democrats supported the proposal and Republicans opposed it.

Until the 2012 general election, voters could support a party's slate of candidates by making one mark on the ballot or pressing a single button on a machine.

Straight party votes accounted for 41 percent of ballots cast statewide in the 2010 general election. About 23 percent of the election's total votes were Democratic straight-ticket ballots and 18 percent were Republican.

Opponents said straight-ticket balloting is unfair to minor party and independent candidates. Supporters said voters should have the option and convenience of backing all of a party's candidates.