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Opinion

My view: Eliminate straight-party voting option

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  • JWB Kaysville, UT
    Oct. 30, 2012 1:16 a.m.

    With the voting process today, electronically, when voting at a polling location, it is most likely better to cut out the straight party line.

    I remember when you could vote without declaring the party for a primary. I almost felt I was in one of the countries I lived in but didn't vote as I wasn't a citizen but that had a dictator type leader and they were asked how they had voted. Not so bad, maybe, but the military person who asked it had a rifle or weapon.

    It would be better and keep the citizens better informed if they had to vote for each candidate, separately, and then the judges, referendum or propositions for other local actions wouldn't be overlooked.

    The electronic voting machines do help remind people, but if you vote by paper ballot a person could miss some of those important votes.

    In Utah, it is almost a one party state and the straight ticket voting and declaring what party you are for a primary sort of stymies the process when not everyone goes to the ballot box to vote for our leaders for the term.

    It could make it more friendly.

  • red state pride Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Oct. 30, 2012 6:23 a.m.

    I have never understood the notion that having more people vote enhances our "democracy". And I certainly don't understand why the straight party vote option is even an issue. It says pretty clearly on the mail in ballot that you can vote straight party and also select candidates individually so what's the issue exactly? You can't force people to vote on "down ballot" candidates for school board etc nor can you force people to vote on referendums- in an allegedly free country it's their prerogative to vote or not vote

  • play by the rules SOUTH JORDAN, UT
    Oct. 30, 2012 6:26 a.m.

    This is a ridiculous proposal. One party stands for big government and bureaucracy and one would like to make it smaller. Love the straight ticket option. I think therefore I do not vote Democrat.

  • cjb Bountiful, UT
    Oct. 30, 2012 7:04 a.m.

    It's good that academia is different than the country ad a whole. This
    serves the purpose of getting people to think and question their
    existing culture and assumptions without which cultural improvement
    would be far more difficult.

    Imagine the advantage if there were a powerful liberal professorship
    firmly established in the Middle East fighting discrimination against
    women and the idea that is our duty to terrorize people who are nor
    like us.

  • Happy Valley Heretic Orem, UT
    Oct. 30, 2012 8:05 a.m.

    Not gunna happen in Utah The Republicans do all they can do legislate advantage to them, from the recent gerrymandering to dumping voters. "Play by the rules" they change them as often as their paranoia will allow.

    Sounds more like some don't want to think because they believe the everything is black and white, good and evil, got news for ya, it ain't so, never has been, never will be.

  • Makid Kearns, UT
    Oct. 30, 2012 8:39 a.m.

    For those that use and advocate for Straight Party voting. Do you agree with every member of the given party on every issue?

    For instance, do you believe Akin regarding "Legitimate Rape"? How about the "Birthers"? By your casting a vote for a given party, you are agreeing with every member of the party on every issue. Even if you don't agree with it.

    Now, I personally don't agree with everything from the Republican side nor do I agree with everything from the Democrat side. I am what I call an Independent Republican.

    An Independent Republican is one who is not afraid to research issues and find the candidate that best represents the same views on the issues important to them.

    What is surprising is that when you strip out party from the equation, you will see that you like candidates from both parties. This is how you find proper representation.

    I would encourage that not only do we drop the "Straight Party" vote option but also remove political affiliations and incumbent status from the ballots. This way we encourage an informed voter rather. Of course this will never happen as the parties want to maintain power.

  • Grundle West Jordan, UT
    Oct. 30, 2012 8:53 a.m.

    Makid,

    I agree with some of what you have said, however there are enormous ramifications in the party affiliation of our elected officials. I think that the Jim Matheson is one of the finest representatives that we had have. However, his party affiliation, and subsequent party line leadership vote, gave power to, in my opinion, one of the most destructive congressional leadership and majorities in my memory.

    The very sad reality is that party affiliation matters.

    That is why I will be voting against a very good representative.

    That is why I will be voting for a Senator that has been in office way too long.

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    Oct. 30, 2012 9:29 a.m.

    The only places who love ONE-Straight-Party voting are places like:

    Iran
    North Korea
    China
    the former Soviet Union
    and Nazi Germany.

    Utah is not that far beyond them.

    Makid
    I agree --
    We should even drop the R's and D's ect.

    I don't need a "Party" to tell me who to vote for.

    Vote for the PERSON, never ever the Party.

  • JWB Kaysville, UT
    Oct. 30, 2012 9:45 a.m.

    There are many aspects to the straight party vote that all of the commentors have made.

    One thing I notice in some, it is easier to vote. Easier is not necessarily what we want. Work is good. Thinking is good and living with the results of what we do can be good or bad.

    Some choose not to vote as they say their vote doesn't count. That is rationalization. I don't agree with HVH very often but HVH has a good point to think about also.

    Having lived outside of Utah in other countries and states, I may have a different perspective of this God-given right to vote. Utah wanted statehood and agreed with the Federal government on aspects of statehood that other states didn't have to agree to. Our religious and political leaders made a decision how Utah would comply with that mandate.

    Unfortunately, people have made that part of their lives in how they see party affiliation. Individuals running for office, in order to get elected in Utah, chose to be Republicans. Very few Democrats in Utah are elected. The result, some Republican leaders got elected by straight ticket when they shouldn't have.

  • red state pride Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Oct. 30, 2012 9:51 a.m.

    I remember 4 or 5 years ago in Kinston, NC they decided to eliminate party affiliation from being notated on ballots. Who roared in and fought it tooth and nail? The non- tyrannical, open minded Democrat Party.
    That said, let's go easy on the praise of our token Democrat Jim Matheson. What kind of man would affiliate himself with a party that inflicted a Stalinist bureaucracy on our nation's healthcare system? What kind of man aligns himself with a party that doesn't respect the life of unborn babies? Etc Etc

  • VIDAR Murray, UT
    Oct. 30, 2012 9:56 a.m.

    List those running in alphabetical order; do not designate their party on the ballot
    If you do not know the name of the person you want to vote for; then you are not a good voter.

  • Ultra Bob Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Oct. 30, 2012 11:53 a.m.

    I believe the political parties themselves have outlived their purpose. These private governments within our lawful governments are detrimental to the concept of government for the people by the people. They shift the purpose and action of our real government to their private benefit at the expense of the people. In elections they force, by their financial power, people into two groups, neither of which represents the will of the people.

    Truly representative government would represent the issues and opinions of the people of like minds rather than geographical location. All national and state representatives should run and be elected by the entire state at large. The president of the United States should be elected by the popular vote of the citizens of all the united states.

    All impediments to voting should be removed. No requirements for petitions or referendums other than the ballot. The ballot should provide space for the voter to enter his own petition and favor on the ballot itself. If the issue is entered and favored by a majority of voters, it becomes instructions to the legislature to accomplish the request.

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    Oct. 30, 2012 5:26 p.m.

    This is a ridiculous proposal. One party stands for big business, big church, big guns and the wealthy and one would like to focus it more on real people. Love the straight ticket option. I think therefore I do not vote Republican.

  • stuff Provo, UT
    Oct. 30, 2012 6:35 p.m.

    I've reviewed the sample ballot and in every case the person I intend to vote for is a republican. It's quite nice to press one button rather than multiple, which could result in incorrect votes. Granted, it isn't this way every election but having a straight party vote this year is much more succinct and accurate. I see no reason to eliminate it.

  • cavetroll SANDY, UT
    Oct. 30, 2012 6:36 p.m.

    Ms. Beck, the Utah County official summed it up nicely. People are more willing to stand in line for days in order to get the latest crappy cell phone or tablet, but can't spend 15 minutes of their time deciding the future of our country. People spend more time learning about their apps than learning about what being a citizen menas. I believe many Americans couldn't care less if we had a government like China or North Korea, as long as they still could access the internet at their parent's funeral.

  • WestGranger West Valley City, Utah
    Oct. 31, 2012 4:49 p.m.

    It is nobody's business if I want to vote straight party or not.

  • Rifleman Salt Lake City, Utah
    Oct. 31, 2012 8:22 p.m.

    Re: Hutterite American Fork, UT
    "I think therefore I do not vote Republican."

    Translation: Voting "R" bad. Voting "D" good. Got it!!