*

Straight ticket voting (also called straight party voting) allows voters to choose a party’s entire slate of candidates with just a single ballot mark. Voters make onemark or selection on the ballot in order to vote for every candidate of that party for each partisan office on the ballot.

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In 2021, atotal of 7statesallow or offer straight-ticket voting (STV).With a few exceptions, the straight-ticket option is available in all generalelections, and applies to all partisan offices on the ticket, including federal, state and local races.

The states with STV are: Alabama, Indiana,*Kentucky, Michigan, Nevada, Oklahomaand South Carolina.

*In 2016,SB 61abolished STVfor at-large races only.

Recent Legislative or State Action

The number of states offering STVhas been declining in popularity over time. Every year several bills are introduced to eliminate it, and occasionally bills are introduced to establish it.

In 2021, Nevada became the most recent state to establish STV.

States Abolishing Straight Ticket Voting

State

Year Abolished

Details

Utah

2020

HB 70

Pennsylvania

2019

SB 421; effective in 2020.

Iowa

2017

HB 516

Texas

2017

HB 25; effective in 2020.

Michigan

2016; reestablished in 2019

SB 13. In July 2016, a U.S. District Court decision found the abolishment of STV disproportionately affected African-Americans and placed a preliminary injunction on enforcing the law for the 2016 election. In September 2018, the U.S. Sixth Court of Appeals said plaintiffs were unlikely to win their appeal and ordered the ban to take effect. The plaintiffs appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court which denied a request to keep STV for the 2018 general election, so it was not an option for that election. However, voters passed Ballot Proposal 3 in November 2018 that amended the constitution allowing voters to cast a straight-ticket vote for all candidates of a particular political party when voting in a partisan general election, thus reestablishing STV in 2019.

Indiana

2016

SB 61; abolished for at-large races only.

West Virginia

2015

SB 249

Rhode Island

2014

HB 8072; effective 2015

North Carolina

2013

HB 589; effective 2014

Wisconsin

2011

Effective for November 2012 elections, and STV remains available for UOCAVA voters.

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New Hampshire

2007

Missouri

2006

New Mexico

2001

From 2002 to 2010, secretaries of state had administratively placed STV options on the ballot. In 2012, the secretary of state decided not to offer STV, noting that it had been repealed by the legislature. An attempt was made in the 2012 legislature to reinstate it, but it failed. In 2018 the secretary of state attempted to reinstate STV, but a petition to prevent its use was approved by the state supreme court.