Straight ticket voting helps voters: It’s constitutional

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On August 29, New Mexico Secretary of State, Maggie Toulouse Oliver, announced that she will reinstate straight party voting.  Why would New Mexicans be against something that can make voting easier?

The Republican Party of New Mexico says that this is a partisan move that will only help Democrats down the ballot- but are Republicans not also a major party in New Mexico?  Not to mention the Libertarians will have a spot just for them at the top of the ballot. The GOP joined a lawsuit along with the Libs and other smaller parties to stop the move from being instituted by the SOS.

But why?

Likely the same reason why Republicans in Michigan tried to ban straight-ticket voting as well. They know that underserved communities suffer when ballots become overly complicated. That was reinforced by a Federal judge when he blocked that Michigan attempt just this month:

Voter access has become a politically charged issue, with Democrats accusing Republicans of trying to suppress minority votes by making it more difficult to register to vote or to cast ballots. Republicans defend the moves as necessary to prevent the casting of fraudulent ballots.

According to the Santa Fe New Mexican, a voter can still select the party they want to vote for AND select a candidate from a different party if they want. Jeff and Jerry Apodaca can still vote for Steve Pearce and then vote for Democrats down ballot if they want. In New Mexico, according to the Secretary of State’s website, there are 187,593 more Democrats than Republicans- this is not a liberal-leaning thing. That is just the nature of New Mexico. Instead of bickering about who benefits most, we should be talking about how our elderly, working parents, young people, and rural people will benefit.

Having the option to mark a straight ticket doesn’t preclude anyone for voting for other candidates but it does encourage candidates to get out and make their best pitch to the people and encourage them to vote FOR them. If anything, having the option for straight ticket voting helps the democratic process by increasing ease for otherwise marginalized voters, as well increasing candidate contact with voters in the runup to the election.