FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 11/22/2016
SIMMONS FILES HB 433 TO ELIMINATE "ONE PUNCH" VOTING
State Representative Ron Simmons has filed House Bill 433 to eliminate straight party ticket or "one-punch" voting in elections in Texas.
During the 84th Legislative Session in 2015, Rep. Simmons filed an identical bill, HB 1288, to achieve the same goal. After receiving a hearing in the House Committee on Elections, HB 1288 was left pending in committee and was not passed into law.
"Straight party ticket voting undermines voter awareness and understanding of important down-ballot candidates including our statewide and county judicial offices,” said Rep. Simmons. “These down-ballot elected positions ironically have the most direct impact on a voter's day-to-day life. Voters simply check the one box, and in many cases move on without giving it a second thought. This is bad for Texas. HB 433 will encourage voters to take more time to learn about the candidates they are voting for as well as their positions on important issues.”
House Bill 433 amends the Texas Election Code by striking all references to straight party ticket voting. It does not prohibit voters from voting for all of the candidates of a single party on the ballot.
Rep. Simmons continued, "If a voter wishes to vote for all of the candidates of a single party, they can take the few seconds of extra time to select each candidate in his or her party. Even if voters choose not to educate themselves on every candidate, they can still vote along party lines or decide to not vote for any candidates in a particular race. A better educated voter results in better public servants.”
The 85th Legislative Session is set to begin on Tuesday, January 10th, 2017.