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Two States May Eliminate Straight-Ticket Device

Published on May 19, 2011, by in General.

New Mexico and Wisconsin are both somewhat likely to abandon straight-ticket devices starting in 2012. In New Mexico, it is reported that the new Secretary of State, Dianna Duran, will eliminate the device. New Mexico election law does not authorize it, but past Secretaries of State have imposed it anyway. In the past all parties had a straight-ticket device, but the preceding Secretary of State, Mary Herrera, had eliminated it for minor parties, while keeping it for major parties.

In Wisconsin, the omnibus election law bill has passed the legislature, and it abolishes the straight-ticket device. The bill, AB 7, passed the Assembly on May 11, and the Senate on May 17. The bill contains many provisions that make it more difficult for certain individuals to vote, by requiring government photo-ID, and therefore Democrats have vigorously opposed it. However, Republicans are in a majority in both houses of the legislature, and the Governor is a Republican, so the bill will probably be signed into law.

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