|That's the Ticket: Straight Ticket Voting in State Legislative Elections (Draft)|
|File Size:||414 kb|
Straight ticket voting (sometimes called straight party voting) allows voters to select all candidates from a single party for all contests on the ballot. Voters split their tickets consistently from the 1950s to the 2000s, yet a wave of political polarization beginning in the 2000s increased the frequency of straight ticket voting as a convenience for party-driven voters. Recent trends in state voting laws have moved away from allowing voters to vote straight ticket as several states have abolished the practice. This article tests the effect on turnout overall and for both parties when a state removes the straight ticket voting in state legislative elections. The loss of straight ticket voting affects both parties by reducing overall vote share but affects Democratic house candidates more who typically BENEFITED from the availability of straight ticket voting. Implications of these changes in ballots mean more divided government and a lessened incumbency advantage in state legislatures.
-> Removing the method as an option will reduce vote share for both parties but especially for Democratic candidates for lower chamber legislative seats (~2,000 votes in a midterm or ~5,000 in a presidential contest).” Democratic candidates lose about 2-3% in both State House and Senate contests.