House committee kills bill on ‘straight ticket’ voting

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SALT LAKE CITY — A House committee quickly killed a bill that would have ended straight ticket voting in Utah.

House Bill 119, sponsored by Reps. Patrice Arent, D-Millcreek, and Jeremy Peterson, R-Ogden, would have done away with the ability to push a button and vote only Republican or Democrat (or any other political party). The lawmakers argued that many other races, including non-partisan municipal races, judges and ballot propositions were often skipped.

Utah is only one of nine states that still allows straight ticket voting, Arent told the House Government Operations Committee. The bill had support from the League of Women Voters and the Salt Lake County Clerk’s Office. James Evans, the chairman of the Utah Republican Party spoke against it.

In a 6-4 vote, the committee rejected the bill.

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