- Associated Press - Tuesday, February 3, 2015

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - State senators have passed a proposal to remove an option for voters to cast straight party-line ballots by checking one box.

On Tuesday, the Republican-led Senate voted 25-8 to prohibit the practice, with only Democrats in opposition.

Currently, West Virginia voters can select every candidate from a single party simply by picking the straight-party option.

Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch Carmichael said the change would be the right thing to do, regardless of which party it benefits.

Last election, almost 71,000 voters cast straight-party Republican ballots, compared to about 53,200 Democratic ones.

Democratic Sen. Mike Romano called it a “silly bill,” saying lawmakers aren’t giving voters enough credit.

Only 12 states allow straight-ticket voting now.

The proposal next moves to the House of Delegates for consideration.

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