By Associated Press - Friday, February 14, 2020

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - The option to vote for all candidates of a political party by checking a single box on a ballot could be eliminated under a proposed bill that has gained momentum in Utah.

Some lawmakers believe ending straight-ticket ballots could encourage thoughtful voting and consideration of each race individually, the Salt Lake Tribune reported.

The bill sponsored by Democratic state Rep. Patrice Arent was advanced by Utah House representatives Thursday. The bill will next head to the Senate for consideration.

“Our county clerks have said this particular issue has caused more confusion - they get more calls about this - than any other issue,” Arent said.

Some voters have checked the box corresponding with their party affiliation and others think they are registering for a particular party by marking the box, she said.

Republican state Rep. Norm Thurston argued the straight-ticket option is not the source of voter confusion.

“I like the idea of preserving that option for those who want to use it,” Thurston said. “No one’s being forced to use it. I don’t think it skews the election results.”

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