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Bills aim to end Pennsylvania's straight-party voting option

Written by The Associated Press | Jun 21, 2019 12:36 PM
Pennsylvania voting machines 2016.jpg

FILE- In this Oct. 14, 2016, file photo, a technician works to prepare voting machines to be used in the upcoming presidential election in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)

This story has been updated. 

(Harrisburg) -- Legislation advancing in Pennsylvania's Republican-controlled Legislature would eliminate the ballot option for voters to simply select a straight-party ticket in elections, although House Democrats are objecting to it.

Bills to eliminate it emerged from committee in both chambers this week. The Senate bill is sponsored by Democratic Sen. Lisa Boscola and was approved unanimously Monday in committee.

But most Democrats voted against it Wednesday in a House committee as part of a wider package of changes to election laws.

House Republican leader Bryan Cutler's office says it's a bipartisan effort to make every race as fair as possible for all parties. But Democratic campaign strategists say eliminating it could hurt their party's down-ballot candidates.

Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf's office says he's reviewing it. The National Conference of State Legislatures says eight other states allow it.

An earlier story appears below.

(Harrisburg) -- Legislation advancing in Pennsylvania's Republican-controlled Legislature would eliminate the ballot option for voters to simply select a straight-party ticket in elections, although House Democrats are objecting to it.

Bills to eliminate it emerged from committee in both chambers this week. The Senate bill is sponsored by Democratic Sen. Lisa Boscola and was approved unanimously Monday in the State Government Committee.

But most Democrats voted against it Wednesday in the House State Government Committee as part of a wider package of changes to election laws.

Committee Chairman Garth Everett says the chamber's Republican leaders wanted that provision in the bill. Democratic campaign strategists say eliminating it could hurt their party's down-ballot candidates.

Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf's office says he's reviewing it. The National Conference of State Legislatures says eight other states allow it.

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