This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
Thomas Wright's characterization of Rep. Jim Matheson's proposal to eliminate the straight-party vote as "self-serving" was disingenuous ("Matheson's self-serving legislation," Opinion, March 10).
Wright noted that "there were over 50,000 GOP straight-ticket votes" in Matheson's close race last November. Apparently, more than 50,000 voters may not have even looked at that congressional race, but were focused on other races. Thus, Matheson's opponent potentially got a "windfall" of tens of thousands of votes just because of her party affiliation.
A straight-party vote for any party is usually a less-educated, less-considered vote. It is a vote for a party, not an informed vote for each individual on the ticket.
Voters need to look at each individual candidate and vote on who is best, not on which party they belong to. School board and judicial races are generally not voted on by a "straight party" option.
In addition to the bipartisan federal People Before Party Act of 2013, which Matheson cosponsored it would eliminate a straight party vote in the 15 remaining states that still have it we need such a bill in Utah to increase considered voter choices.
Daniel S. Poulson