Straight party vote off N.M. ballots in November

From the Santa Fe New Mexican - by Barry Massey, The Associated Press - A fixture on ballots for decades, the option to vote a straight party ticket is disappearing in New Mexico and won't be available when people head to the polls in November.  Voters historically could easily choose to support a party's entire slate of candidates by making just one mark on the ballot or pressing a single button. But Secretary of State Dianna Duran has decided not to allow that in this year's general election because there's no provision in state law specifically authorizing it.  "Her job is to follow the law," said Ken Ortiz, the secretary of state's chief of staff.  What remains unclear is whether elimination of the straight-ticket option will disproportionately help or hurt Democratic or Republican candidates.  "This could have major implications," said Brian Sanderoff, an Albuquerque pollster and longtime observer of New Mexico elections.  It's far from certain whether voters who cast straight-ticket ballots in the past will continue to support only the candidates of their favored party by marking ballots in each individual race. People may simply skip voting in lower-profile races as they go through a potentially long ballot.  Read more



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