(Orange, Texas)

October 20, 2012

Crossover vote is valid option on straight ticket choice

Tommy Mann Jr.
The Orange Leader

ORANGE — Election day is little more than two weeks away, and many people already know who they are voting for while others remain undecided.

Election day is Tuesday, Nov. 6, but early voting begins on Monday, Oct. 22 and continues through Friday, Nov. 2. Along with the race for U.S. President, which features Barack Obama and Mitt Romney, along with Libertarian and Green Party candidates, there are several local races which voters across Orange County will help decide featuring several Republican and Democratic candidates.

Some voters favor submitting an election ballot in favor of one political party or the other, which is commonly known as a “straight ticket.” For example, by selecting the Democratic or Republican Party under the “straight ticket,” the ballot is automatically counted by the voting machines as submitting a vote for each eligible race on the ballot.

However, many people may be unaware they can select the “straight ticket” option and still cast a vote on the same ballot for a person or candidate in the other party in whichever race they choose.

“Most people don’t realize when they vote the straight ticket option they can still vote for a candidate in another party, if they want to do that,” said Tina Barrow, Orange County Election Administrator. “For example, a person can select the straight ticket option for the Republican Party, but, if they wanted to vote for a Democratic candidate in one of our local races, they could mark their ballot for that candidate and the voting machine will count it. It’s like the mark over-rides the choice of straight ticket in that one race.”

Barrow said the Auto Mark voting machines have already been tested to verify this voting option, known as a “crossover vote,” will work.

“It’s not anything new to elections. It’s actually been around a long time. People just didn’t understand they have that choice or just were not aware of that option,” Barrow added.