Today the Senate Judiciary Committee heard a proposed bill entitled the Vote for the Person, Not the Party Act. This bill would eliminate the straight Democrat or Republican ballot option. One of the bill’s sponsors, Senator Newton, said there is “too much interest along party lines” during election day and that removing this option is an attempt to get the voter to look at the entire ballot.

Opponents of bill said that it would lead to longer lines at the polls on election day and Senator Tillman made a reference that the “old guard”, presumably older voters, enjoyed the convenient option of voting entirely for his or her party. Yet, a supporter of the bill, Senator Soucek, referred to the bill as a much needed “nudge.” A nudge that would require voters to look at each name, decide along party lines and/or merit, and then check the box.

The bill was hotly debated by both sides and the votes were split, 7 to 7, for a favorable report. However, Chairman Brunstetter broke the tie and the bill was accepted. It will be interesting to see if the bill passes and if it will be a nudge in the right or wrong direction.