POLYAS Election Glossary

We provide explanations and background information on elections, voting rights and digital democracy

Straight-ticket voting

Straight-ticket voting refers to the practice of voters assigning all their votes to the candidates of one political party in an election. Such a practice is the opposite of split-ticket voting and can take place when voters are able to elect multiple office holders in a single election.

In United States presidential elections, for instance, voters are able to choose their preferred presidential candidate as well as their preferred congressman or woman in the House of Representatives. Additionally, one third of Senate positions are also up for election during any given presidential election. For example, a voter in the 2012 US election who voted for Democrat Barack Obama will have also cast a vote for any Democratic Party candidates for the House of Representatives and Senate

Currently, the only US states that allow straight ticket voting are: Alabama, Indiana (banned at large races like presidential elections), Kentucky, Michigan, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas* and Utah. 

*Texas removed Straight ticket voting in May 2017, with the legislature change set to take place in 2020. 

See also: Split-ticket voting, US Congress, Presidential Election

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