Liberal – Nicole Cheney
In a country with a broken political system, it’s hard to place the blame on any one individual for their particular voting choices.
Straight-ticket voting, an option which allows one to automatically cast votes for every candidate running in their same political party, is no more harmful than designing an electorate which unevenly represents the population. In an ideal society, one would exercise their “civic duty” by researching every candidate and weighing the pros and cons of their positions, regardless of partisan lines.
Unfortunately, the United States is not an ideal society; in many states’ general elections, the vote of the unpopular party is a complete waste. Votes matter more in local elections, but even then, many municipalities do a poor job of providing adequate information to the general public about lesser-known candidates, so it is common to assume that the candidate representing one’s party also represents their values. The U.S. party structure is simply too polarized from the top-down for straight-ticket voting to be the biggest problem in the system.
Independent – Beshoy Shokralla
Straight ticket voting is one of the biggest problems with politics today. Hundreds of thousands, possibly millions, of people vote purely based on party, going down a ticket and selecting everyone registered under the correct party—their own—without a second thought. Why wouldn’t they? Republicans are evil! Democrats are idiots!
This horrible mentality is perpetuated when politicians cater to such extremes. Republicans are expected to always vote with Republicans, Democrats always to vote with Democrats. Take Senator Flake, who expressed great concern about Kavanaugh, then turned around and voted to confirm after plenty of worried posturing. Or almost any Democrat during the Gorsuch confirmation, most voting “No”, even though Gorsuch did not have any issues. This is exactly what their voters wanted.
It doesn’t matter what politicians claim to stand for, or what he/she is against. As long as they have a magic D or R next to their name, many voters will select them without ever looking into their platform.
So what can people do to break this cycle? Don’t vote for someone you haven’t actually researched! I don’t mean listening to attack ads on TV; I’m talking about looking at past voting records if they have one, their platform, who they accept donations from, what their plans for office are. All these factors should be important in voting, especially with local politicians. Once you elect them, HOLD THEM ACCOUNTABLE.
Conservative – Adrian Wong
No, there is absolutely no issue with voting entirely for candidates of one party or another. This is America, where people have the freedom to vote for whoever they want. There is nothing stopping someone from voting for Tom Brady to be president or voting for Nick Saban to be Senator from Alabama. People should not be afraid to vote for the candidate they want to win.
Voting for someone just because they are from one party and not another is a valid reason. A person’s vote does not require a reason. If someone thinks that one party is better than another, that person is more than welcome to cast their vote down party lines.