The Republican Party wants to get rid of it but Democrats want to keep it.
The chairmen of the state’s two major political parties don’t see eye to eye on straight ticket voting.
Even though there were more Republican straight ticket voters than Democrats for the first time that anyone can remember in the Nov. election, state GOP Chairman Conrad Lucas says his party has been clear on the issue.
“Eliminating straight ticket voting has been a plank in our platform for a long time,” Lucas said. “We believe that when individual voters go down and look at the ballot and are forced to choose in races we’ll win that way because our ideas are better.”
West Virginia Democratic Party Chairman Larry Puccio says there’s no reason to get rid of straight ticket voting.
“Someone has to show me why an individual is doing something so wrong if they choose to vote that way,” Puccio said. “We just support the people and their rights.
Puccio says Republicans want to take away the right.
Republicans held a 50.3 percent to 47.5 percent advantage in straight ticket voting in 2012. In a more than 20 counties the overall number of straight ticket voters switched from Democrat to Republican.
Puccio says having President Obama at the top of the ticket hurt their efforts in the fall but he predicts a comeback.
“I don’t think there’s a question that in the next election it will come back. Once again, you don’t panic about things you just continue to do the right things in West Virginia and good things will happen,” Puccio said.
GOP Chair Lucas says he expects the Democrats will want to get rid of straight ticket because it’s turned into an advantage for his party.
“We’re absolutely fine with that,” he said. “We know West Virginia is very quickly becoming a Republican state and we’re seeing that in straight ticket voting as well.”