Last week, I introduced the People Before Party Act of
2013 with my Republican colleague Charlie Dent from
Pennsylvania. Specifically, our bipartisan legislation would end the practice of
straight-party ticket voting in federal elections. I also shared
more information about my bill over the weekend in the Salt Lake
Tribune. I�ve included a copy of my editorial below.
constantly looking for issues that matter to Utah families like yours
that I am honored to represent. If there are topics, like finding
commonsense solutions and encouraging collaboration in government,
which matter to you, please let me know. I value your ideas and I
look forward to hearing from you.
4th District of
End straight party
The Salt Lake Tribune
Mar 09 2013
In the wake of the 2012
elections, one thing is abundantly clear: Average American voters are sick
and tired of bickering and gridlock in our political system. They are
fed up with political brinkmanship and partisan agendas.
They want leadership from a new age of statesmen
and women, and they want progress and problem solving � the kind that
has made our nation�s greatest achievements possible. And most
importantly, they want it now.
I hear this sentiment every day
from constituents, and frankly, I share their frustrations with
business as usual in Congress. These are extraordinary times where so much
must, and can, be accomplished to put our country on a solid path
forward. And I am proud to serve in a representative government where each
elected official swears to uphold the public trust and bears this
responsibility to those who elect them, not to a political party.
The time is now to work together, to break
down barriers, to put forward solutions and to encourage collaboration.
The challenges we face are very complicated, so they cannot be solved
overnight and they cannot be solved when only two points of view from
the two parties are considered.
with any task worth undertaking, the place to start is by identifying
a part of the problem and beginning the task of making it
That is why earlier this week I, along with
my Republican colleague Charlie Dent of Pennsylvania, introduced the
People Before Party Act of 2013, a bipartisan bill that would end the
practice of straight-party ticket voting in federal elections.
If one of our goals is to have a less polarized
legislative process where we can get things accomplished, I think a
good place to start is by selecting our elected officials because of
who they are and what they have done, not just by their party
affiliation. It seems pretty common sense to me � a vote should be cast for an
individual, not for a party. For each race, select the most qualified
person to do the job and pick them on their merits, just the same way
workers are hired all over our country.
Specifically, my bill prevents straight party voting in federal races,
which include president, Senate and House. There are only 15 states
that continue to allow voting a straight-party ticket. Studies show
that making a change to this practice would encourage voters to be more
aware when filling out their ballot. Additionally, it increases voter
participation for non-partisan positions like state school board or
judicial races, which are often overlooked when a voter votes a straight
When their ballot is complete,
citizens may still have selected all Republican or all Democratic
candidates. But I believe today�s majority of American voters want to make
the decision for themselves for each race on the ballot. What�s more,
I believe that the American voter is capable, informed and thoughtful
and I want to do all I can to empower that spirit.
Creating a more engaged political process is not only the
right thing to do, it will also mitigate the partisan bickering that
overwhelms our politics today. It is a simple concept, and it isn�t a
new one � put people before party. Sometimes, a start to solving the
big problems isn�t that hard to find.