Gov. Abbott signs into law new bill ending straight-ticket party voting

HOUSTON - Governor Greg Abbott has signed into law a new bill that will end straight-ticket party voting starting in 2020.

"People now need to study those candidates. You know, do your homework. Don't just blindly go in there and do a straight-party thing," Harris County Clerk Stan Stanart said. "Do your homework! Find out who's representing you, because they work for you and we need your input on making sure the best candidate gets elected in Harris County."

But last year, 64 percent of the vote in the 10 most populated counties in Texas were all straight-ticket ballots so voters seem to like that option.

Could there be a backlash for taking it away?

"I don't see a backlash at all," Stanart insisted. "In fact, I think now we're going to get people doing more due diligence to actually study those candidates, and vote for those people that they understand instead of just voting for the label at the top."

But critics claim the new law will hurt minority voters.

"Are these people trying to say these people aren't as intelligent? No! To me, it's the disrespecting of minorities," Stanart said. "Let's let minorities do their homework just like anybody else can. It's a great thing for Democracy for people to actually be more involved, more participating, more than just showing up."

But if Democracy is about options then why take away this one?

If longer lines and more hassles are created, voters may choose to just stay home.

And that could spell real trouble for Democracy.