With the 2018 midterms, a longtime Texas voting tradition came to an end—the straight-ticket option.
Texas is one of the few states where straight-ticket voting is offered. But thanks to a bill passed in the Legislature and signed by Gov. Greg Abbott, this was the last major election where voters could simply vote for all Republicans or all Democrats without going through the entire ballot and selecting their candidate in each race. When the 2020 general election comes around, straight ticket will not be offered.
We want to know what you think. Should Texas have retained straight-ticket voting? Or is it a good thing straight-ticket voting will no longer be allowed?
Send your response (50 words maximum) to firstname.lastname@example.org by Wednesday, Nov. 14. You can also mail your response to the Texarkana Gazette Friday Poll, at P.O. Box 621, Texarkana, TX 75504 or drop it off at our office, 101 E. Broad St., Texarkana, Ark. Be sure to include your name, address and phone number. We will print as many responses as we can in next Friday's paper.
Last Week: Fun or Cruelty?
Last week's question was about the controversial sport of rodeo. Is rodeo animal abuse? Should it be banned?
If that's not cruelty, what is? The cowardly boys scare the little calf out into the arena. It is terrified. Then they lasso it around the neck and slam it to the ground. The part I like is when the bull shakes off the rider and tried to attack him. Ask the man on the ground what it feels like. Stop the cruelty!—G.M.D., Texarkana, Ark.
Just another way for selfish people to get off being mean to animals.—B.D., Willow Springs, Mo.
Rodeos are definitely a form of animal abuse and should be banned! Everything that takes place at rodeos is at the expense of animals. They are frightened and do not understand their role; they cannot escape, and are at the mercy of people who show them none.—S.B., Aurora, Colo.
There is nothing good or inspiring about forcing animals to buck by tightening ropes across their genitals or roping terrified young calves around their necks then slamming them hard against the ground.—P.M., Melbourne Australia
Rodeos are abusive and should be banned. I've witnessed the use of hot shots, flank straps and burs on horses and bulls, to induce bucking; bulls' tails held at right angles to keep them still; calves aggressively flipped, tied, and choked; severe confinement on site and in transport trailers; plus large crowds, bright lights, and loud music. Rodeo cruelty is obvious if you watch from the animals' point of view.—G.G., Gwynedd Valley, Penn.
Growing up in Nebraska, I attended many rodeos. It's bullying. The animals are chased, slammed around, roughly grabbed, half-strangled by ropes, and much more. It doesn't matter that they scream, gasp for breath, struggle, and try to run away. That's what banning rodeo would mean: Ending bullying called rodeo.—M.D., Madison, Wis.
Rodeos are animal abuse and should be banned. Many animals are severely injured or die in rodeos. The rodeo contests serve no purpose besides "entertainment." Rodeo events teach children that it's okay to ride an animal against its will or throw an animal to the ground violently.—M.C., Los Angeles
Rodeo cruelty is not entertainment. Animals are not willing participants. Ropes, spurs and electrical shock (despite claims to the contrary) make the animals do what they do. Broken bones, whiplash and other injuries are common among the animals subjected to the brutality of this "sport." It should be banned.—B.D., Rockton, Ill.
I used to go to rodeos growing up. I thought nothing of seeing big tough cowboys roping a calf to the ground among many of the other rodeo events. My eyes opened up one day in 2009 and I saw the rodeo for what it was—torturing helpless animals to show how big and tough the cowboys are. The animals don't stand a chance against them locked in a pen or in the rodeo arena. The animals are scared, the animals suffer greatly all for sport. We are better than that.—C.S., Laguna Beach, Calif.
Rodeo is horrible abuse of helpless animals, if animals could speak they would tell you that they are terrorized by crowds of screaming people while being violently thrown around, laced and beaten. If you care about the future of society, and would want to have peace worldwide don't promote or endorse violence of any kind and condemn this barbaric primitive practice that is called rodeo.—L.R., New York
Of course rodeo is animal abuse. Anyone with a pair of eyes and even a shred of intellectual honesty can see that. And the spectacle of grown men trying to prove their machismo by dominating and harming innocent animals is pathetic. It's cheesy entertainment at its worst and should be banned.—C.V., Irvine, Calif.
Rodeo is inherently cruel and should be outlawed worldwide. For most animals, it's merely a detour en route to the slaughterhouse. Boycott all rodeos and their corporate sponsors.—E.M., Oakland, Calif.