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Straight Ticket: Texas ending longtime voting option

Straight Ticket: Texas ending longtime voting option

November 9th, 2018 by Gazette Staff in Opinion Editorial

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 opinion@texarkanagazette.com 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.


From www.facebook.com/texarkanagazette

  •  It depends on quality of livestock owner! I do think spurs or provoking animal is abuse! I'm definitely against ANY CIRCUS that has wild animal acts!
  •  Absolutely not banned. Most of these animals are more well cared for than most domestics. Have you ever seen a skinny bull or have you seen how majestic the horses are?
  •  People should see the good in things instead assuming the worse.
  •  Absolutely not, most of those animals are much better maintained and cared for than house hold pets.
  •  Yes and yes.
  •  Bull riding seems kind of mean and pointless. They're clearly distressed and agitated. Horse barrel racing is okay. They don't seem stressed, but IDK what it takes to train a horse. I do know that people who get horses love their horses, so I will assume they train them with patience.
  •  Bucking bulls are cared for better than almost any animal on earth. They enjoy what they do and almost get a feeling of depression if they aren't doing what they are born to do. They are cared for by some of the best vets in the world. Rodeos should be a least concern. Puppy mills and people who dump dogs should be the focus.
  •  Rodeo is a sport that should be published and the animals are athletes that should be showcased. They are cared for better than most people's children half the time
  •  Those animals are cared for better than some people's kids!
  •  I love rodeos. Animals I've seen have never been harmed. People need to stop being so overly sensitive. Where's the abuse?
  •  Absolutely not! It is a family sport. I've spent every weekend with my children participating in rodeos. My horses and stock receive the utmost care. They see an equine dentist twice a year, chiropractor twice a year. They are vaccinated yearly. Blanketed in the winter and stalled in inclement weather. I will take them to the vet with the slightest cough. I have their hay hauled in from Colorado and each horse has a feed program tailored to their specific needs.
  •  Absolutely not, the rodeo is awesome.
  •  I would ban newspapers before rodeos. JS! People's opinions can be way more dangerous than an ol' buckin' bull, or a rope around the neck for that matter!
  •  Cruel.
  •  Absolutely NOT!
  •  Absolutely NOT! Those folks take better care of their animals than anyone known to man.
  •  Nope. Rodeo is not only a great display of athletic ability by the athletes (both animal AND human), but it is also a sport that always pays respect and homage to the industry and lifestyle it was born from.
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