This was the first general election in which the option to vote straight party was absent from ballots.
And, for the first time in the recent history of Linn County, a third party topped the order of parties listed on the ballot, i.e., Libertarian candidates were listed first in each race followed by Republican candidates and then Democratic candidates.
Although I heard concerns from Democrats about the ballot order and the lack of a straight party option, Democratic leaning voters identified and voted for Democratic candidates in sufficient numbers to elect Democratic candidates in ten (10) of twelve (12) contested partisan races in Linn County. Those contested County races were: state senator and representatives, and county supervisors and treasurer.
And a majority of the votes cast in Linn County went to the Democratic candidates running for the statewide and congressional offices.
So did the absence of the straight party voting option and the ballot order decrease the margin of victory for any Democratic candidate? Doubtful. And no evidence exists to support that theory. -Joel D. Miller