SALT LAKE CITY — Straight-ticket voting could soon be a thing of the past in Utah.

A bill to prohibit voters from checking a single box on the ballot to vote for all the candidates in one political party moved a step closer to law Tuesday after a Senate committee unanimously approved it. The House passed HB70 last month.

“This is good public policy. It doesn’t matter who it helps or who it hurts. It’s what we ought to be doing in our democracy,” said Rep. Patrice Arent, D-Millcreek, who first made the proposal in 2013.

Arent said the straight-party voters often miss other items on the ballot such as judicial retention, school board races and other issues. She said it doesn’t take much time to go through the entire ballot.

Sen. Todd Weiler, R-Wood Cross, said he likes the bill because it’s bipartisan. While the law might help Democrats in Salt Lake County, Moab and Park City and Republicans in other parts of the state, it’s probably a wash, he told the Senate Government Operations and Political Subdivisions Committee.

Sometimes there is only one third-party candidate on a ballot and a person who votes straight ticket leaves everything else blank, Weiler said. Some voters also think they’re registering for a party when they vote straight ticket.

With voters receiving the ballot by mail three weeks before Election Day, there’s no excuse to not go through the whole thing, he said.

Catherine Weller, president of the Utah League of Women Voters, said the law would create more-informed voters who will better know the candidates and issues for which they vote.

Arent said no state with mail-in ballots allows straight-ticket voting.

“It’s time to pass this bill,” she said.

The measure now awaits a full vote in the Senate.