"drawing the short straw"—to mean being randomly, unluckily, or unfairly selected to perform a task, at the risk of suffering a penalty.
The idiom the straw that broke the camel's back, alluding to the proverb "it is the last straw that breaks the camel's back", describes the seemingly minor or routine action which causes an unpredictably large and sudden reaction, because of the cumulative effect of small actions.
A straw poll or straw vote is an ad-hoc or unofficial vote. Straw polls provide dialogue among movements within large groups. In meetings subject to rules of order, impromptu straw polls often are taken to see if there is enough support for an idea to devote more meeting time to it, and (when not a secret ballot) for the attendees to see who is on which side of a question. Among political bodies, straw polls often are scheduled for events at which many people interested in the polling question can be expected to vote. Sometimes polls conducted without ordinary voting controls in place (i.e., on an honor system, such as in online polls) are also called "straw polls".
The idiom may allude to a straw (thin plant stalk) held up to see in what direction the wind blows, in this case, the wind of group opinion