The Building Tradesman Newspaper

Friday, September 21, 2018

No straight-ticket voting on Nov. 6 ballot

By The Building Tradesman

Michigan's option for straight-ticket voting is no more.

A federal Appeals Court ruling on Sept. 5 cleared the way to prevent voters from picking all Democrats or all Republicans on their Nov. 6 general election ballot with a single mark on their ballot. The 2-1 decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit granted a motion by Michigan Secretary of State Ruth Johnson to overturn a federal District Court judge's ruling that would have struck down the Republican-backed Public Act 268 of 2016 that bans straight-ticket voting.

A last-minute appeal failed when the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear the case.

Michigan "now joins more than 40 other states in which voters choose the person instead of the party," said Johnson. "For too long, important ballot questions and nonpartisan offices, including judges, were skipped over by people who marked a straight ticket thinking they had voted their full ballot.”

U.S. District Court Judge Gershwin Drain found PA 268 unconstitutional "because it would lengthen lines and increase wait times for all voters, as well as discriminate against African-American voters, as they vote a straight-ticket at higher rates than other demographics and frequently vote for Democratic candidates," according to the new service MIRS.