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Federal Court Lawsuit Filed Challenging Repeal of Straight Party Voting

The Michigan State A. Philip Randolph Institute (APRI) and several individual voters today filed suit in federal District Court in Detroit, claiming that the repeal of straight party voting by 2015 PA 268 violates the federal Constitution, Voting Rights Act and Americans with Disabilities Act.

“For 125 years all voters have had the option of using straight party voting, and the voters have twice – in 1964 and 2002 – strongly rejected legislative attempts to take it away. Half of all voters and 75-80% of African-American voters use it without complaint or problem,” said Anita Dawson, President of Michigan State APRI. “The Legislature’s repeal of straight party voting will force millions of voters to spend more time marking their ballots, causing confusion, congestion and longer lines at the polls for all Michigan voters. That will disenfranchise voters, but particularly African-Americans and voters with disabilities.”

Plaintiffs are represented by Mark Brewer of Goodman Acker, P.C. and Mary Ellen Gurewitz of Sachs Waldman, P.C.

The case is Michigan State APRI v. Johnson, No. 2:16-cv-11844 and has been assigned to Judge Gershwin Drain.

Advanced interviews with Mark Brewer of Goodman Acker, PC are available.


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