The U.S. District Court and Court of Appeals recently issued opinions that kept the straight party voting option available to Michigan voters in the November election.
Straight party voting has been Michigan law since 1891 and allows voters to select all candidates of their desired party with one mark. Millions of voters use it. Michigan voters upheld their right to straight party voting in 1964 and 2002. The Michigan Legislature voted to eliminate it last winter. The ban on straight party voting would have required voters to take more time in the voting booths, creating long lines at the polls.
Clerks of both parties oppose eliminating this right. District Court Judge Gershwin Drain determined that eliminating straight party voting was a violation of the U.S. Constitution’s Fourteenth Amendment and placed a burden on minority voters in violation of the Voting Rights Act. The United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit has refused to overrule Judge Drain’s decision. Goodman Acker’s own Mark Brewer is one of the attorneys on this case, working to restore voter’s rights.
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