A federal judge approved a permanent injunction Wednesday against the state eliminating straight-ticket voting in Michigan even though the Republican-controlled Legislature passed a bill in 2015 that would do exactly that.
When Michigan Republicans passed the bill eliminating straight ticket voting, they “intentionally discriminated against African-Americans in violation of the Equal Protection Clause,” U.S. District Judge Gershwin Drain wrote in his decision. “The Court finds that eliminating the Democratic Party’s success with straight-ticket voters — success especially driven by African-Americans residing in communities with high voting-age African-American populations — was a motivating consideration in the Michigan Legislature’s enactment of PA 268. The goal of ending the Democratic Party’s success with straight-ticket voters, therefore, was achieved at the expense of African-Americans’ access to the ballot.”
Straight-ticket voting allows voters to fill in one box on the ballot to support all Democrats or all Republicans all the way down the ballot. Local clerks have said the option has helped speed voting lines, which tend to get long, especially in urban areas during presidential election years. In the 2008 presidential election cycle, voters in Detroit reported lines that lasted more than two hours.
Full Article: Judge: GOP discriminated with straight ticket voting ban.