Michigan Secretary of State Ruth Johnson is asking a federal judge to reconsider his decision to allow straight-ticket voting on the November 2018 ballot, according to an emergency court motion filed Tuesday. The motion asks U.S. District Judge Gershwin Drain to issue an immediate stay pending appeal of Drain’s Aug. 9 injunction on a 2016 Michigan law that removes the straight-party voting option. The motion asks for a decision by Friday, Aug. 17, citing the need to set the November ballot. The motion, which was filed by Attorney General Bill Schuette, argues that the state is likely to prevail on appeal and voters will not be harmed if the straight-ticket option is not available.
Drain’s order “contains manifest errors and must be stayed to ensure that Michigan runs a fair and orderly election,” the motion says. “There is irreparable harm to Defendant when a duly enacted law is facially challenged and subsequently permanently enjoined.”
“In contrast, there is no harm to Plaintiffs or any Michigan voter – regardless of race – because the law prohibits no one from casting their vote however s/he wishes while the status quo of the duly enacted P.A. 268 is maintained,” the motion says.