Michigan’s Republican-led House moved late Wednesday to approve bills that would eliminate straight-ticket voting and allow no-reason absentee voting after an in-person ballot request. The straight-ticket ban, modified and advanced in a 54-51 vote at around 10 p.m., faced criticism from Democrats, who called it a political proposal that would have the practical effect of creating longer voting lines. “The reason we’re doing this is because Republicans have not been able to win education board seats,” said Rep. Sam Singh, D-East Lansing. “…So they decided to change the rules.”
Michigan law currently allows voters to check a box to pick all candidates from one party on the partisan portion of their ballot, an option that Senate Bill 13 would eliminate.
State Rep. Al Pscholka, R-Stevensville, called straight-ticket voting a holdover from the days of party bosses, who wouldn’t just tell people how to vote, they’d make the selections for them.
Michigan is one of only 10 states that still allows straight-party voting, he noted, arguing the importance of voters taking the time to research each candidate on the ballot.