Opponents of Michigan’s new straight ticket-voting ban asked the U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday to reject Attorney General Bill Schuette’s emergency appeal, predicting “massive confusion and even longer lines at polling places” if the state’s ban is enforced. The prohibition on letting voters fill in one bubble for all Democratic or all Republican candidates on the Nov. 8 ballot would deter African-American voters in particular, attorneys for the plaintiffs argued. “Millions of voters of all parties use it, have come to depend on it, and expect to be able to use it again this November,” the lawyers wrote in a brief filed Wednesday, noting the state has made no effort to educate voters that straight-party voting would not be available this fall. The lawyers include Mark Brewer, a Southfield attorney who is the former Michigan Democratic Party chairman.
Schuette on Friday filed an emergency application asking the justices to reinstate Michigan’s new straight-ticket voting ban in time for the Nov. 8 election. “Michigan’s law is neutral, not discriminatory — it applies to all voters, regardless of race,” he wrote.
The U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals rejected the request by Schuette and Secretary of State Ruth Johnson for an “en banc” hearing over the new straight ticket-voting law, approved by the Republican-led Legislature in December.
U.S. District Judge Gershwin A. Drain, a Democratic appointee, first struck down the straight-ticket ban in July, ruling it could create longer lines on Election Day that would disproportionately affect black voters and limit their ability to participate in the political process.
Full Article: Supporters ask justices to allow straight-ticket voting.