LANSING — State Representative Jon Hoadley (D-Kalamazoo) is introducing legislation that would preserve the straight-ticket voting option in Michigan. The proposal would repeal a new law that has yet to take effect that ends the straight-ticket voting option in Michigan, even though Michigan voters have decided to keep straight-ticket voting twice before.
“Getting rid of straight-ticket voting is something that certain politicians want, not what the people of Michigan want,” Rep. Hoadley said. “Two times before, Michigan voters used their voice and their vote to keep this option on the ballot. Instead of listening to them, Michigan Republicans have made ending straight-ticket voting their mission. My bill honors the voice of the people and preserves the straight-ticket option in Michigan.”
Late last year, a new law banning straight-ticket voting passed through the Legislature on a party-line vote. Legislative Democrats, county clerks and others warned that getting rid of straight-ticket voting — an option used by about half of Michigan voters in the 2012 election (1) — would result in longer lines and increased wait times at polling locations. The law was challenged in court, where a federal judge said that the law would disproportionately affect minority voters.
The law was kept from taking effect for the upcoming November election while a legal decision is pending. However, Michigan Attorney General challenged the stay all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, which declined to take up the case last week.
“It’s shocking to me that someone elected to protect the legal rights of Michiganders would not only fight for a law that makes it harder for them to vote, but take that fight all the way to the highest court in the land,” Rep. Hoadley said. “Instead of putting roadblocks between voters and their ballots, I want to encourage more people to use their right to vote. That’s why I’ve introduced this proposal to preserve the straight-ticket option, and I hope it sees swift action in the Legislature.”