LANSING — State Representative Leslie Love (D-Detroit) rose in opposition to Senate Bill 13, which narrowly passed the House of Representatives late last night on a largely party-line vote. The bill eliminates the option of a straight-ticket ballot, which a majority of voters from both parties use. Many election officials expect longer lines at polling places, which will disproportionally affect urban voters.
“I don’t know about you, but I know the history of what it took for my people to have the opportunity to go to that poll and place that vote: the barriers, the attacks, the dog attacks, the literacy test at the polls — all the ways people in history have blocked my people from voting,” Love said. “Shame on us if today we decide to do that once again, when the choice already exists.”
Many supporters of the bill claimed that forcing voters to choose each candidate individually will lead them to make more informed choices. However, many municipal officials testified that the bill would simply lead to voting delays, confusion and frustration at the polls. Furthermore, Republicans inserted a small appropriation that will shield the bill from being repealed by voter referendum, which has happened twice before.
“Michigan voters have spoken loud and clear: Straight-ticket voting has worked here for more than a century, and we want to keep it that way. But Republicans disrespect the voice of the people so much, they silenced them twice,” Love said. “This is an outright assault on the democratic process and a shameful moment in the history of our state.”