High Court dismisses Michigan ban on straight-ticket voting

The United States Supreme Court denied a bid by the state of Michigan to restore its ban on straight-ticket voting on Friday, a measure originally supported by Wolverine State Republicans.

Straight-ticket voting is the exercise in which a voter uses a feature of voting for one and only one party on a ballot.

The High Court’s ruling leaves in place a decision by the Sixth U.S. Court of Appeals in July, which said a ban on the straight-ticket voting disproportionately affects black voters.

Backed by Michigan’s GOP-controlled legislature and Republican governor, Rick Snyder, the ban on straight-ticket voting provision was one or a series of laws taken by the state seeking to place restrictions on voting.  Similar measures included a shorter early-voting period and stringent voter-identification rules.

Passed in January, the law was contested immediately:  Supporters argued the ban on straight-ticket voting would encourage voters to weight a candidate’s merits as opposed to simply voting on party line, but opponents said it specifically targeted minority groups intending to discourage blacks from voting.

A short-handed Court voted 4-2 in favor of upholding the Court of Appeals July decision with Justices Samuel Alito and Clarence Thomas dissenting.

Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton leads Republican Donald Trump by mid-single digits in the Wolverine State, according to an average of the latest polls.


[Reuters] [RealClear Politics] [Photo courtesy New York Times]