Sunday, September 11, 2016
Straight-ticket voting is the latest voting practice to come before the US Supreme Court. When a voter uses the straight ticket, one check mark results in a vote for all of the candidates for that party on the ballot . Many states have eliminated this practice and Michigan sought to do the same, despite the fact that the practice has been in place for over 100 years. The Michigan legislature voted to eliminate the practice but a federal district court refused to invalidate it.
The State argued race neutrality as the type of voting applies to all voters. The opposition claims that 65-76% of African American Michigan voters use straight-ticket voting. The opposition also said, that unlike other states, Michigan does not offer early voting and absentee voting is permitted only when certain criteria are met. The opposition concluded that elimination of straight-ticket voting would result in long lines if eliminated so close to the election. SCOTUS declined to hear the case. Michigan had asked for a quick decision so that it could begin printing absentee ballots. More information regarding this petition may be found at SCOTUS Blog.