Political party vignettes would be off Michigan ballot under new legislation

Jun 15, 2016

A pair of new state House bills would remove political party vignettes from the November ballot.

Vignettes are those little pictures that appear next to a party's name on the ballot.

For example, a picture of Abraham Lincoln with Ronald Reagan appears next to the Republican Party’s name on this sample ballot for the 2016 state primary. Franklin Roosevelt and John F. Kennedy appear on the Democratic Party’s side.

They’re typically used for straight ticket voting which is no longer an option in Michigan.

Rep. Hank Vaupel (R-Handy Township) sponsored one of the bills. He says keeping the pictures on the ballot could confuse voters and cause delays at the polls.

"It would be very easy just to circle the vignette and think that you're voting," he said.

With so few sessions left, Vaupel says he’s “not optimistic” about getting the bill through the Legislature in time for the November election.