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straight-ticket

A list of 4 Election Day "Dos"... and 2 "Don'ts"

Nov 4, 2016
Voting sign.
flickr user justgrimes / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

This year, more than 7 million Michigan residents are registered to vote. That’s a record number for the state.

So, now that you’re registered, what should you expect on Election Day?

I was a little surprised when Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette appealed the decision striking down the ban on straight-ticket voting to the U.S. Supreme Court.

I knew, of course, that the attorney general wanted straight-ticket voting outlawed.

He is a fiercely partisan Republican, and the GOP thinks with some reason that allowing straight-ticket voting hurts their candidates.

From left: Michigan NAACP President Yvonne White, national NAACP President Cornell Brooks, and Flint Mayor Karen Weaver.
Sarah Cwiek / Michigan Radio

Michigan chapters of the NAACP met in Detroit for the group’s 80th statewide convention this weekend.

The historic group talked strategies to confront current civil rights challenges, that range from police brutality and criminal justice reform, to state laws that limit voting rights.

National NAACP President Cornell Brooks, who spoke at the Michigan conference, called 2016 a "critical year" for the modern civil rights and racial justice movements, as well as a critical election year.

Democrats in Michigan are breathing a sigh of relief now that the fight over straight-ticket voting in Michigan is over. For now, at least.

The U.S. Supreme Court torpedoed Republican efforts on Friday to deep-six a Democratic advantage in the Michigan election process.

Jack Lessenberry
Michigan Radio

Michigan's ban on straight-ticket voting keeps moving up the judicial ladder.

In the latest edition of The Week in Michigan Politics, Jack Lessenberry and Doug Tribou look at the state's latest move to reinstate the ban and whether voters will have the option in November.

kids getting on a school bus
woodleywonderworks / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Summer's almost over, and kids all over Michigan are getting ready for the new school year. This Week In Review, Jack Lessenberry and Rebecca Kruth look at the School Reform Office's annual list ranking the state's lowest performing schools. They also talk about the latest in the straight-ticket voting saga and whether third party candidates will affect election outcomes in Michigan.


Outside the U.S. Supreme Court.
user dbking / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette is asking the United States Supreme Court to reverse two lower courts and allow the state’s ban on straight-ticket voting to take effect.

Lower courts have ruled the ban violates the rights of minority voters in cities who are most likely to use the option. It allows a voter to support a political party’s entire slate of candidates with one mark on the ballot.

Common Cause is one of the groups challenging the ban. Director of Voting and Elections Allegra Chapman says it’s time for Schuette to give up.

Update 1:55 p.m.:

Attorney General BIll Schuette has filed an emergency application for a stay with the U.S. Supreme Court to stop straight-ticket voting from being allowed in Michigan.

Original post:

Well, it now seems almost certain that on November 8th, Michigan voters will be able to fill in one little oval and cast what’s called a straight-ticket vote for a political party’s entire list of candidates for all offices.


Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

A federal appeals court just dealt a setback to Michigan Republicans trying to ban the straight-ticket voting option on the November ballot.

The judges of the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals voted to reject a request from Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette. He asked the full court to review a decision that the state’s ban on the straight-ticket option violates voting rights – in particular the rights of minority voters in cities where long lines can be an issue on Election Day. This is the third court loss in a row for Republican officials defending the ban.

michigan.gov / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Michigan Republicans and Democrats held their summer nominating conventions over the weekend. 

Our It's Just Politics team of Zoe Clark and Rick Pluta sat down with us today to break down both conventions.

When you go to vote this fall, you'll have a chance to weigh in on education.

Amidst mounting calls for the state to do a better job educating its students, state Board of Education candidates are up for election, as well as trustees and governors of Michigan's major universities. 

Michigan Radio's Jack Lessenberry joined us today to talk about the myriad issues at stake in the upcoming education races. 

There is a saying in politics that three-quarters of what you do in a campaign doesn’t matter -- you just don’t know which three quarters until after the campaign is over.

That’s because there are so many variables that can make a difference once the voting starts, so candidates, campaigns, and political parties do all they can to gain every marginal advantage.

Michael Dorausch / Flickr, http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Election day is drawing near. It’s less than 90 days away.

And still the battle continues over straight-ticket voting - that's where you can check off just one box at the top of the ballot to vote for every candidate in the party of your choice.

State Attorney General Bill Schuette has filed an emergency motion with a federal appeals court. He’s asking the appeals court to overrule lower court rulings that blocked the new GOP-led law that eliminates straight-ticket voting in Michigan.

Michael Dorausch / Flickr, http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

A federal appeals court has declined to stay a lower court ruling that declared Michigan's ban on straight-ticket voting unconstitutional.

Barring a successful emergency appeal by Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette, the decision means straight-ticket voting will remain available to Michigan voters in November's general election. 

State AG Bill Schuette wants to make sure no one can vote straight-ticket this November.
Personalincome.org - http://www.personalincome.org/vote/ / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

The battle surrounding straight ticket voting has taken a new turn. Attorney General Bill Scheutte filed an emergency motion today asking a federal appeals court to reinstate a ban on the practice in time for 

In July, a federal judge blocked the Michigan law that banned the practice of allowing voters to use a single mark on the ballot to vote for a political party’s entire slate of candidates. The judge said it violated voting rights of urban African-Americans who are most likely to use the option, and would likely lead to longer lines on Election Day.

Outside the RNC in Cleveland.
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

This Week in Review, Rebecca Kruth and Jack Lessenberry wrap up the Republican National Convention and look toward Philadelphia where the Democratic National Convention is set for next week. Kruth and Lessenberry also discuss a federal ruling that blocks Michigan’s ban on straight ticket voting and the loss of one of the state’s most prominent LGBT rights advocates.


polling place sign
Michael Dorausch / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

You can vote a straight ticket ballot in November. Maybe.

A federal judge is blocking the Michigan law that banned straight party voting. 

But, Attorney General Bill Schuette and Secretary of State Ruth Johnson will appeal the decision, probably early next week.

The U.S. District Judge who's blocking the law, Gershwin Drain, wrote an opinion which indicated this would present a disproportionate burden on African American's right to vote. 

Something happened in a courtroom in Detroit Thursday that may have more impact on the November elections in Michigan than anything at the Republican convention.

Earlier this year, Republicans in the legislature outlawed straight-ticket voting in all elections in Michigan. They gave a lot of phony excuses for why they did this, but the real reason is clear. Straight-ticket voting tends to help Democrats, especially for offices that are less high-profile, like board of education seats.

people in voting booths
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

DETROIT (AP) - A federal judge has blocked Michigan's new ban on straight-party voting, a law that was passed by Republicans but criticized by Democrats as a way to discourage turnout among minorities.

Judge Gershwin Drain signed an injunction Thursday, a week after hearing arguments. He says the law would place a "disproportionate burden" on the rights of blacks to vote in the fall election.

Lawyers say more than 70 percent of ballots in Detroit and Flint have been cast as straight-party - votes that go for all candidates of one party with just a single mark.

Yesterday was not a good day for Governor Rick Snyder.

First, he signed the bill outlawing straight-ticket voting. There was never any real doubt he would do this.

Those in politics were surprised he didn’t sign it between Christmas and the new year, when most people are paying little attention. 

Jack Lessenberry
Michigan Radio

This Week in Michigan Politics, Jack Lessenberry explains the straight-ticket voting law that Governor Rick Snyder has signed into law, another proposed bill that would block school districts and municipalities from informing the public about ballot measures within 60 days of an election, and Lessenberry explains what Governor Snyder's state of emergency declaration means for Flint. 


people in voting booths
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Governor Rick Snyder has signed a law that eliminates the choice of voting a straight-party ballot with a single mark on Election Day, despite the fact that the option has been upheld twice by voters.

However, voters will not have the opportunity to challenge the new law on the ballot because Republican lawmakers tucked into it a $5 million spending provision that makes it immune to a referendum.

Jack Lessenberry
Michigan Radio

This Week in Michigan Politics, Jack explained some controversial bills on their way to Governor Rick Snyder's desk, how Flint wants to start shutting off water to people who haven't paid their bills, and how Michigan may still lose congressional seats despite a slight rise in population. 


The Michigan House of Representatives in Lansing
Lester Graham / Michigan Radio file photo

The top Democrat in the state House is urging Gov. Rick Snyder to veto controversial election legislation.

One bill would eliminate the straight-ticket voting option on Michigan ballots.

The other makes changes to campaign finance laws that critics say allow more money from outside political groups into elections. Local governments and school leaders are also concerned about a provision in that bill they say would prevent them from answering questions during public meetings leading up to elections.

You expect politicians to do things to give their side partisan advantage, up to a point. Democrats would certainly draw congressional and legislative district boundaries to help them win more seats, if they had a chance. That’s how the game is played.

But this year, Senate Majority Leader Arlan Meekhof and his disciple, Senate Elections Chair Dave Robertson, have been shockingly open in not only their drive to make it harder to vote, but in showing utter contempt for the will of the people.

State AG Bill Schuette wants to make sure no one can vote straight-ticket this November.
Personalincome.org - http://www.personalincome.org/vote/ / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

A bill to allow no-reason absentee voting in Michigan could have a tough time in the state Senate.

The state House approved House Bill 4724 late Wednesday night. It also tied the bill to one eliminating the straight-ticket voting option on Michigan ballots. That means one bill can’t become law without the other.

Inside the Michigan Senate
Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

The Michigan Senate has approved campaign finance legislation that would write the U.S. Supreme Court's Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission ruling into state law.

The court ruled that the First Amendment allows unrestricted independent political spending by outside groups.

Democrats say the bill not only codifies “Citizens United” – it expands it.

voting booths
user eyspahn / Flickr http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

A state House committee has adopted a bill to eliminate the straight ticket voting option on election ballots. And the committee linked the measure’s future to a bill to make it easier to vote absentee.

Republicans say it’s a compromise that will require voters to educate themselves about candidates.

There are just two more weeks before the Legislature’s done for the year and House and Senate Republicans are spending them setting things up for election season 2016.

There’s a very partisan debate underway at the state Capitol about eliminating the straight-ticket voting option on the ballot. Straight-ticket voting is what allows voters to make just one mark on the ballot to cast all their votes for candidates of one party or the other.

No-reason absentee voting bill pushed in Michigan House

Dec 5, 2015
voting booths
user eyspahn / Flickr http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Republicans' push to eliminate Michigan's straight-party voting option may improve the odds of voters being allowed to cast absentee ballots for any reason.

A lawmaker is pushing for passage of "no-reason" absentee voting legislation next week. Voters could ask for an absentee ballot application in person at their clerk's office without needing an excuse.

They currently must be 60 years or older, be out of town when polls are open or meet other criteria.

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