Michigan

Straight-party ticket voting ban approved by Michigan lawmakers

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan voters could no longer cast a straight-party ticket with a single mark under a bill approved by a sharply divided Legislature and sent to Gov. Rick Snyder’s desk.

The House voted 54-52 for the legislation late Wednesday after the Senate passed it 24-13.

The bill no longer is tied to legislation that would let voters cast an absentee ballot without needing to meet a specific reason.

Majority Republicans say letting people vote a straight ticket with one mark encourages them to pick officeholders by party affiliation, not their qualifications.

Democrats accuse Republicans of seeking a partisan advantage and trying to suppress voter turnout by removing a convenient option.

The bill includes $5 million for more voting booths and tabulators to address clerk’ concerns about longer lines on Election Day.

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