Appeals court refuses to halt Michigan straight-party ruling

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — A federal appeals court has rejected the state of Michigan’s request to immediately halt a lower ruling that blocked a ban against straight-party voting.

The 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati declined Secretary of State Ruth Johnson’s motion for a stay on Wednesday.

U.S. District Judge Gershwin Drain blocked the new Republican-backed law last month, saying it would place a “disproportionate burden” on black voters in the fall election.

Straight-ticket voting, which lets voters support an entire slate of one party’s candidates with a single mark, is popular in Michigan cities with large black populations. It has been on the books for more than 100 years and has been a common choice in some counties that are steadfastly loyal to Republicans, too.

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