Michigan officials to appeal straight-party voting ban

LANSING, Mich. (AP) – Michigan officials say they will appeal a federal judge’s ruling against eliminating straight-party voting.

The Detroit News reports Secretary of State Ruth Johnson on Monday filed a notice to appeal. That came two weeks after U.S. District Judge Gershwin Drain said preventing voters from checking a single box to vote for all of a party’s candidates discriminate against blacks, who tend to use the straight-party option at a higher rate.

State officials have said there are no constitutional violations in the straight-ticket voting ban.

Gov. Rick Snyder and other Republicans say a ban would inspire voters to do their homework instead of simply choosing a party.

Nearly half of all Michigan ballots were straight-party during the 2016 election. It’s also common in Republican-friendly counties won by President Donald Trump.

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