It Looks Increasingly Likely Republicans Will Lose On Straight-Ticket Voting Ban

Rick Pluta/MPRN

Rick Pluta

Republicans who want to end straight-ticket voting in Michigan are running out of legal options.

State Attorney General Bill Schuette has filed an emergency appeal with the U.S. Supreme Court. That’s after two lower courts struck down the ban.

Most recently, the full Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a ruling that said ending straight-ticket voting would disproportionately burden minority voters in large urban areas.

Rick Pluta, state Capitol bureau chief for the Michigan Public Radio Network, has been following the court fight over straight-ticket voting. He joins Detroit Today to recap what’s happened so far and what to expect going forward.

He says it’s more likely than not the Supreme Court will decide against hearing the case and allow the lower court’s ruling upholding straight-ticket voting to stand. That’s partly because the lower courts ruled largely on procedural grounds, and haven’t really touched the merits of the case.

It hasn’t been fully argued out and the Supreme Court typically doesn’t want a case before then,” says Pluta.

He notes Michigan’s straight-ticket voting option has withstood a number of challenges over many years.

A friend of mine observed about this — that, if a meteor should strike Michigan, wiping out many lifeforms here, it seems like straight-ticket voting would still be standing,” he jokes.

To hear the full conversation, click on the audio player above.

Image credit: Jake Neher/WDET

This post is a part of 2016 Elections: Issues & Candidates.

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