State will appeal straight-ticket ruling

Posted at 5:59 PM, Jul 26, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-27 07:33:55-04

Michigan doesn't even hold it's primary election until next Tuesday, but we're already fighting over how the November election will work. That's because a judge has blocked a new state law banning straight-ticket voting.

In January, Michigan joined the list of 40 states banning the option for voters, with one click, to vote along party lines.

Something Mark Van Drie says he doesn't do.

"I do try to look it up but you know you don't have to do a lot of analysis."

He says eliminating the option to only vote for one party gives voters a better reason to do their research.

"I do like the idea that you should go through and look at each individual office and those people running for it," Van Drie said.

A federal judge blocked the law signed by Governor Snyder saying it would make it harder for minority voters to cast their vote.

It's also something Ingham County Clerk Barb Byrum believes.

"With the elimination of straight party voting," Byrum said. "Clerks around the state anticipate significantly increased wait times to vote and that's not encouraging voters to exercise their right."

The Attorney General's office says there's nothing illegal or unconstitutional about the law because it doesn't deny anyone access to voting and that's why they're going to continue to defend the law in court. Monday, the office filed their notice to appeal the Detroit judge's ruling.

"Our attorney general is looking out for himself and his party rather than the people of Michigan," Byrum believes the law was put into effect solely for political game. "I am certainly annoyed. He's using tax payer dollars to make it more difficult for people to vote."

But Mark Van Drie says if the law sticks or not voters who did straight-ticket voting will still do it.

"You can still go through if you want and just hit the straight party any time you want," Van Drie said.

Clerks need an answer one way or another by September 24th so they can print absentee ballots for the November election.