Federal Court Strikes Down Michigan Law Banning Straight-Ticket Voting

Today a federal judge struck down a 2015 bill passed by the Michigan legislature and signed by Governor Snyder to ban straight-ticket voting. Common Cause joined the A. Philip Randolph Institute and Michigan voters challenging the law in court.

In his 103 page opinion, U.S. District Judge Gershwin Drain found the legislature “intentionally discriminated against African Americans” by trying to eliminate straight-ticket voting.

Statement by Karen Hobert Flynn, President of Common Cause

“This is a big win for Michigan voters. The evidence in this case and Judge Drain’s decision makes clear that the Michigan legislature intentionally discriminated against African Americans for partisan political purposes.

“This decision further demonstrates that now more than ever we need to restore the full rights and protections of the Voting Rights Act. We’re pleased that the court recognized so strongly the impact the Michigan law would have on the constitutional rights of African-Americans. Since the Supreme Court’s Shelby County v. Holder decision three years ago, 22 states have either rolled back important voting reforms or erected new obstructions to the ballot box. Today’s decision breaks that pattern and we hope the rest of the country will take notice.”

To read the court’s ruling, click here.