DETROIT (AP) — The Latest on a judge’s decision to halt Michigan’s ban on straight-party voting (all times local):
Michigan’s attorney general and secretary of state will appeal a federal judge’s decision that blocks a ban on straight-party voting in the fall election.
John Sellek, spokesman for Attorney General Bill Schuette, says an appeal will be filed early next week. Timing is critical: Clerks say the November ballot must be completed shortly after the Aug. 2 primary election.
Judge Gershwin Drain suspended the straight-party ban Thursday, saying it violates the rights of black voters.
For more than 100 years, Michigan voters have had the option of checking a single box to vote for all candidates of one political party. The law was repealed by Republican Gov. Rick Snyder in January.
A federal judge has blocked Michigan’s new ban on straight-party voting, a law that was passed by Republicans but criticized by Democrats as a way to discourage turnout among minorities.
Judge Gershwin Drain signed an injunction Thursday, a week after hearing arguments. He says the law would place a “disproportionate burden” on the rights of blacks to vote in the fall election.
Lawyers say more than 70 percent of ballots in Detroit and Flint have been cast as straight-party — votes that go for all candidates of one party with just a single mark.
The state attorney general’s office, which is defending the law in court, says Michigan joined 40 other states in banning straight-party voting. The judge says that’s irrelevant.