Skubick: Heated straight party ticket voting debate continues

LANSING, MI (WLNS) – Democrats are upset over republican attempts to ban straight party line voting and as 6 News Capitol Correspondent Tim Skubick reports the democrats believe the other side is trying to suppress the vote.

Exactly 41 states did not have straight ticket voting whereby citizens check only one box for all of the candidates and then they are out of the polling place.

The republican controlled senate and house have voted to join those states by banning it and democrats, especially in urban areas don’t like it.

“It means longer lines it basically means less people voting look I think this is one of the worst decisions since Adam and Eve decided to eat the apple,” said Senator Coleman Young Jr. (D), Detroit.

“I voted to eliminate it because I think everybody should study the ballot make sure they know who they are voting for,” said State Senator Rick Jones (R), Grand Ledge.

The liberal group Progress Michigan conducted an unscientific survey recently asking democratic lawmakers to vote straight ticket and then vote by picking each candidate individually.

The group contends it took longer.

But republicans in the house combined this ban with another bill to make it easier to vote absentee and they contend if more voters do that, the lines will not be as long.

“I think the no reason absentee takes away a lot of that argument about long lines,” said State Rep. Al Pscholka (R), Stevensville.

Reporter: “Well if people don’t vote absentee they will stand in line?”
State Rep. Pscholka: “Um I think a lot of folks will vote absentee”

Two key players in this, Secretary of State Ruth Johnson who runs elections and the governor who must sign off on the issue have not taken a stance.

This is still a hypothetical and the other part with that is there are probably two or three other pieces of legislation that could be coming along with it so I really want to wait and see what the house and senate can agree on and I’ll make my review.

“There’s good and bad with it and I have not been involved in the discussion,” said Secretary of State Ruth Johnson.

Reporter: “Well you are the secretary of state, take a position for me.”
Johnson: “My position is it needs to be discussed and we need to make sure we’re doing the right thing.”

Senators are considering what the house did to the bill and a final vote on something is expected soon while the Democrats continue to gripe about it.

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