Michigan straight-party voting ban remains blocked

LANSING, Mich. (AP) – Michigan residents still will be allowed to use the state’s long-standing straight-party voting option in the November election.

The 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati Thursday rejected Secretary of State Ruth Johnson’s request that the full court immediately review a panel’s 3-0 decision that kept intact an injunction blocking the ban. A majority of 15 active judges did not favor an initial “en banc” hearing.

U.S. District Judge Gershwin Drain blocked the Republican-backed law last month, saying an increase in long lines would disproportionately burden blacks in the November election.

Straight-ticket voting is popular in Michigan cities with large African-American populations. It has been on the books for 125 years and has been a common choice in some counties that are steadfastly loyal to Republicans, too.

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