Michigan Senate OKs removing party vignettes from ballots

LANSING, Mich. (AP) – Bills that have won final approval in Michigan’s Legislature would end a requirement that election ballots show small designs or portraits that represent the political party of each candidate.

The vignettes have been mandated for about 125 years. But supporters of the legislation that the Republican-led Senate approved 26-9 Wednesday say the symbols don’t help voters and polling places now have headphones to help voters who can’t read.

The bills are related to Michigan’s 2015 ban against voters supporting an entire ticket of candidates from one party by marking a single box. A federal judge blocked the law. But the legal fight is ongoing and some have said eliminating straight-ticket voting without removing the vignettes would confuse voters.

Democrats voted against legislation.

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