Michigan resisting challenge to ban on straight-party voting

DETROIT (AP) — A year after the 2016 election, the state of Michigan still is in court resisting a challenge to a ban on straight-party voting.

Gov. Rick Snyder and Republicans in the Legislature abolished straight-party voting, but a federal judge suspended the law last year. He said it would disproportionately burden blacks and cause confusion in cities where the option is popular.

Straight-party voting means making a single mark on a ballot to pick candidates of one party. In Detroit, which typically votes Democratic, 80 percent of ballots were straight-ticket in 2016.

Roughly 50 percent of all ballots in Michigan were straight-party last year. Lawyers for the state say the ban doesn’t discriminate because it applies to everyone.

Judge Gershwin Drain must decide whether the lawsuit will go to trial.