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Ban on straight party ticket voting granted permanent injunction

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A federal judge has permanently blocked Michigan from eliminating straight party ticket voting.

In 2015 the Michigan Legislature passed a bill to ban straight party ticket voting, which was signed into law by Governor Rick Snyder.

The Michigan Democratic party and the Philip Randolph Institute sued in 2016 for an injunction against the bill, alleging that it disproportionately impacted African American voters.

Judge Gershwin Drain said that because black voters tend to support Democratic candidates the ban was intended to help Republicans.

In his ruling, Judge Drain found that the legislature “intentionally discriminated against African American” by trying to eliminate straight party ticket voting.

He also noted that straight party voting is popular in the state, and it didn’t make sense to get rid of the practice.

A spokesperson for the Governor’s office said that Snyder would review the ruling because he quote “disagrees with the conclusion.”

The spokesperson added that 40 other states require voters to make a decision about each office and candidate rather than checking a single, partisan box.