Gov. Snyder signs bill eliminating straight-party ticket ballot option, asks Legislature to enact no-reason absentee voting
Gov. Rick Snyder today signed legislation that will update election law, aligning Michigan more closely with other states by eliminating the option for voters to select a straight-party ticket on the ballot.
“Michigan is one of only 10 states that allows residents to vote for just a party affiliation rather than individual people. It’s time to choose people over politics,” Snyder said. “To alleviate concerns that this change could lead to longer wait times for voters, I’m asking the Legislature to enact secured no-reason absentee voting.”
Senate Bill 13, sponsored by state Sen. Marty Knollenberg, is now Public Act 268 of 2015.
It contains an appropriation of $5 million for the purchase of new voting equipment to ease Election Day logistical concerns.
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, Michigan is one of only 13 states that does not allow for some form of early or no-reason absentee voting.
In the letter (attached below) explaining his position further, the governor calls on the Senate to pass House Bill 4724, to allow for secure forms of no-reason absentee voting, which will help to alleviate the possibility of longer wait times at polling locations.
Critics of the move, like Progress Michigan, see Snyder’s move as a conservative attempt to rig elections.
Gov. Rick Snyder signed legislation today that limits the options that voters have at the ballot box, stated Progress Michigan officials in a Tuesday Jan. 5 press release. They added that this move will lead to longer lines at the polls and is a partisan attempt to rig elections in favor of Republicans.
“It’s a new year, but we’ve got the same governor who once again has put the whims of his own political party bosses before the best interests of Michigan voters,”said Lonnie Scott, executive director of Progress Michigan. “This repeal does nothing to improve voter education and will create longer lines at already stressed polling places, particularly in urban districts and communities of color.”
He added, “Rather than protecting and expanding democracy, Gov. Snyder is actively working with his conservative allies to make voting less accessible in Michigan.”