2018-10-11 / Front Page

Clerks prepare for election after elimination of straight-ticket voting

By Gary Gould
810-452-2650 • ggould@mihomepaper.com

DAVISON AREA — Straight-ticket voting may be a thing of the past, but local clerks are urging voters to give themselves extra time as they head to the polls Nov. 6.

Checking one box the vote either Republican or Democratic won't be available as an option in the Nov. 6 general election, under a recent federal appeals court ruling.

The U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals, in a 2-1 decision marked by a sharply worded dissent, blocked a ruling by a federal judge in Detroit that would have struck down a 2016 law passed by the Republicancontrolled

Legislature to ban straight-ticket voting in Michigan.

This means when voters go to the polls Nov. 6, they will have to take the time to mark every box for each race, even if they aren’t planning to split their ticket.

“There’s no straight-ticket now, you can’t just mark one box and walk out the door,” said Davison City Clerk Andrea Schroeder, who also serves as city manager. “You now have to fill-in all the squares. The ballot it also two-sided, so it will take longer. Give yourself more time at the polls.”

Davison Township Clerk Cindy Shields said she thinks the elimination of straightticket voting will force people to pay attention to individual candidates and while it might take slightly longer to mark the ballot, voters will adjust to the change.

“I don’t anticipate problems,” said Shields. “Election workers explain it when people come in to vote. They verbally give instruction. It’s straight forward, no straight-party, I think people are smart enough to know that.”

In Richfield Township, Clerk Teri Webber said she is concerned the elimination of straight-party ballots will cause delays at the polls.

“Let your friends know lines will be long,” she told the audience at the Oct. 8 Board of Trustees meeting. “I apologize in advance. People are going to have to take more time.”

Shields said the busiest times to vote, typically, are first thing in the morning and at dinner time, between 4:30-6:30 p.m.

“I don’t think people will like it,” said Shields. “But they will be able to handle it.”

Schroeder said she thinks a lot of people be confused, mostly long-time voters who will have to adjust to the change in how they vote.

She reminds voters they don’t have to vote for everything, but if they are going to vote they must check every box necessary. The city will have extra voting booths and tables set up to try and move voters along quickly.

Allowing enough time to go to the polls is essential, she said, urging people to not be intimidated by lines at the polls.

“More and more people are going to get out and vote,” she said. “That’s what we want.”

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