In December of 2001, Republican majorities in the Michigan House and Senate passed a bill to remove the single-action straight party (or “straight ticket”) voting option from ballots in the state. (See vote details.) Currently, general election ballots provide an option whereby voters can with a single mark on the ballot vote for either all Democrats or all Republicans in every partisan contest. Many contests are not partisan, such as judges, local officials, and initiatives and referenda, and a voter must still make individual choices on these.
The Michigan Democratic Party sponsored a petition drive which successfully placed the legislation on the ballot for a referendum. Under the Constitution, none of its provisions will go into effect unless a majority of voters on Nov. 5 answer “yes” to the question, “Should this law be approved?” Because of the referendum, the single-action straight party voting option will still appear on ballots in the Nov. 5, 2002 general election.