Note: The following contentions are prominent among the arguments used by proponents of the new law. They do not necessarily represent the views of the Mackinac Center for Public Policy.
Encourages more thoughtful voting
The fully informed citizen, voting on the basis of a reasoned consideration of individual candidates and issues, has been the dominant model of how American politics should be conducted since the progressive era more than 100 years ago. Before then, beginning around the 1820s, the model was one in which parties dominated politics, and voters simply voted the party line with no further thought. Indeed, the term “party ticket” is a relic from this age, and refers to handbills given to voters entering polling places, informing them of who the party candidates were. This became unnecessary for parties when Michigan and many other states enacted statutes providing for single-action straight ticket voting.
The straight party option is a relic of a discredited era in American political history. No one would recommend a similar system for ballot proposals, allowing a "yes" or "no" vote for all proposals with a single action. The option makes no more sense for candidates. Getting rid of it may prompt a bit more thoughtfulness on the part of voters, which is good for our democracy.
Most states have no straight ticket option
At least 33 states do not permit straight-party voting. Anyone can still vote for candidates of just one party – they just have to vote them one-by-one, rather than all at once.
Encourages voting on important nonpartisan contests
It may also encourage voters to continue down the ballot and vote on important nonpartisan contests, such as those for judge, local offices, and ballot initiatives and referenda (such as this one.) It is claimed that many voters who choose the straight ticket option stop right there, and fail to vote in these other races.