Note: The following contentions are prominent among the arguments used by opponents of the new law. They do not necessarily represent the views of the Mackinac Center for Public Policy.
Long lines at polling places will discourage participation
Removing the straight party voting option from Michigan ballots will cause long lines at polling places, because voters who plan to vote a straight party ticket anyway will be needlessly slowed down by having to make individual selections in each partisan race. Long lines will discourage voting, and discourage participation in the democratic process. It is this concern that the Michigan Association of County Clerks says prompted it to come out in opposition to the new law.
Disparate impact, civil rights concerns
Removing the option could also have a disparate impact on different jurisdictions, because poorer communities with less resources for additional voting booths and poll workers will have even longer lines, and therefore less participation by voters. This could be especially true in areas where voters are accustomed to using the straight ticket option, which has been available in Michigan since at least 1891. For this reason the new law may be discriminatory, and may even violate the civil rights of citizens in some communities.
Better solutions are available
Those who want to take away straight party voting claim that doing so will eliminate the problem of “cross-overs,” where voters who have selected the straight party option also vote for a candidate of the opposite party further down the ballot, thereby spoiling their ballot. Yet the number of voters who cross over is quite small. If supporters of the legislation really wanted to reduce the number of spoiled ballots, there are other actions that would have a much greater effect, without slowing down the voting process for thousands of citizens.
More opposition arguments may be seen at:
Michigan Trial Lawyers Associaton statement in support of not letting the new law go into effect.
Michigan Democratic Party Youth Caucus statement in support of not allowing the new law to go into effect.