Today the Michigan House Elections Committee is considering Senate Bill 13, which would get rid of Michigan’s century-old straight-party voting system.
The bill, sponsored by Republican Sen. Marty Knollenberg, R-Troy, would hurt Republican and Democratic voters alike – and has the potential to hurt Republican Representatives like Klint Kesto, R-Commerce Township, and Holly Hughes, R-Montague, who both won close races in 2014.
In last year’s election, Kesto received 51.4 percent of his 16,740 total votes from straight-party ballots. However, his Democratic opponent, Sandy Colvin, only received 43.3 percent of his 15,300 votes from straight-party tickets.
Kesto defeated Colvin by a margin of 1,440 votes. His 1,984 vote margin among straight-party ballots was more than enough to put him over the top.
Similarly, Republican Representative Holly Hughes received 47.5 percent of her 12,734 total votes from straight-party ballots. Her Democratic opponent, former Rep. Colleen Lamonte, only received 45 percent of her 12,681 total votes from straight-party tickets.
Hughes defeated Lamonte by a margin of just 53 votes, which made her 343 vote advantage among straight-party tickets decisive.
Additionally, Republican Representatives Brad Jacobsen and Jason Sheppard also received more straight-party votes than their Democratic opponents in 2014.
Ultimately, SB 13 is bad news for everyone.
If this bill passes, it will mean even longer lines at the polls on Election Day – making it harder for seniors, minority, and low-income voters to make their voices heard at the ballot box.
Can you take a minute to call your state rep?
Call 517-373-6339 right now.
Tell them to protect straight-party voting, and vote NO on SB 13.
We should be making it easier to vote – not harder.