Appeals Court Denies Stay of Decision That Keeps Straight Ticket Voting

The 6th U. S. Circuit Court of Appeals denied Secretary of State Ruth Johnson’s request for a stay of a lower court decision placing a preliminary injunction on the law enacted this year ending straight ticket voting.

The three-judge panel unanimously held that the state “offered only vague and largely unsupported justifications of fostering voter knowledge and engagement” in response to the district court ruling that ending straight ticket voting would place a burden on voters who tend to use the straight ticket option in greater numbers.

“After evaluating the burdens imposed by the law and the state’s asserted justifications, we hold that the secretary has not shown that there is a substantial likelihood that she will prevail on appeal in demonstrating that the district court erred in evaluating the plaintiffs’ Equal Protection Clause claim,” the court wrote. Further, the court held that the preliminary injunction preventing the repeal of straight ticket voting would cause no injury to the state.

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