Michigan Governor Signs Bill Removing Party Logos from November Ballots

Ballot Access News

On July 26, Michigan Governor Rick Snyder signed HB 4177, which removes party logos from general election ballots. A logo is a cartoon-like drawing representing a political party. For example, the Republican logo in Michigan is a drawing of the heads of Abraham Lincoln and Ronald Reagan.

The motive for this bill is to make it easier for the state to win the pending lawsuit over whether the straight-ticket device should remain on general election ballots. The legislature had repealed the straight-ticket device early in 2016. But then some groups had filed a lawsuit to keep the straight-ticket device, and the U.S. District Court Judge issued an injunction, requiring the state to retain the straight-ticket device until the lawsuit is settled. That lawsuit is now undergoing discovery.

One of the arguments made by proponents of the straight-ticket device was that if the device were removed, some confused voters would draw a circle around one of the party logos, and these voters would think drawing such a circle would be casting a straight-ticket vote for all that party’s nominees. But, now that logos are gone, that argument disappears. Thanks to John Anthony LaPietra for the news.

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