Lawmakers can be questioned about straight-party voting ban

Jan 8, 2018

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A federal judge says some Michigan lawmakers must sit for interviews about a law that bans straight-party voting. The questions will be limited to what they might have said about their motives to people outside their offices.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Mona Majzoub says communications between lawmakers and their staff are protected.

The depositions are part of a lawsuit. Straight-party voting means making a single mark on a ballot to pick candidates of one party.

Critics of the ban say it violates the rights of black voters in urban areas who typically vote for Democrats.

A judge suspended the law in 2016, but the litigation is ongoing.

Majzoub's decision affects Senate Majority Leader Arlan Meekhof; Sen. Marty Knollenberg; Sen. David Robertson; Rep. Michael McCready; and former Rep. Lisa Lyons.