Straight -party, or Straight-ticket voting, allows voters to choose a party’s entire slate with just one mark on the ballot. Since 1891 Michigan has used this style of voting.


In the great State of Michigan, Straight-party Voting lives for another Presidential Election after lawmakers tried to eliminate the option from the state’s ballots earlier this year. However, many Michiganders still don’t understand how to vote a ballot Straight-party. For example, many voters don’t know they can vote Split-ticket or Mixed Ballot.


To better explain, a Presidential General Election Ballot in Michigan has three parts; Partisan, Nonpartisan, and Proposals. Straighticket Voting only affects races labeled as Partisan Races. At the top of this November’s ballot is the option to vote Straight Party Ticket. There are seven Parties to choose from this election. If a voter chooses one of those parties then a vote will count for every candidate in the party’s column or race. For example, if a voter votes the Democratic Party in the Straight Party Ticket section of the ballot, then in the offices to follow, each candidate from the Democratic Party will be awarded a vote virtue of that Straight Party vote. If one votes for the Democratic Party in the Straight Party Section then a vote will be cast for the Democratic Presidental candidate likewise for the Representative in Congress, Representative in the State and so on. Keep in mind Straight party voting only affects those races in the Partisan section of the ballot. Those non-partisan offices such as Judicial Races, School boards, and Proposals must be voted on individually.


Voters can also vote Straight-ticket AND vote for individual candidates of their choice under any party’s column or races; this is called Split-ticket. For example, if you chose to vote Republican in the Straight Party section you can vote for a Democratic Treasurer knowing that your votes will count as intended.


Lastly, voters don’t have to choose Straight Party they can vote a Split-ticket by voting for the individual candidates of their choice in each office or race. Candidates appearing under any party column or race can be selected.