- Associated Press - Thursday, December 3, 2015

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - A legislative committee has debated a bill that would prevent Michigan voters from voting a straight-party ticket with a single mark on their ballot.

The Republican-led House Elections Committee heard testimony on the legislation Thursday but didn’t vote, weeks after the bill won Senate approval.

Supporters of keeping Michigan’s straight-party voting option, including election clerks and Democrats, say it’s popular and removing it would lengthen voting lines.

Republicans say the straight-ticket option encourages voters to pick officeholders on party affiliation, not their qualifications. They note voters could still cast individual votes for all candidates from a party.

Rep. Lisa Posthumus Lyons says the committee will “digest” testimony. She’s considering tying the bill to legislation allowing voters to cast an absentee ballot for any reason if they request it in person.

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