The conversation on banning straight-ticket voting

- The Michigan Secretary of State wears a number of hats, including being the top election officer in the state. It is Ruth Johnson's assignment to make sure elections are not fraudulent, make sure all the votes are counted and, along the way, nudge voters to get involved in the process.

Making it easier to vote appears to be a noble objective, but if you listen to legislative Democrats these days, the Republicans are not so noble as they go about allegedly trying to "suppress" the vote, especially in urban areas.

As lawmakers cap off their brief winter session, look for some ugly back-and-forth over a ban on straight ticket voting.

So where is Ms. Johnson on all this?

No where.

Pressed to take a stance on the ban, she punted, "My position is it needs to be discussed and we need to make sure we're doing the right thing."

With all due respect, one could say that about virtually everything that comes down the legislative pipe: Discuss it and do the right thing.

One would think that she would be in there scraping to make sure the right thing is done but inside she sits on the sidelines.

"There's good and bad with it and I have not been involved in the discussion."

The legislature is trying to hash this out and the number one person in the state charged with running elections has "not been involved in the discussion?"

Perhaps she is a tad reserved about getting her hands dirty in the process because the last time she tried, she got bush-whacked by her own party.

Madam Secretary took a rather gutsy stance on trying to limit financial contributions from the high rollers in the political parties including some high profile high rollers in her own GOP.

The ink was hardly dry on her media announcement, when the GOP leadership in the senate tossed the release in the dumpster, shoved her aside and passed a new bill allowing high rollers to double their contributions.

So perhaps this time around, Ms. Johnson is applying the old saw, burn me once shame on you. Burn me twice, shame on me.

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