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Voter Ballot Choice Open to the Public, Court Rules

(CN) - Voters' choice of Republic or Democratic ballots for the 2008 presidential primaries must be open to the public, the Michigan Court of Appeals ruled.

In the 2008 presidential primary election, Michigan voters were asked which party ballot they would like to vote on, not necessarily to which political party they belonged.

Practical Political Consulting (PPC) sued Michigan Secretary of State Terry Lynn Land under the Freedom of Information Act for access to a list of which voters chose which party ballots.

Land denied the request, but the trial court overturned the decision. Judge William Whitbeck affirmed the trial court's ruling on appeal, allowing PPC access to the lists.

"The disclosure of the ballot -- Republican, Democrat, or other -- that an elector voted in the 2008 presidential primary is obviously not the disclosure of the candidate for which that elector voted," Whitbeck explained.

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