Thursday, November 15, 2007

Michigan Presidential Primary Update

Earlier this week a Michigan judge threw out (as unconstitutional) the legislation that put our state's planned January 15 presidential primary into place. Not being a lawyer or a lawmaker, I am not fully acquainted with the details of the decision, but they center around the issues of who got access to the voter lists (after the election) and the fact that the law was written in a way that didn't allow only a part of it to be stricken down. The case is now in an emergency appeal.

This is significant on the national political scene and for Michigan in particular. The January 15 date makes Michigan's primary one of the very first in the nation, and this makes Michigan a "mover and shaker" in presidential politics, the biggest state to have voted up to that point. If the legislation is not put back in place, the law returns the Michigan primary date to late-February, where no one really wants it, because Michigan then becomes irrelevant.

Even more importantly to many people, the alternative to a January 15 primary election is not a later election—it will be a late-January convention (for the GOP) and a caucus (for that other party), which will select delegates based only on the input of a few thousand people. The majority of the state's residents will have no vote in the process, if this occurs.

This will be a very significant development to watch. Stay tuned.

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