March 14th, 2008
09:57 AM ET
12 years ago

New Michigan primary proposal takes shape

(CNN) - A proposal is taking shape for Michigan Democrats to hold a new presidential primary, a Democratic source close to the negotiations says, after the national Democratic Party refused to recognize the results of their first vote two months ago.

Under the proposal, the state of Michigan would hold a new primary on June 3, and the Democratic Party would reimburse the state for the cost of running the election, ensuring the state had the cash in hand before voting began.

The Democratic National Committee refused to recognize the results of the primary Michigan held on Jan. 15 because it allowed only four states – not including Michigan – to hold primaries before Feb. 5.

Many Democratic presidential contenders had their names taken off Michigan's ballot after the DNC decision, including Sen. Barack Obama. Sen. Hillary Clinton did not remove her name from the ballot, and won 55 percent of the vote. Some 40 percent of Michigan Democrats filed ballots declaring themselves "uncommitted."

The Michigan state legislature would have to push the plan through by next Thursday

Michigan voters wanting to cast ballots in the new primary would have to identify themselves as Democrats and certify that they did not vote in the state's Republican primary in January. Michigan normally does not require party identification in primary elections.

South Dakota is also slated to hold its Democratic primary June 3.

- CNN's John Roberts

Filed under: Michigan
soundoff (246 Responses)
  1. RFI Santa Rosa CA

    This has taken too long for the leaders of the democratic party to figure out and it will cost too much, but it must be done. If the democrats cannot manage a primary election, how can anyone trust them to manage the country.

    March 14, 2008 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  2. Chipster

    The voters of Michigan and Florida already voted. It is not their fault that the legislatures and Party officials made a mess of this. Unless, the original votes are counted, there is no way to make this right for the voters who went to the polls on the date and at the time they were asked to vote. Many voters will be disenfranchised unless the original votes are counted.

    Some of them are likely to simply say, "Forget it, if they didn't want my vote then, why should I bother now?" I will say it again: the voters did nothing wrong! Why are they being punished because state and party officials want to play power games?

    March 14, 2008 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  3. Jerry, Troy NY

    The democratic leaders of both Florida and Michigan were told that if they moved their primary up there delegates would not be seated. They went ahead and did it anyway, and now they want a do over? I see no need for another election, and certainly not one paid by the DNC. You have to live with your bad choices. Just ask Elliot Spitzer.

    March 14, 2008 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  4. Rebecca

    Good, I didn't vote the first time because I knew it wouldn't count. Obama can count on my vote!!!

    March 14, 2008 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  5. M.

    And why is the Democratic Party paying for this???...Michigan & Florida broke the rules...THAT SHOULD RULE THEM OUT!...And the voters of both states should take it up with their elected brainiacs who made the decision to break the rules...'Democratic Party'?...Where do they get the money from for this dangerous precedent????

    March 14, 2008 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  6. Marc in DeKalb, IL

    If this plan gets finalized, I'd expect you can see something similar for Florida.

    With Obama on the ballot, Clinton will lose Michigan hard. When she was the only name on the ticket, 40% of the state didn't check her name... I think the fact that she did not do the honorable thing and remove her name will come back to haunt her.

    With Florida, she's got that in the bag, but a revote in Florida will not be by so wide a margin as the initial vote, but rather by a margin more akin to Ohio, perhaps thinner.

    The net results of any potential revote will be no real net gain on either side, and Clinton will remain as unviable as ever.

    March 14, 2008 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  7. Steve

    If re-votes are allowed in either Florida or Michigan, I think they states should still be stripped of their super-delegates.

    I am all in favor of finding a way to let THE PEPOLES votes count, but the idiots in the party that caused this (Jennifer granholm, etc.) need to be punished. They new the consequences and went ahead with their schemes anyway.

    To allow re-votes with no consequences at all would be a disaster for the DNC. I can't imagine the chaos four years from now.....

    March 14, 2008 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  8. steve

    Florida and Michigan delegates should be seated and included in the convention. They should NOT be allowed to decide the convention. That should be their penalty for breaking the rules. There should be no change in the number of delegates for either candidate after they are counted.

    March 14, 2008 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  9. Luthorcrow

    What a terrible waste of money and resources. In the end a revote is not going to much different than 50/50 split. Clinton will pick a few more in Florida and Obama in Michigan. Mark Shields on NPR had a great a suggestion, just split the delegates between the candidates and seat the delegates.

    Anything else just draws time, resources and serves the interest of the Republicans. Split them, seat them and let's get to done.

    March 14, 2008 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  10. Lou

    Hey, I just noticed you finally put Obama's name under the political ticker tag line at the top of the page. For weeks it has just been Hillary and McCain. Does that mean you are finally seeing him as a real contender? Or did you just accumulate enough stories on him to justify getting his own link. Just curious.

    March 14, 2008 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  11. JayBee Germany,

    This issue have been overflogged. The crux of the matter still lies in the fact that if Michigan and Florida delegates are seated, or there is a re-vote in any of these states, the DNC is setting a precedence that they will regret sometime in furure.

    HRC is clamouring for a re-vote because she believes that she will win. Can someone remind her that she was part of the agreement to remove their name from the ballot of these states because of their disobedience to the DNC rules.

    The world os watching!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    March 14, 2008 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  12. Kay, Dallas

    Please redo and good bye OBAMA! Please go away!

    March 14, 2008 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  13. Dave

    guess this is what MI and FL should have done in the first place and saved some money. DNC should not pay anything. the state's legilatures got them into this mess when they knew the rules and broke them.

    March 14, 2008 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  14. John Karsten

    I play golf and for those that do you know where I am going with this. I cannot beleive that this is even going to happen. Rolin Martin wrote an artice a few day ago that said the states need to be punished for what they did. They moved up their primaries and were warned by the DNC not to, and if they did, the DNC would strip the delagets. Well, those 2 states went ahead and moved up their primaries and they NOW they cry foul. This is crap. Even if I lived in those states, I would know this is crap and a farse. The real people to blame here are the state legaslature's, not the candiates, they had no choise in the matter, but to support the DNC. When is Florida going to learn?? It seems to me that Florida screws up the G.E. every election cycle. If you ask me, the way I look at it: they made their bed, so know they must sleep in it. Clinton and her DO-OVER's. Hell, I just her to release her taxes returns like every other American. Anyway, there should be no Mulligan for politices, sorry FL and MI, your elected leaders did this to you, so I have no compasion for them. Come the next local elections I would hold their butts accountable and vote their butts out of office for what they did to ya'll down there. Peace out everyone.
    OBAMA 2008!

    March 14, 2008 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  15. Independent

    Giving MI & FL the opportunity to re-vote after breaking the rules allows them to play an even bigger role in the presidentail elections. Ultimately, these two states will choose the next nominee. Some punishment!

    This move will disenfranchise the voters in the other 48 states who followed the rules. Did the DNC ever think about that!

    March 14, 2008 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  16. david

    Most polls show them almost tied in Michigan. I say, don't waste money just split the votes. Learn and move on. Hillary is the nominee after the big P anyway.


    March 14, 2008 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  17. Amy, Kazoo

    How the heck is that going to work? I live in MI and all I've heard from the government is that we're broke. So which programs are we going to steal from to pay for this and then if the DNC said they wouldn't be paying for it, how will they pay us back? At my last investigation, the DNC was almost broke too. This sounds like robbing Peter to pay Paul.

    March 14, 2008 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  18. ben

    I support Obama.I think it is wrong to break rules and then change the rules. However, in this case I think Obama will win easily in Michigan.
    As for Florida,sure his name was on the ballot, but Hillary had the same national recognition as Guliani. Hardly anybody had ever heard of Obama. People vote for a name they already know.

    March 14, 2008 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  19. Jude

    Why doesn't CNN ever post my comments? I wonder? Anyways, I don't think it really matters whether MI and FL revotes or not. In fact I think its a waste of money and time because Obama will win the nominations anyway. Its dumb that they are doing this only because its a close race. They broke the rules and they should pay the consequences. If not, then I'm suggesting that every state break the rules every year. If they get to actually "decide" the race because they broke the rules then lets make sure our state breaks the rule also so that we can decide the race. This is stupid...we should just stick to the rules...period!!!

    March 14, 2008 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  20. Go HIlary


    March 14, 2008 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  21. Bill Clinton

    Wont work still, why should the DNC refund them the cost, where will the DNC get the money.

    March 14, 2008 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  22. James

    Thank god. At least Michigan has their acts together. As for Florida, they will still be talking about a re-vote and how to handle one even after November.

    March 14, 2008 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  23. reader-of-many-sources

    The statement above, "Michigan normally does not require party identification in primary elections," points to the exclusion of independent voters (which Obama is winning overwhelmingly). Sounds like an attempt to give more delegates to Hillary. DNC should NOT pay for this.

    March 14, 2008 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  24. KOR

    Hooray for Michigan for coming up with a fair plan!

    March 14, 2008 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  25. Linda Langmesser

    What a fiasco!!! There will be people voting that can't remember what they declared on January 15th. There will be voters re-voting because they crossed over to the republican ballot because their candidate was not on the democratic ballot on January 15th. There is a concern how the absent voter ballots will be handled and the time frame of this election. The local units of government are already cash strapped and have cut employees in the State of Michigan and now they are going to come back to the municipalities and ask us once again to front the monies for an election that they have not gotten paid for from January 15th. Someone needs to revamp the whole political process concerning delegates, super delegates and the electoral college. This is outrageous and Michigan and Florida look like they are not too bright jumping the gun to move the election date for the Presidential Primary. What a way to disenfranchise voters by telling them their vote did not count for January 15th when they made the conscience effort to voice their right to vote. What is the matter with the Legislative individuals and political hacks that are running our country and our states?????? I am disgusted and apauled by what is about to happen in Michigan and Florida.

    Linda Langmesser
    City of Plymouth, Michigan

    March 14, 2008 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
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