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. J Nelson

    I understand the arguement that Florida and Michigan want their voices heard, however they should have thought of that before they held their primaries early. 48 other states and the voters of those states played by the rules and now have to sit back and watch this circus of events.
    If those 2 states want their voices heard that bad, then they should pay for new primaries in those states. If they dont want to pay, then accept the fact they broke the rules. I am concerned that what ever alternative solution they reach, it will be contested and end up in the courts and we will have a bigger mess on our hands.

    March 14, 2008 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  2. sjk in denver

    I'm with Roland Martin, neither Florida or Michigan should have a re-vote, nor should their delegates be seated. They broke party rules. Actually the Republican dominated state Congress is responsible for the rules being broken and the disenfranchisement of millions of people. This is not the fault of the DNC, rather a ploy by Republicans. Still, rules are rules.

    March 14, 2008 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  3. Eddie, FL

    Bravo Michigan for Lettng the people of your state to have their say in this election. Good to see that government works for the people.

    March 14, 2008 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  4. Brian

    What a crock. So you can now anyone can break the rules and whine enough to get their way. It's not fair. The DNC should not entertain any discussion of a revote as this will have very far reaching and lasting ramifications for the future.

    March 14, 2008 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  5. Paul

    Michigan doesn't deserve to have a revote. They agreed to the rules laid out by the party, then decided they didn't have to follow them. Why should that behavior be rewarded simply because it serves the interests of one candidate or another?

    March 14, 2008 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  6. Jonathan of Tampa, FL

    Re-Vote? That's the dumbest thing I ever heard. Do I get a re-speeding ticket? Or a re-laid off? Or how about a re-Super Bowl? The rules were broken and unfortunately the voters are penalized for the actions of their elected officials. I was never that great at math, but I can save each state millions of dollars! Besides, the school systems of both states could REALLY use that money.
    1. Award delegates to all of the candidates that were still in the running on the day of the original vote.
    2. Penalize the amount of delegates awarded to each state for defying the rules of the party, around 75% fewer delegates awarded.
    3. Move from these states or get your Governor impeached for using such bad judgment.

    March 14, 2008 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  7. fay

    DNC is playing George Bush and the Chad game! Too bad Obama removed his name from Michigan it's his problem if he didn't do what Hillary Clinton did- why waste $$$ – Hillary Clinton won Florida and Michigan and let it Stand!!
    Keep this up and I'll certainly not vote for ANYONE – all these games to rig elections

    March 14, 2008 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  8. Brent Stevenson

    Excuse me. I am not now going to send any money to the DNC. Michigan chose the path that it took and now they want someone else to pay for their folly. No thank you. You will not get any of my money for this.

    More money out of the DNC for primary and less money for general election. Is this a smart plan?

    March 14, 2008 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  9. Your Mom

    Congrats Michigan! Now you know what it feels like to Indiana or any other state that normally has their primary during this time of the year. Their votes are never "counted". It is usually decided for them by the time they vote in May or June. So now for once you can sit back and wait until November to vote in the actual election. And you should be ashamed that your lawmakers want to have a re-vote that costs $10-20 million. Do you know what that money could do for your state? Give back to any of the programs that your state had to stop funding for because of budget cuts. But they can pull $20 million out of the sky in a month for you to re-vote in a primary? Now you should go sit in your corner, like Florida, put your dunce cap on and figure out what it means when you break the rules. If you get confused you can always go to your near by school that would love to have part of that $20 million and ask a teacher what happens when someone breaks the rules.

    March 14, 2008 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  10. John, Las Vegas, NV

    Any way this is done will make U.S. democracy a laughing stock in the world. Michigan's vote was not allowed because they moved it up and broke DNC rules in order to get more clout by being an early state. Now by perhaps allowing a June 3 vote they will oddly get more clout because they are a later state. This is like changing the rules of bowling in the 10th frame of a game, or in the 4th quarter of football. The Democratic party is just proving in every way it can't be trusted to run the U.S. government.

    March 14, 2008 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  11. Scott

    This is very short-sighted. Many democrats supporting Obama voted on the Republican ticket because their votes would not count on the democrat's side. Clinton will win easily because many Obama supporters will once again be disenfrachised.

    March 14, 2008 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  12. Pat

    If Florida and Michigan are allowed to break the rules and then vote, then Iowa may as well schedule their 2012 election in 2011. Its not going to matter anyway, Obama and Clinton are too close & neither will get enough to go over the top.

    March 14, 2008 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  13. Larry from LA


    March 14, 2008 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  14. Bright

    Clearly the wrong message is being sent out there, RULES DON’T MATTER how ridiculous the DNC will look for not upholding their set rules. This has the signs of a kangaroo administration in the DNC. How can Clinton influence them to change the rules? Oh I guess one person is ‘bigger’ than the millions of people…Shame on you all that are calling for a revote

    March 14, 2008 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  15. Candi

    I think it is fair that Obama get on the ballot and the people of Michigan can vote. Hillary this a one up on you. Now you need to keep the votes that you have by asking the same people to vote for you.

    March 14, 2008 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  16. Diane, Buffalo, Wy.

    Harkins back to the 20's and 30's of the old saying' Vote early and vote often."

    March 14, 2008 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  17. Moira

    I thank you for showing this. If Obama wants to unite the country like he says, then he needs to REJECT this type of behavior. But it just shows what I have suspected all along, that Obama is all for his color and no one else. I know his wife is racist. You hear what this man is saying and you can understand why Ferraro said what she did. And she was speaking the truth. I know CNN will not post this, because they are pro Obama.

    March 14, 2008 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  18. Trev

    Good! I am a Hillary supporter, but this is only fair since Obama was not even on the ballot. I know it was his decision, but Hillary can make that argument during the run-up to the revote (if there is one). In addition, it is a way to count the votes without punishing the voters. I think that people forget sometimes when they talk about rules that it was not the voters who broke the rules.

    Hillary 08

    March 14, 2008 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  19. wolf

    I just can not believe it. CNN still keeps talking about Michigan Drop this subject and let's move on.

    March 14, 2008 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  20. cc

    There were rules. Remember those things. Both candidates agreed and signed to be bound by them–UNLESS HRC's signal to Florida after one of her few wins was a wink and a nod that she was not going to play by the rules. These two states did it to themselves and their leadership should be held accountable.

    Seems to me that the rules should be changed AFTER the election. Michigan and Florida voters were told that their votes would not count–some voted; some did not. The most equitable thing to do is to split the delegates btw HRC and BHO. This would save time and money.

    The DNC should concern itself with the issues: outrageous gas prices–move to ban the practice of speculation on a staple good–oil; infrastructure; education; sky rocketing healthcare costs, food costs, etc; alternative fuels–investigate energy companies as to why they haven't built or reopened refineries in this country; research and development; securing our borders and ports; ending two conflicts; investigate mortgage companies for the foreclosure mess; the devaluation of the dollar and the list goes on and on.........

    March 14, 2008 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  21. Vet in S.A.

    What a flippin mess, you Dems should be proud

    March 14, 2008 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  22. A. Harrison

    Gr8! I hope this resolves issues and I hope Clinton captures the lead in Michigan once again as well as Florida.

    Hillary 2008!

    March 14, 2008 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  23. Nick

    Unfortunately, how do you do that in a state that doesn't require party identification?

    If anything, they have a solid proposal ready. I can see this putting pressure on Florida to get the ball rolling, and not just say "seat them as they are."

    March 14, 2008 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  24. Susan

    I don't understand why there is any debate running around about should these States be able to have a "do-over" election. These States KNEW they were going against the DNC rules back in January, and that their votes would NOT count since the primary was too early. It was THEIR choice to thumb their noses at their political party – no one made them vote early!

    March 14, 2008 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  25. Tammy

    How did Michigan problem become the world's problem. The state officials knew the consequences and it should be explained to the voters that they screwed it up. Getting mad at the candidates and not voting if they are not seated is so elementary. They need to get angry at their state officals. I really don't care if their vote count. They elected the people who made that decision for them. Bush doesn't seems to care that we've been in Iraq for five years. We elected Bush to make that decision for us.

    March 14, 2008 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
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