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. HR-2003

    Question 1: Why Obama's name was not on the ballot? Is that fair? This must be investigated.


    YES WE CAN !!!

    March 14, 2008 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  2. La Raza

    The Fla. and Mich. issue unfortunately is a lose-lose situation.

    March 14, 2008 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  3. TB

    What about independents? Jennifer Granholm is in Hillary's pocket! This is just very undemocratic and unprofessional.

    March 14, 2008 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  4. Praetorian, Fort Myers

    Think DNC created this mess. And they need to live with it.

    When the Florida and Michigan delegations boycott the national convention and they're still faced with a draw...I recommend flipping a coin.

    March 14, 2008 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  5. Doug

    This is such BS. Michigan (and Florida) knew they were going against party rules when they changed their primaries, and were punished for it accordingly. Now they want a do-over? And who said American politics aren't messed up? How about the officials responsible for this debacle pay for it? Huh?

    March 14, 2008 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  6. Amy

    A long time ago, Sen. Obama's minister presided over his marriage. He baptized his daughters, while Obama maintained his attendance/membership in the church for over 20 years. Recently, Obama's wife said something to the effect that this was the first time (in a long time) that she was proud of her country. More recently, both Obama's minister and Ferrukhan (sp.) offered his his endorsement of Obama. (Interesting that his minister retired before the heated primaries began.

    When is the American public going to wake up? I personally can foresee "President Obama" inciting division among Americans (more so than exists today), opening our country to invasive activities (from other, less stable nations), and creating a climate of of anger.

    Yes, I do think you have to look hard at Obama's alliances. I'm a church-going individual and, in the past, I have left churches that predominantly preach values that are inconsistent with my own.

    Values are tied to faith, faith to commitment, commitment to leadership. Hmmm.

    March 14, 2008 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  7. Edwin

    This is ridiculous. The DNC is totally flopping on enforcing the rules. The political leadership of these states willingly broke the rules to exert a greater influence in the outcomes of the primaries. Well, guess what, their results were tallied and shown nationwide, thus ensuring their influence, and now they get to actually have a vote count, which doubles their influence. They win all around. Can't wait until 2012 when all the states do this.

    March 14, 2008 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  8. Kurtis

    BO has displayed his political ineptitude by removing HIS OWN NAME from the MI ballot. It was shear stupidity on BO’s part, and now he wants to cry about how unfair counting those votes would be. Regardless if you plan to campaign there or not, why would you remove yourself from all consideration whatsoever only to cry foul later? Shear stupidity.

    March 14, 2008 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  9. Tyler in Raleigh

    I like how Hillary commented the other day that the election should stand. That everyone had their chance and that she defeated "uncommitted" so it was fair.

    What a nerve she has to claim that running against no one and to honor votes you agreed would not is fair. Why not just skip the election and make her president so we can all end this? No matter what happens she will claim victory.

    March 14, 2008 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  10. Sue

    There should obviously be a re-vote in Michigan. The democratic and republican lawmakers in that state are working together to serve the good people of Michigan and make sure that their voices are heard fairly. Florida, on the other hand, is being Florida once again (I lived there for 8 of the longest years of my life, so I've seen it first hand). The politicians there, as usual, are so busy playing games they don't care about the voters or what's right. After this and the debacle of 2000, the question is not whether Florida should have a re-vote, it's 'why do we ever let these people vote at all?!?

    March 14, 2008 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  11. Concerned Michigander

    I am a college student and Michigan resident, who does not identify strongly with either party. Barack Obama is my candidate of choice, and the Michigan Primary situation put me in an awkward position. My options were:

    1) Vote an "uncommitted" vote in the Democratic Primary in hopes that the delegates would still be seated and that the uncommitted delegates could vote for Obama
    2) Vote for the Republican candidate who best represents my views in a primary which will definitely be counted.

    So, I felt the democratically responsible thing to do would be to cast a vote that matters in the Republican Primary. I knew the rules and the penalties, and acted in what I felt was the wisest way. Now I feel like the rules are changing and I am losing the chance to support a candidate I like because I tried to play by the rules. I can't be the only one who opted to cast a vote that matters rather than a vote that may count for someone someday. It's a tricky situation, but the democratic leadership knew what they were doing when they got us into this mess, and the voters knew penalty when they voted. Deal with it.

    March 14, 2008 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  12. Jeff Spangler, Arlington, VA

    It's encouraging to see that he DNC recognizes its liability for causing this mess, which by itself is a good reason for supporting McCain in the absence of an electable Democrat with comparable experience.

    March 14, 2008 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  13. Mir

    So, if Michigan can do it, what's the hold up with Florida? There is something wrong in that state if every presidential primary/national election there's a problem with voting in FL. They need a new committee there.

    March 14, 2008 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  14. Debra

    Good for them. This was going to have to be redone in Michigan. How ever it is a shame that Florida is being put into the same group as Michigan because the only thing wrong with their election was that it was held too early. Clair Mc Caskil withthe Obama campaign had a smirk on her face this morning when she said that Florida would have to hold their election over also. She is politics as usual and trying to give her candidate an unfair advantage regardless of who it hurts. A shame that Obama just cant acknowledge that he lost this state in the election with out trying to pour in money and get a 2nd chance at changing the results-

    March 14, 2008 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |

    Good, Good for Obama.

    March 14, 2008 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  16. Tom

    Michigan must have a new primary if they want to be counted. It's nice to seem them come to their senses. Florida? Not so much. Everyone was on the ballot – let it stand as is.

    March 14, 2008 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  17. Ruben

    So the Democratic Party is going to pay for the re-votes even though Michigan broke the rules! Also, Florida wants to re-vote even though they broke the rules? In Florida, a Democrat introduced legislation to change the voting date so it's their fault not the Republicans.

    These states should not be allowed to do a re-vote. If a re-vote is done, then I'm NOT going to vote for any Democratic nominee. Rules are rules. I don't understand how they can get a second chance.

    They should just split the delegates 50/50. Then if other states in the future want to break the rules they will know what the consequences will be.

    March 14, 2008 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  18. NIC

    This is wonderful news. Always knew democracy would provail. Let the voters speak and be heard, Let them vote, and count their votes.
    Howard Dean should of punished the State and Local Politicans and Officals of MI and FL. And not punish the voters. The voters had nothing to do with the move up date, it was the selfish politicans of MI and FL. Let the voter vote and counted, and punish the Politicans responsable for the mess.

    March 14, 2008 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  19. DJJ

    I believe the is the way that Florida should go also.

    March 14, 2008 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |




    March 14, 2008 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  21. alecia

    Stop this madness Now! The Michigan party officials responsible for this travesty should pay for the reelection. They should be punished for their miscalculation and putting the votes of the people at risk. The DNC should not have to reimburse them. Make them pay. The officials try to play like they were concerned about the voters, they were not concerned when they were told what not to do by the DNC and they did it anyway. They are to blame and the Michigan officials should pay.

    March 14, 2008 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  22. Mike

    There's not a liberal America and a conservative America – Is there a United 48 States of America?

    March 14, 2008 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  23. Sandra from Ohio

    well lets just show are kids that rules don't mean a thing there is no consequences for our action I 'm very up set so much so that i am changing parties i see that the Democrat's can't be trusted to play by the rules see ya

    March 14, 2008 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  24. Scott

    I identify myself as a Democrat, or at the very least, left-leaning. Recognizing that the original Michigan Democratic primary would not count toward the allocation of delegates to the nominees, I did what I thought was responsible and voted in the Michigan Republican primary, which did count. I have been fundamentally opposed to a re-vote in Michigan from the start, and I suspected (and now know) that if a re-vote were to occur, it would bar the votes of Democrats and Independents that happened to vote in the Republican primary because they (thought they) knew the Democratic primary was invalid. I'm extremely disappointed in the Michigan Democratic leadership for first tempting the DNC and thereby disenfranchising those of us who wanted to vote in the Democratic primary, and I'm now disappointed in the DNC for supporting a plan that doesn't allow all the people who wanted to vote in the Democratic primary in the first place to vote anew. Frankly, the actions of much of Democratic establishment on both the state and national levels this election season has been absurd and irrational, and I have little doubt they will fail to take back the White House in November as a consequence.

    March 14, 2008 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  25. Teresa in Kansas

    A new election of ANY kind will set a very dangerous precedent for the Democratic Party.

    Split the delegates 50/50 and move on!

    March 14, 2008 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
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