Michigan GOP to pick delegates in ’closed’ primary

Republican leaders in Michigan voted Saturday to choose their 2012 presidential convention delegates with a closed primary, which supporters say is more inclusive than a convention or caucuses. Under Michigan law, a closed primary means people going to the polls must declare themselves Republicans before casting ballots. Some who opposed the measure say the primary will be closed in name only, since voters can just say they are Republican.
AP Wire
Aug 13, 2011

“Any registered voter — Republican, Democrat, communist — is eligible,” Washtenaw County Republican Bill Bigler said during the debate reported by The Detroit News. “We should have a process by which Republicans choose the Republican nominee for president.”

The Republican State Committee approved the recommendation of the party’s Policy Committee by a vote of 92-17. The policy committee was asked in May to research facts and gather opinions about which process Republicans should use to choose the nominee.

“Saturday’s vote by our State Committee was the culmination of months of communication between our grass roots, activists, policy committee members, statewide GOP supporters, and everyone with an interest in ensuring that Michigan sends a Republican president to the White House in 2012,” state party chairman Bobby Schostak said in a statement.

State law calls for a presidential primary to be held next Feb. 28, but lawmakers could change the date. Holding a Feb. 28 primary would break national political party rules, which allow only four states — Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina — to go before early March.

Michigan Republicans could lose half their national convention votes if they stick with Feb. 28 or move to an earlier date. But going early also would give Michigan a critical role in choosing the Republican nominee.

Michigan Democrats plan to choose their nominee May 5 at 200 to 400 caucus sites statewide, according to state Chairman Mark Brewer. President Barack Obama is the near-certain nominee, making a primary unnecessary.
 

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