LANSING, Mich. - The Michigan Legislature’s decision to move the presidential primary to Jan. 15, making it the earliest in the country, adds new chaos to the election season.
The Michigan Assembly passed the bill Thursday with unanimous concurrence from the state Senate. Gov. Jennifer Granholm has promised to sign it, The Detroit Free Press reported.
"When they're making promises, we want to make sure they're not just making promises to Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina," said state Sen. Mark Schauer, a Democrat and the minority leader.
While Michigan lawmakers hope that an early primary will give the state a bigger voice in candidate selection, the move makes an already drawn-out election season even more chaotic. The Iowa caucuses, traditionally the opener, are now set for Jan. 14, and the New Hampshire primary would follow Michigan’s unless it is moved.
The Democratic National Committee has been trying to hold the line by threatening not to seat state delegations chosen in too early primaries. Last week, the Michigan Democratic Party submitted a plan for a caucus Feb. 9.
The bill that passed the legislature also bans cross-over voting, requiring voters to declare as either a Democrat or Republican to participate.
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