After the Michigan House voted Tuesday to move up Michigan’s 2024 presidential primary to the fourth Tuesday in February, a local lawmaker decried what she said was a lack of transparency in the process.
State Rep. Ann Bollin (R-Brighton) said Democrats rushed the bill through the House without a committee hearing depriving the public and local clerks the opportunity to weigh in.
“As legislators, we are elected by the people in our communities to represent their views and serve as their voice in Lansing,” said Bollin. “We’re supposed to set aside party affiliation and the preferences of political party leaders and work for the people in our districts based on principles. Moving up the presidential primary is not an issue I hear about from people at home. It’s not even an issue I heard about from the local clerks as the chair of the House Elections and Ethics committee last term.”
The bill, which passed 56-53, moves now to Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer in order to meet a deadline set by the Democratic National Committee, although it won’t take effect until 90 days after the end of the session.
In order for the bill to take effect for the 2024 primary process, the Legislature would need to adjourn for the year by late November, which is not expected.
Once active, Michigan would move up in the order of state primaries to fifth in the country, behind South Carolina on Feb. 3, New Hampshire and Nevada on Feb. 6 and Georgia on Feb. 13.
Democrats say Michigan’s primary should come before other states because the state’s population is more reflective of the nation’s diversity and could help Michigan play a larger role in choosing presidential party nominees.
“Our voters are diverse,” said Rep. Stephanie Young, (D-Detroit). “They’re passionate and they deserve the opportunity to chart the course for our nation’s future.”
But Bollin and fellow Republicans say the bill disenfranchises the GOP
“We should be focusing on legislation that addresses how we update our voter rolls, secure our elections and more importantly – how to implement the most recent constitutional amendment,” said Bollin, who called the bill a “self-serving political stunt.”
House Republicans, who lost their majority status in November after 12 years in charge of the chamber, say the bill would penalize Michigan Republicans because Republican National Committee rules subtract convention delegates from states that schedule earlier primary dates.
Amber McCann, a spokeswoman for House Speaker Joe Tate (D-Detroit) told The Detroit News that nothing is preventing the RNC from adjusting its rules so Michigan isn’t penalized. And.