Lansing, Michigan – Democrats in the Michigan legislature have made a significant move that could render votes from Republican delegates meaningless at the Republican National Convention.
The Democratic-party-controlled legislature voted to change the state’s presidential primaries date, bringing it forward to February 27, 2024. This decision violates a rule set by the Republican National Committee (RNC) that only allows South Carolina, Iowa, New Hampshire, and Nevada to hold their primaries before March 1. The potential consequence of this violation is that the RNC may refuse to credential almost all of Michigan’s Republican delegates for the national convention.
Originally scheduled for the second Tuesday of March, this change in primary date was spearheaded by Democratic Governor Gretchen Whitmer. Lapeer County Commissioner Gary Howell expressed concerns about the implications, stating, “Our vote will not be counted by the RNC. It will be of no legal consequence whatsoever.”
The decision to move the primary date was accompanied by claims from Chairwoman of the Michigan Democratic Party, Lavora Barnes, that Michigan’s position as the fifth state to hold its presidential primary ensures that the voices of Michiganders are accurately represented in the primary process.
However, the vote to change the primary election date fell strictly along partisan lines, with every Democrat voting in favor and every Republican voting against. Republican state Senator Kevin Daley argued that the move was undemocratic and accused Democrats of attempting to disenfranchise Republican voters. He also claimed that Governor Whitmer’s motivation in pushing for the change was to gain national attention for a potential vice president or president run.
The change in Michigan’s primary date reveals the complex relationship between state and national party rules during the presidential election season. Violating the RNC’s rule could have significant consequences for Michigan’s Republican delegates, potentially nullifying their votes at the national convention. The situation raises questions about fairness and representation in the primary process.