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Democrats' Votes Won't Count In Michigan

By       Message John Danforth     Permalink
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The Democratic Party is giving lessons on voter disenfranchisement in Michigan this primary season. The end result is that if you're a Democrat in Michigan, if you get a chance to vote at all, your vote won't count.

It all started when the Michigan legislature passed, and the Governor signed, a bill that moved the state's primary election ahead to January 15, in a move to get more recognition from presidential campaigns.

Both the Republican and Democratic parties have rules against this. The Republican Party stripped half of Michigan's delegates. The Democratic Party played things a little differently, and it turned into a three-ring circus.

The initial response of the national Democratic party was to tell Michigan not to hold a Democratic primary at all. When it became clear that Michigan intended to hold the election anyway, the party ordered their candidates to withdraw their names from the primary ballot. Edwards, Obama, Biden, and Richardson obliged and withdrew their candicacy. Clinton, Kucinich, Gravel, and Dodd did not withdraw.

Then, a Michigan court ruled the primary law unconstitutional because it allows the parties to get names and addresses paid for with taxpayers' money, but restricts them from public access. Later, the Michigan Supreme Court overturned the ruling, so now it's apparently constitutional to fund party activities with taxpayer money.

The Michigan legislature had time to pass a bill that would have reinstated all candidates' names and fix the objectionable part, but there were reportedly elements in the party that would have preferred a caucus to an election (believing it would help a different candidate), and so they inserted a poison pill into the bill that would have extended term limits, knowing that Republicans would then vote against it. So the vote failed, but the primary wasn't canceled, and ballots went out for printing at the last possible moment without the names of the four who withdrew.

Meanwhile, Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm endorsed Hillary Clinton for President.

On December 1, the Democratic Party decided to strip Michigan of all of its delegates. Although there have been rumors that either or both parties might reinstate the delegates from Michigan, as things stand now the Democrats from Michigan get no votes, and the Republicans get half.

Now, a lawsuit has been filed in U.S. District Court to stop the Democratic primary on the grounds that the party was within its rights to instruct Michigan not to hold a primary since it was in violation of the rules. A court date has not been set yet, but it is likely a ruling will be forthcoming before the primary on January 15.




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Mr. Danforth is a supporter of the Constitution of the United States of America, as defined by Thomas Jefferson.

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Democrats' Votes Won't Count In Michigan