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March 13, 2008
Do-Over Primary in Michigan idea gaining steam
Another primary in Michigan, run by the state but financed by the state party, may be in the offing according to party sources:
As negotiators continued to work Wednesday on developing an acceptable plan for a possible do-over Democratic presidential primary in Michigan, the prospect of a state-run — but party-funded — primary was raised as a potential alternative to an election conducted through the mail. What an ungodly tangle. Note that Rendell and Corzine support Hillary Clinton while Levin is undecided but considered leaning toward Obama. Clearly, any revote that allows for the most participation by voters is favored by Hillary Clinton who seems to do better the more voters there are.
The prospect of a state-run primary had been initially shelved because of the cost and Gov. Jennifer Granholm’s insistence that the taxpayers not be stuck with a bill that could exceed $10 million.
But with Democratic leaders including Govs. Ed Rendell of Pennsylvania and Jon Corzine of New Jersey promising to raise money, there could be a mechanism for a state-run primary paid for at party expense. It would require the Legislature’s approval.
The possibility of a mail-in contest remains on the table as well. Sen. Carl Levin has called it the most practical approach, though the Obama campaign has raised concerns about ballot security, access and tabulation of the ballots with no system currently in place to hold such an election.
Michigan and Florida, denied delegates to the convention because of their violation of party rules, need to find a solution quickly. June 6 is the cutoff date for party nominating contests and it would seem that a huge effort would have to be made in order to hold a primary before that date.