Ann Arbor Area Community News
The Michigan Presidential Primary is Tuesday, January 15. Voting will be at regular polling places from 7am to 8pm. The only item on the ballot in Ann Arbor is the presidential primary. Sample ballots can be found here. You will need to show your ID.
That part is clear, the rest is confusing. First of all, this is a “closed” primary. This means you must declare if you are going to vote Republican or Democratic and your ballot will only have the candidates for the party you chose. Although this is not public information, it will be given to Michigan’s political parties (Ann Arbor does not keep track of party preference). Write-in candidates will not be
Adding to the confusion, it seems that Michigan has been a very bad state and chose to have its primary before the February 5 deadline. This upset the national Republican and Democratic Parties so they decided to sanction Michigan. The Republicans have removed half of our delegates. The Democratic Party has removed all of our delegates. In a show of solidarity to the National Party, several candidates pulled out of the Michigan Democratic Primary, including Barack Obama and John Edwards.
If you are planning to vote Republican, your options are pretty easy. You declare, you pick up your ballot, you vote for the candidate of your choice. Be aware that although some candidates have dropped out of the race, they may still be on the ballot because of long printing lead times. (Tancredo and Brownback have dropped out.)
If you would like to vote for a Democratic candidate, you have a few options. The first is to vote for Clinton, Gravel, or Kucinich as they are listed on the ballot (Dodd has dropped out). If you are an Obama or Edwards supporter, you can vote for “Uncommitted” and hope that Uncommitted gets enough votes to get delegates and that they vote for your choice. Or you can declare as a Republican and vote for the least-likely-to-get-elected Republican candidate.
Why vote Democratic at all if there aren’t going to be any delegates at the National Convention? The general consensus is that the Democratic leaders will feel more, well, democratic and eventually give us back some delegates. If that is true, the assumption will be that if you voted “Uncommitted,” you wanted either Obama or Edwards and the delegates should act accordingly.
So don’t forget to vote on Tuesday! Remember your vote counts, or it doesn’t, maybe.
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