September 4, 2007
LANSING - Governor Jennifer M. Granholm has signed into law Senate Bill 624 that establishes January 15, 2008 as the date for a statewide presidential primary for the 2008 presidential election cycle. The bill passed with bipartisan majorities in both the state house and state senate and is supported by leaders from both state parties. It was filed with the Office of the Great Seal this morning, has immediate effect, and is now Public Act 52 of 2007.
Granholm said she expects every credible candidate to appear on the ballot in Michigan.
"An early Michigan primary can lead to greater emphasis on issues that matter to all Americans," Granholm said. "We want candidates to talk about how they plan to enforce trade policies that are so critical to our manufacturers, the need for universal access to affordable health care, and how they plan to reduce our nation's dependence on foreign oil. In short, Michigan voters want to hear how every candidate will confront the issues that are so critical to our state and that he or she will face as president."
Under the new law, any political party that received less than 20 percent of the total vote cast for president at the last presidential election is not eligible to participate in the presidential primary. Based on 2004 results, only the Republican and Democratic parties will be participating political parties in the 2008 presidential primary.
"While political maneuvering will no doubt continue, our move to January 15th is final," Granholm said. "Our richly diverse electorate deserves a primary process that requires candidates to address the issues they will be held accountable for in the general election. The January 15th primary in Michigan accomplishes precisely this goal. With our move, we expect that this critical discussion will take place before, not after, party nominations are decided."
After 2008 the presidential primary and the consolidated local elections, which also move to January 15th under the new law, will be held on the 4th Tuesday in February as current law provides.
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