Presidential Primary Still Uncertain

By: Jamie Edmonds Email
By: Jamie Edmonds Email

"Voters should get the chance to go to the polls to vote for president of the United States," said Assistant Attorney General Heather Meingast.

But Michigan voters may not get the chance. The Court of Appeals heard oral arguments today, on whether the law that sets up the primary is constitutional.

Ed Sarpolus, an MRA political pollster, said the issue revolves around the political parties.

"Both parties came together and decided to have a closed primary," Sarpolus said. "They also wanted to know who voted in their primaries."

The information - your name, your address and which primary you voted - would go exclusively to the political parties. Mark Grebner, the political consultant who brought the suit against the state, said that information sharing solely with the parties, is unfair.

"They created a new law," Grebner said. "They made it a 90-day misdemeanor offense for anyone who obtains that information other than the political parties."

Grebner said the information is public and should stay public. Giving it only to the parties is unconstitutional and that is the sole reason the primary may not happen.

"If the legislature wasn't trying to steal the information, there would be no problem," Grebner said.

But the state says releasing the information to the parties is not unconstitutional. In fact, it promotes political activity.

"I think we will have a great turn-out," said Matt Frendewey, spokesperson for the attorney general, "especially this year when each party has nine candidates or more."

The court recessed with no time line for a decision. The state hopes the decision will come soon - in time for the December 1st deadline for the absentee ballots.

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