Michigan’s Primary and G.O.P. Convention: When Is It and What to Know

Michigan’s Primary and G.O.P. Convention: When Is It and What to Know

The political spotlight will be on Michigan on Tuesday when voters there cast their primary ballots, and then again four days later when Republicans hold another election campaign.

The party has adopted a novel and somewhat confusing hybrid nominating system this year, which will culminate with a statewide nominating convention on March 2.

Or two.

A mutiny in the state Republican Party has spawned rival factions, each promising to hold its own convention, even though the national party only recognizes one.

Here’s what you should know:

Michigan will hold its primary election on February 27, voting for Republicans and Democrats. Additionally, the state Republican Party will host a nominating convention on March 2.

Polls are open on Tuesday from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. local time (most of the state is in the Eastern time zone). Early in-person voting began on February 17th. Voters can find their polling places here and can register to vote by visiting their city or town clerk until 8:00 p.m. on Election Day.

All voters can participate in the primary, regardless of whether they are Democrats, Republicans or Independents. However, voters cannot select candidates from more than one party on the same ballot, which is called crossover voting.

At the Republican nominating convention, only delegates, a group of elected party loyalists, can attend the caucus-style event.

Seven Republicans are listed on the ballot, led by former President Donald J. Trump, the GOP front-runner, and former Gov. Nikki Haley of South Carolina, who was Trump’s ambassador to the United Nations. Most of the others dropped out.

President Biden and his nominal challenger, Rep. Dean Phillips, will appear on the Democratic primary ballot along with Marianne Williamson, who dropped out.

Both parties also have the option to vote “non-binding”. How to find sample ballots.

Democrats who control state government passed a law last year that moved up Michigan’s primary election date, which used to be the second Tuesday in March.

Republicans fought the change because it conflicts with rules set by their national party, which largely prohibit states from holding nominating contests before March 1. To avoid the national party holding on to its delegates, Republicans in the state adopted the hybrid nomination system.

For the Democrats, the process is quite simple as they will use a proportional representation system based on the primary results of the most delegates. Michigan will send 140 delegates to the Democratic National Convention in Chicago.

For the Republicans, the formula is more complex: only 16 of 55 delegates are awarded in the primaries, also proportionally. However, most of the delegates (39) are determined during the congress.

Polls show Mr. Trump and Mr. Biden with a large lead in the state, which could help speed things up after polls close on Tuesday.

“If either presidential primary fails, we will not need many votes to determine the winners,” Stephen Ohlemacher, voting editor for The Associated Press, said in an email.

And while Mr. Trump’s strong position extends to Congress, the novelty of the process means there is greater uncertainty about the timing of the results. There’s also the drama of rival Republican factions possibly hosting dueling meetings.

Both March 2 caucuses begin at 10 a.m. Eastern Time.

Pete Hoekstra, whom the RNC considers the rightful leader of the party, chose the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel in Grand Rapids as the venue for his convention.

On the other side of the state, Kristina Karamo, the Trump-style election denier who has refused to give up power after a vote to remove her earlier this year, is pushing ahead with her rally at Detroit’s Huntington Place.

Party loyalists from across Michigan will come together by congressional district and split into 13 different groups to vote for president. They were selected for this role by their district parties.

Republicans will nominate three delegates for each congressional district. A candidate who receives a majority of votes wins all three votes, otherwise it is two for the majority and one for the runner-up.

The group will also “certify” the results of Tuesday’s primary election and award the remaining 16 delegates based on that.

All this is taking place against the backdrop of party feud in the state.

The process could effectively run on a split screen at the dueling party conventions and produce competing delegate lists, both of which could end up at the national convention this summer. The RNC would then decide which party to recognize, and recognizing Mr. Hoekstra as party leader signals that his list is considered the official list.

Ms. Karamo gained notoriety for spreading conspiracy theories about voter fraud after the 2020 election. In 2022, she lost her bid for Michigan secretary of state, a position that oversees elections. Last year, in February, she emerged victorious in a marathon election for state party leadership.

But Ms. Karamo soon lost the support of many state Republicans, who said the party was shrouded in secrecy and struggling for money under her leadership. They voted to fire her on January 6 and elected Mr. Hoekstra as her successor two weeks later. According to Ms. Karamo, these measures were unlawful.

Mr. Hoekstra, a former member of the House of Representatives, was Mr. Trump’s ambassador to the Netherlands. He stepped forward to seek the job as party leader in January and was endorsed by Mr Trump later that month.

The RNC recognized him as chairman on February 14, three days before he attended a rally for Mr. Trump in Waterford Township, Michigan.

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2024-02-23 15:44:52