|The following is the first in a series of articles from Michigan Bureau of Elections regarding the Presidential Primary.
The 2020 Presidential Primary is designated a “closed primary,” just as it was in 2012 and 2016. Michigan Election Law, requires voters wishing to participate in the March 10 Election to choose a Democratic, Republican, or no-Presidential Primary (local issues only, when applicable) ballot when voting absentee or at the polls on Election Day. While a voter must select a specific party ballot, there is no political party registration in Michigan’s voter registration system. However, the voter’s ballot selection will be public information for the 22 months following the election.
State law requires the Department of State to create a list of individuals “generally advocated by the national news media to be potential presidential candidates” for the Democratic and Republican parties for the presidential primary election. The Michigan Department of State released the 2020 Presidential Primary Candidate List on Friday. However, this is not the final candidate listing.
The chairs of the Michigan Democratic and Republican Parties now have until 4 p.m., Nov. 12, to add names of other candidates to the candidate list for their party. A candidate on the final list has until 4 p.m., Dec. 13, to notify the department that he or she is not a presidential candidate. The Bureau of Elections will provide the certified list of Presidential Primary candidates to election officials statewide after the Dec. 13 withdrawal deadline elapses.
Candidates not placed on the list by the department or the party chairs may collect signatures to be placed on the ballot. Voters will also have an option to vote “uncommitted” instead of a candidate for a political party.
The Presidential Primary is a reimbursable election. Cities and townships will be reimbursed for the costs they incur in administering the Presidential Primary.