LANSING, Mich. — The 2024 primaries could look a little different from previous election cycles with voters right here in Michigan poised to be one of the first state's to cast a ballot.
“It's so important as we roll out our presidential primary process that we are talking to voters who represent America," said Lavora Barnes, chair of the Michigan Democratic Party. "If you look at Michigan, you see the diversity that we have across our state that is very much a mirror of this country.”
Michigan’s presidential primary has traditionally been held on the second Tuesday of March. This change, supported by the Michigan legislature, would move it a month earlier.
“I think that the big thing for voters is that they'll be showing up a little earlier in the calendar year to participate in the Democratic primary," Barnes said. "I think that they will see much more activity here in Michigan.”
Earlier primaries are coveted positions for states. They often get more national coverage, fanfare and visits from presidential candidates.
“We make our presidential candidates stronger for them coming to us early to start these conversations," she said. "I think this entire primary calendar is built to do just that, to make sure our candidates are having these conversations or meeting voters who represent the diversity of our country, who represent the issues that are important to members of the country all over, not just a small microcosm of the country.”
A shakeup in the primary order appears to be a bipartisan effort. Michigan Republican Party Chair Ron Weiser released a statement Friday saying, "Michigan should have a very significant say in electing the next Republican president of the United States."
The DNC Rules and Bylaws Committee voted Friday to make South Carolina the first state to vote in the Democratic presidential primary and make Michigan the fifth state.
The committee approved moving South Carolina's primary to Feb. 3 and having Nevada and New Hampshire vote three days later. Georgia would go the following week and Michigan two weeks after that.
A final decision about the order of primary states must be voted on by the full Democratic National Committee early next year. Barnes estimates February of 2023.
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