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Michigan primary goes to high court

Michigan officials took another stab at getting the courts to save the Jan. 15 presidential primary.
/ Source: The Associated Press

Michigan officials took another stab at getting the courts to save the Jan. 15 presidential primary.

The attorney general's office on Monday filed an appeal with the Michigan Supreme Court, asking it to overturn Friday's decision by an appeals court. In a 2-1 ruling, Judges Patrick Meter and Donald Owens objected that a law recently passed by the Legislature setting up the primary would let the state political parties keep track of voters' names and whether they took Democratic or GOP primary ballots but give no public access to that information.

State election officials want the state Supreme court to rule by Wednesday so they can get absentee ballots out by Dec. 1.

The state is asking the high court to approve the section of the law setting up the Jan. 15 primary and leave for later the question of who should get access to the voting records, according to Matt Frendewey, a spokesman for the attorney general's office.

State lawmakers also could resolve the issue this week if they approve a new law setting up the Jan. 15 election.

Michigan had tentatively scheduled Democratic caucuses for Feb. 9, but state officials and Gov. Jennifer Granholm have tried to push up the date to Jan. 15. If no primary is held, Republicans will make their choices at a Jan. 25-26 party convention. Democrats also could move up their caucuses, although no date has been set.

The lawsuit over the Michigan primary election has delayed scheduling of the nation's first primary. New Hampshire Secretary of State Bill Gardner says he won't set the date of his state's primary until it's clear what's going to happen in Michigan.