What Is A Closed Election?

With two weeks to go until the February 28th Michigan presidential primary election, independent voters may be in for a shock.

The election is closed.

Absentee voters must choose ahead of time which of the major parties they’d like to have a ballot for, Democratic or Republican.

Anyone who votes on election day will have to make the same choice before they enter a voting booth.

In an open primary, like the August primary, no such choice is required.

Marquette County Clerk Peter Dishnow says this is different from many U.S. states, where voters are registered as Democrats, Republicans or independents and anyone registered with one of the major parties can only have a ballot from that party.

After the election, the voters’ names, addresses and the party each voter got a ballot for then become public records.

Under state law, those records are available to anyone.

The Michigan Department of State will keep the information in a database.

Anyone who wants the data must make a Freedom of Information Act request within 71 days of the election.

Posted by: Mike Hoey