QUESTION: As a resident of Ann Arbor, I am somewhat confused over the rules covering local primary elections. When I went to vote in last week's 1 mary elections at Haisley School, I was toid that I could not vote for any of the mayoral candidates because I was not a registered Democrat or Republican. My questions are: (1) How does one I come a registered Republican or I crat? (2) If one is registered to one I party, can he vote in the other party's I primary? (3) What prevenís an I pendent (not registered to any party) I voter from casting his ballot in any I ty primary election? and (4) Mr. Garrís, I the Republican mayoral candidate, 1 lieves that he won a majority of the 1 dependent vote and that he received I support from a number of Democratie I ballots. How is this so, if one is not I lowed to vote in a primary election I less he is a registered Democrat or I publican? (Monty Okey) ANSWER: You have been I formed. While many states do require I an individual to state party preference (register) before voting in a primary, Michigan does not. Of course, you may join either of the two parties- or any other- but it does not require any official state or local government ] tion. Republicana can vote for Democrats and Democrats can vote for Republicans in state primary elections. But you can only vote in one primary. Once a party lever is pulled, the other party is automatically locked out. Therefore, in last week's primary you could not have voted for a Democrat in a City Council ward race and also voted for a candidate for mayor in the GOP primary. Jack J. Garris' comments on the support he received at the polls was based on his interpretation of the election. Therè is no way of knowing, by examining the machines, whether Garris received Republican, Democratie or inI dependent voter support. I The system in Michigan is not unlike I some other states where you have to I register for one party or the other. The I only difference here is that your "regI istration" comes in the form of the parI ty you vote for in the privacy of the I voting booth. Some states require this I registration act to be a public one, even I though from primary to primary ,a perI son can register for a different party.
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