Direct Primary Legislation in Michigan

The first local direct nomination law in Michigan was passed ir 1901; the first general law in 1905. The public opinion, however, which looked to the abolition of the convention system of nomination, rather than to its legal regulation, had its inception as early as 1894. The unusually objectionable primaries of that year led to a pronounced but unorganized agitation for reform, in the course of which a few of the most radical proposed to abolish absolutely all conventions.1 The legislature of 1895 contented itself, however, with attempting the regulation of primaries and conventions, leaving most of the nominating machinery in the control of the party organization. Nevertheless, as early as 1896, the Republicans of Battle Creek decided in mass-meeting to do away with the city convention and to nominate city officers directly in the ward primaries.’