Now that the Michigan and Florida ‘lost delegates’ have become more critical to the Democratic race, there are all sorts of questions floating out there.
Q: What’s going on?
A: The Democratic National Committee (DNC) stripped Michigan of its
210 delegates and Florida of its 156 delegates to the party’s August
convention because the states scheduled their primaries before Feb. 5.
The candidates promised not to campaign in those two states.
Okay, but they knew that when they decided to go ahead and move it
up anyway. So I’ve always wondered…..if the move stripped your state’s
delegates of any meaning and wound up meaning nothing to your party’s
candidates, why do it?
Haven’t heard anybody give a good and sensible answer to that.
So now, in the middle of the game, they want to change the rules.
Q: Why not allocate delegates based on January voting?
A: Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm, a Democrat, and Florida Gov.
Charlie Crist, a Republican, have asked the Democratic Party to do
that. The Clinton campaign would like the delegates to count. The Obama
campaign would not.
The sense that that makes is clear. Hillary Clinton ‘won’, and even declared victory, in two states that didn’t literally count.
Democratic party chairman Howard Dean is not on board for changing the rules now.
Q: What about a second round of voting?
A: Dean says the states can submit plans to hold another round of
voting, as long as they comply with party rules. Options include a
primary, a caucus, Internet voting (currently used by Democrats who
live abroad) or a mail-in vote.
Well they didn’t comply with party rules before, and some are trying
to change them now. So how likely is it that this would work to
everyone’s satisfaction? (rhetorical question) And furthermore…
Q: How much would a redo cost and who pays?
A: This is the sticky part. Florida spent $29 million on its
primary, which included other elections and ballot issues, and Michigan
spent $15 million.
Dean says the national party will not pay for more voting. The governors and state legislatures say they won’t pay.
The Florida Democratic Party estimates the cost of a mail-in vote at
$6 million. Clinton and Obama are both prodigious fundraisers, but they
haven’t agreed on the need for a do-over or whether they’d pay for it.
What it says about making reasonable decisions, and sticking by them, is something voters should consider.