March 7th, 2008
02:00 PM ET
6 years ago

Obstacles remain for Michigan, Florida

ALT TEXT

Obstacles remain for re-votes in Florida and Michigan (AP Photo)

(CNN) – Elected officials, state and national party leaders and campaign advisers in Michigan and Florida are confronting major obstacles in their quest to stage new Democratic votes in those states that would allow delegations to be seated at the party’s summer convention.

Negotiations for a new Michigan caucus fell apart Thursday evening, and were to re-start Friday, according to a source close to discussions.

The plans were stymied when the chairman of the Michigan Democratic party, Mark Brewer, reported that a new vote – which would involve an estimated two million voters - would cost $10 million.

The source said the cost "is a very real challenge," since the state party, which had agreed not to use taxpayer money to fund any re-vote, is uncertain how they would cover the cost. One option under consideration was to cover expenses through a combination of fundraising, money provided by the Democratic National Committee, and funds directly from the campaigns themselves.

Now a group has been formed to "figure out a solution and start again.” The group includes: Debbie Dingell, GM Union President Ron Gettelfinger, and Rep. Caroline Cheeks Kilpatrick. They will talk to the state party, the DNC and the campaigns to determine how to raise the money – though the source tells CNN the campaigns have not made it clear to the other parties precisely what they want, or what they would be willing to agree to.

One plan would call for a "firehouse caucus" that would take place at some point between mid-May and June 6. A "firehouse caucus" is an all-day vote that is run by the state party; it is called a caucus because the party cannot legally hold a primary: and unlike the procedure in a typical caucus, voters are free to show up throughout the day and voting is done by secret ballot.

In Florida, Florida Department of State spokesman Sterling Ivey, which oversees the State Board of Elections, said that any statewide primary would take at least 90 days to organize from the moment a plan is set in motion.

One potential snag is the fact that 15 counties in that state are changing over from touchscreen voting equipment to optical scanners. That new equipment is required by law to be in place by July 1 - so that may be the earliest a statewide vote could take place.

Another obstacle, as in Michigan, could be the cost. Estimates of the price tag for a new vote run as high as $20 million – although a mail-order election idea being floated by some Democratic state senators in Florida would cost significantly less, around $5 million.

And that plan comes with its own set of logistical headaches: there would have to be special legislation and state direction involved – and the process itself, which would be unprecedented in state history, would require special safeguards to ward off potential fraud.

– CNN’s Jessica Yellin and Rich Phillips

soundoff (161 Responses)
  1. illinois voter for truth.

    Hillary is raising millions and millions of dollars here
    lately. I am sure since she is the one that this matters to,
    her and Bill can come up with the funds.Obama cares
    deeply about the voters in Mich. and Fla. but he is NOT
    the person that made up the RULES. If Obama wins in
    most of the next states, the issue will become nil.
    Unfortunately, either Obama will win in both states
    or it will be a close tie with Hillary which will
    still not determine who will be the nominee!!!Get it
    folks, it should not be an issue after the upcoming
    states. I think Hillary knows this or feels it. She
    announced today that she would like a ticket with
    CLINTON/obama on it. He would never be V.P. for
    a liar.

    OBAMA 2008

    March 7, 2008 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  2. Jay

    Even if there is a re-vote the margin of victory for Hillary if she wins this time in FL and Michigan will be very narrow and not enough to carry her to the nomination.

    She only gained sweeping support in FL and Michigan the first time around because no one in the country thought this unheard of Barrack Obama guy had a shot. His support in those two states at this juncture will have increased drastically due to the influence winning 13 of 15 contests will now have on FL and Michigan voters. People forget that even winning Ohio 55 to 45 did virtually not damage to barack's lead if you view the before and after delegate totals.

    March 7, 2008 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  3. Darth Vadik, CA

    Make them caucases, it would cost less and it would keep the Republicans out of meddling with our elections.

    March 7, 2008 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  4. Nechia NY

    I dont think that is fair that these two states wanted to have a voice in the primaries so they pushed their primaries up without DNC permission and now they are in a way getting what they want.

    However, I know that Clinton thinks that this might help her but it also might hurt her and Obama depending on wether or not the voters become apathetic. Or with time other might have changed their mind.

    March 7, 2008 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  5. Tom

    The purpose of the primary is to allow the voters an appropriate time to get to know the candidates, to whittle down the field, and to allow the candidates to hone their message. I think this is valuable – so I am not in favor of a single day for the primary vote.

    I also believe that only party members should vote in primaries – registered democrats vote for dems – republicans vote for republicans. Independents can vote for Nader.

    March 7, 2008 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  6. MP- Pennsylvania

    DNC should not fund for a new vote. States knew all along that they are breaking the rules. Don't forget the november election. IF Michigan and Florida get seated based on illegal action, it is going to backfire to all dems as it shows that Dems don't have ethics just like clintons do waht ever it take to. Also rest of the world is watching us. Howard dean is right, he is not against the voters, he needs to think about the party. I guess governor Crist very much like dems get backfired on that so Mccain has easy way out. DNC don't get in to the trap. Many people did not vote because of it is not going to be counted. So democratic party leaders in these two states cheated.

    March 7, 2008 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  7. Susan, TX

    SPLIT THE DELEGATES EVENLY BETWEEN THE TWO. I'M A REPUBLICAN, IT IS COMMON SENSE. HELLO....DNC ARE YOU READING THE COMMENTS! THIS WILL SAVE MONEY......DOING A RE-DO IS WASTEFUL AND I DON'T THINK THE OBAMA OR CLINTON OR STATE SHOULD PAY FOR THIS AS WELL AS THE VOTERS IN MI OR FL...QUIT THIS BICKERING.....

    March 7, 2008 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  8. Sabrina, Las Vegas, NV

    WHY ARE THEY TRYING TO CHANGE THE RULES IN THE MIDDLE OF THE GAME????

    March 7, 2008 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  9. Gerri

    Why have rules if they can be broken at any time . Their no point in making an agreement if you can't abide by it.

    March 7, 2008 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  10. Black Republican in New York

    If the DNC cannot see that by going back on its word to facilitate a losing Hillary Clinton, it is actually giving the impression that it does not abide by principle, then it must be clear to voters – Independents and Democrats – who smell coercive tactics by the Clintons must walk over and vote John McCain.

    Hilary Clinton is not just a monster; she is the devil incarnate. May a bolt of lightning strike this serpent striaght between the deceptive eyes and burn the 666 mark of the beast imprinted on her forehead.

    March 7, 2008 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  11. Patrick

    Kind of makes you feel like complete idiots holding a multi-million dollar election in January that you knew wasn't going to be counted, eh Michigan and Florida?

    Do yourselves a favor and elect competent Governors/Legislators and play by the rules JUST LIKE THE OTHER 48 STATES DID.

    March 7, 2008 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  12. Rules are rules...Just Say NO to a re-vote...

    Florida and Michigan elected officals broke the rules and now they have a Republican governor in FL leading the charge for a re-vote? Get real, but my question to CNN is: Why only Hillary and McCain have a link at the top of this page??? Obama is the front runner and Hillary gets a link??? Typical CNN.

    Hillary: "I'm tested and vetted."

    The voice of the intelligent voters: "Vetted at what? Whinning? Quoting Saturday Night Live in a Presidential Debate? Or throwing lamps at your Pimped Out Husband?"

    Hillary in her baby voice whinning: "You like him better!"

    CNN: "We'll help you out Hillary!"

    Wish we still had some credible news sources. Do some "real" reporting instead of being a Clinton cheering section!!

    Just say NO to a re-vote, and do not dare seat these delegates!!! We should not reward rule breakers!!!

    March 7, 2008 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  13. Tom Wittmann

    AS THE COMMENTATOT STEPHANOPOULOS TELLS US, HE SPOKE
    WITH ALL THE RELEVANT PLAYERS AS DNC AND STATE AUTHORITIES, AND ALL AGREED THAT NOTHING COULD BE DONE
    AS LONG AS:
    - THE FUNDING QUESTION IS RESOLVED, QUESTION ADDRESSES
    HERE IN THE ARTICLE
    - B O T H CAMPAIGN AGREE ON THE PROCEDURE SELECTED.

    Fcatually, unless at the moment of the new polls (Caucus, primary or
    whatever) the difference of elected delegates is only a 2 or 3 dozens,
    the differences achievable of delegates so vote will be irrelevant !!
    SO, ALL THE MONEY AND EFFORTS SPENT WILL BE IRRELEVANT!!

    TOM

    March 7, 2008 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  14. Lesley, Texas

    The voice of all voters should be heard. I agree with this sentiment. What I don't agree with is placing the blame on Howard Dean for something the elected officials of Florida and Michigan did. The only reason this is an issue now is because Clinton is losing.

    March 7, 2008 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  15. spfd chick

    Ah, well, you know what they say about people who covert prominent spots.... they get asked to move to the back of the room where they will be ignored. Well, Florida and Michigan, your leaders both Replican and Democrates did this to you so perhaps you should consider NOT electing them next time round!

    March 7, 2008 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  16. JAMES

    I THINK OF THE TWO STATES (MICHIGAN, AND FLORIDA), MICHIGAN SHOULD BE ALLOWED TO RE-DO ITS PRIMARY AND FLORIDA'S SHOULD HOLD FAST AS WAS HELD. EVERYTHING WAS EQUAL IN THE FLORIDA RACE. EVERYONES NAME WAS ON THE BALLET, NO ONE CAMPAINGED. VOTES WERE CAST AND THEY SHOULD BE COUNTED AS THEY WERE. MICHIGAN ON THE OTHER HAND SHOULD REHOLD ITS CONTEST BECAUSE BOTH OF THE CANIDATES NAMES WERE NOT ON THE BALLET. IT WASNT REALLY FAIR SO MAKE IT RIGHT, NO MATTER WHO HAS TO PAY FOR IT. IF YOU RE-DO THE FLORIDA RACE…SHOULD IT BE A BEST OF THREE???? KEEP THE FLORIDA RESULTS AND DONT WASTE THAT MONEY. REHOLD THE MICHIGAN PRIMARY… END OF STORY, AND IT WILL ALL BE FAIRLY DONE AND WE SHOULD HAVE A CLEARER VEIW OF THE NOMINEE AFTERWARDS. THANK YOU!

    March 7, 2008 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  17. Mike in Cleveland

    I agree with William 100%. To add to what he was saying, we should also have standards so that each primary contest is the same in every state rather than the Caucus here and a Primary there and the double-vote in Texas. Also, Have a 24 hour voting day for Primaries and General Election.

    March 7, 2008 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  18. Richard

    Obama should offer to foot the bill for the re-primaries since he is contesting Clintons claim to have won both states. Clinton would either have to go 50/50 with him or appear hypocritical about caring so much about the peoples vote in those states.

    March 7, 2008 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  19. reader-of-many-sources

    The DNC should not contribute any funds. I can't believe they are allowing future votes to count anyway. This sets a standard that says there will be no consequences to states that break rules.

    March 7, 2008 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  20. NC

    It seems like a easy answer to me...Let Hillary pay for it, she's the one pushing for the delegates to be seated. This is why people are not involved in politics, the rules keep changing if a person is losing in pledge delegates. If she was ahead she wouldn't be worried about the delegates being seated. If she wins the nomination I will not vote for her because she is a "monster". Besides the party is so divided now both Obama and Clinton might as well drop out and give it to McCain because I don't see supporters from either candidate willing to vote for the other person.

    I've survived many years with candidates I didn't vote for and I'm sure I'll continue to survive if McCain gets into office.

    March 7, 2008 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  21. Paul from Michigan

    I hope there is a revote in Michigan because I felt like I was robbed in the earlier election that was clearly communicated would NOT count. Therefore, nobody can honestly claim victory. If anyone tries to claim victory for an election that clearly stated it would not count us both unethical and Anti-American.

    If there is a revote, it better be done in a fair and equitable matter or their will be a big revolt against the Democratic Party. They are walking a tight rope and need to be very careful of crashing to their doom.

    March 7, 2008 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  22. Puddytat

    I DON'T THINK THE RULES SHOULD CHANGE JUST FOR THEM .... THIS IS REDICULOUS ! ! ! IF THEY WOULD QUIT ELECTING PEOPLE BASED UPON WHAT THEY CAN SEE ABOUT THEM 5 MIN. BEFORE THEY GO TO THE POLLS ... THEY WOULD HAVE A GOVERNOR THAT WOULD HAVE BEEN LOOKING OUT FOR THEIR RIGHTS ALL ALONG.....

    GOV CRIST ...WHY DON'T YA GET OFF OF THE JUAN MCCAIN B.S. TRAITOR EXPRESS AND STOP LOOKING FOR A CAMERA AROUND THE RINO ?

    YOU SHOULD HAVE SEEN THIS BEFORE AND DONE SOMETHING TO STOP IT ... THATS WHEN YOU (((SHOULD))) HAVE BEEN SPEAKIN FOR FL. .... NOT WHEN YOU CAN STEP OUT FROM BEHIND YOUR RINO FRIENDS !

    TELL YOUR STATE "TUFF LUCK" AND MAYBE ((( THEY ))) WILL PAY MORE ATTENTION TO WHO THEY LET GOVERN THE STUPID THIRD WORLD STATE .

    March 7, 2008 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  23. Bill

    Hillary has now even managed to polarize her own party. When you billary supporters are grieving over the loss of the election and the decline of the demo party, look no further than hillary and her feminist supporters. Mcain is as good as elected now.

    March 7, 2008 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  24. Ed

    Howard Dean needs to grow a pair. This is exactly why Democrats are viewed as wishy washy. Can’t have any one with hurt feelings. Every one is a winner. States broke the rules and now they get away with it. Unbelievable. Don’t give me any excuses how each state was forced to move their date up, no one held a gun to their head. They knew exactly what they were doing when they did it.

    It makes me wonder why I am a Democrat, when we can’t even follow their own rules.

    Of course Clinton wants the states counted, because she kept her name on their ballots. Automatic states for her. She broke the rules too as far as I am concerned. Just another political ploy to keep her somewhat in the game.

    March 7, 2008 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  25. Cathy

    I think florida and michigan should count, and I agree with William. The vote should be done in early county/state, the same day

    March 7, 2008 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
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