March 12th, 2008
12:54 PM ET
7 years ago

Obama camp resistant to mail-in vote

Barack Obama's campaign said Wednesday it has reservations with a mail-in revote.
Barack Obama's campaign said Wednesday it has reservations with a mail-in revote.

(CNN) - Obama campaign manager David Plouffe expressed strong reservations on Wednesday to the prospect of a mail-in revote in either Florida or Michigan.

"I do think there's real questions about the mail-in option here," Plouffe said on a conference call with reporters. "These are very complicated elections to put on. In the state of Oregon which is kind of the standard for this, it took well over 10 years to get comfortable doing this statewide, to have signature verification in place, lots of alternatives for people to vote in person, there's questions around the list, both of these states have justice department review, that would need to take place, so there's a lot of questions."

The mail-in proposal is being strongly advocated by some leading Democrats including Florida Sen. Bill Nelson, who has said that it is the only reasonable and affordable option available to the state. Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean has also expressed support for a mail-in vote as one way to allow the state’s delegation to be seated at the party’s national convention this summer.

"Every voter gets a ballot in the mail. It's comprehensive. You get to vote if you're in Iraq or in a nursing home," he said on CBS' "Face the Nation" Sunday.

But a majority of the Florida’s Democratic delegation said in a statement Tuesday night they oppose both a primary re-vote and vote-by-mail.

"We are committed to working with the DNC, the Florida State Democratic party, our Democratic leaders in Florida, and our two candidates to reach an expedited solution that ensures our 210 delegates are seated," the delegation's statement read. "Our House delegation is opposed to a mail-in campaign or any redo of any kind."

Speaking with reporters Tuesday, Plouffe said the campaign will ultimately follow the DNC's resolution with regards to seating the delegates. But he sharply criticized the Clinton campaign for "trying to change the rules."

"Senator Clinton said she was playing by the rules through the early sates, we played by the rules," he said. "Now when they believe it serves their political interests, they're trying to change the rules and say these elections should count for something. We think that's the kind of political maneuvering and calculation that voters are tired of."

Responding to Plouffe's comments, the Clinton campaign noted that the Illinois senator co-sponsored a bill last June that "would establish a vote by mail grant program."

Full story 

– CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney


Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama
soundoff (281 Responses)
  1. LeAnn

    This is crazy! Rules are rules! That's it!! If you break them now on the count that one candidate is whining about it then what does that say about the DNC??

    Why is it that Florida just can't seem to get it right??!! No one told them to move the primary date!! And they KNEW the consequences if they did!! How is it that 30 states got it right, but MI and FL didn't?? I feel sorry for the voters of FL and MI but you have your ELECTED OFFICIALS to thank!

    And for all you Hilary supporters, if Barack was in Hilary's position being behind in the pledged delegates, behind in the popular vote, and behind in the amount of states won, you all know that the DNC wouldn't even entertain the thought of a re-do for him! FAIR IS FAIR!!

    March 12, 2008 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  2. JKC

    Anyone who thinks that the Jan. results should count is being incredibly unfair and short-sighted. There was no campaigning and Clinton won on name recognition because she has been a national figure for many years. Even a child can see that. If Clinton can only win by stealing the election, it will tear the party apart and doom us all in November. Her and her supporters need to grow up and play fair.

    March 12, 2008 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  3. Carrie Pa

    The mail-in vote sounds easy. But, in Florida, they don't have a great track record for elections. I wouldn't trust the results.

    March 12, 2008 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  4. Karen, NYC

    It seems the Clintons believe rules are supposed to be bent for their special interest. The DNC should just say no! Crafting a competition to fit the Clinton's campaign is wrong!

    DNC, just say NO!

    March 12, 2008 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  5. Grif

    One thing for Obama, you will never get the chance.

    To steal anymore Caucuses. And Primary's you can't win again....

    March 12, 2008 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  6. Ed from PA

    "Senator Clinton said she was playing by the rules through the early sates, we played by the rules," he said. "Now when they believe it serves their political interests, they're trying to change the rules and say these elections should count for something. We think that's the kind of political maneuvering and calculation that voters are tired of."

    Exactly!

    March 12, 2008 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  7. Once again

    My comment is gone. The truth hurts I guess. When this is all over I am going to change my status from a democrat to an Independent. I can see now why Lieberman changed over. I cannot even get CNN to keep my comments in. I am commited to Hillary, but if she does not get to be the nominee – all bets are off.

    March 12, 2008 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  8. Rush Limbaugh

    David Plouffe needs to quit whining, and swallow his spit like a man.

    March 12, 2008 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  9. nate

    So if two teams split their games during the season, should we go back and count the exhibition/preseason games?

    March 12, 2008 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  10. Jim Shimmer

    Clinton is the biggest loser in the world. She will do anything, simply anything to win. So sooo sad.

    How can we have such a pathetic person be president of our honorable country??????????????

    She will stoop to any low, absolutely any low to win. So sad.

    March 12, 2008 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  11. Sophia

    This show you that Obama don't care Floridans.

    March 12, 2008 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  12. spyturtle

    Hillary already declared herself a winner in both Michigan and Florida. Does this double talk maneuvering reflect what she will be like negotiating with other countries? Is this her experience at work? Politician yes, ethical no. Play by the rules and don't change them in the middle of the game when your losing. by the way, where are the Clinton's tax returns?

    March 12, 2008 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  13. moderate dem

    what was wrong with my first submission?

    March 12, 2008 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  14. Alice Rea

    Obama was on the ticket. What's the problem. Let the votes stand as they are.
    Michigan is different. Let them revote in Michigan because Obama wan't on the ticket..

    March 12, 2008 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  15. Helen

    See, Obama is going negative. Why did he blame Clinton for changing the rules? The re-vote was proposed by the people in Florida and DNC agreed on it. Obama wants to stick to the rules that are against people' will.

    March 12, 2008 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  16. Shane

    I don't get this... Since so many rules have been broken just break more rules in a fair way to solve this mess. So I have a solution...simple really and of course fair. Firstly, forget the 2025 needed to win. That was under the basis that all delegates are counted. Since they are not, I don't know why everyone seem to be held to this number. So whoever wins the delegate count wins regardless if 2025 delegates has not been met. As for the voters of Michigan and Florida? Split the delegates evenly if they want to be seated at the convention. One can argue that this may not represent the voters, but these same voters voted for their Florida and Michigan officials who broke the rules. So blame them idiots for messing this all up by trying to get into the limelight by moving their primaries earlier.
    Of course the Clinton Camp. will not approve of this, but in reality it is as fair as it can get because the winner will be nominated by states who obeyed the rules under fair practice.

    March 12, 2008 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  17. sherry

    The Obama camp is very smart to not go for the mail-in vote. Who knows how accurate it would be? Especially in Florida. What! Honesty, forget it! Controversy, you bet!

    March 12, 2008 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  18. ct

    they want only what is suitable for them. But when they do something else – like in Nevada, then it is OK.
    Elections are such a nasty process............

    March 12, 2008 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  19. Marc

    Of course Obama's camp is against a mail-in. Much tougher to strong arm people into voting for Barack like is being done in the caucuses.

    March 12, 2008 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  20. Jonathan

    The Obama campaign has just made a major error: Obama co-sponsored a bill supporting mail-in ballots. Coming out against them now would be flip-flopping, and show that he either didn't make that vote on principle, or that he's now changing his position in the name of political convenience.

    March 12, 2008 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  21. CNN never posts my posts

    B.H. Obama is against any kind of re-vote in Florida because he knows he will lose!

    March 12, 2008 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  22. autumn alston

    Interesting that Obama's camp seems quite against this idea; seeing as how he co-sponsored legislation about mail-in voting being a good way of voting.

    March 12, 2008 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  23. Bernadette Williams

    First of all didn't they know about this a year and a half ago, all had known. Some called and was told that it wouldn't count. They wasn't concern then....Now that hillary's, trying to use the unfair game just to get her way. I think those very people thats trying so hard to count them now, are the very people thats hillary's supports. It happen once before to florida, some foul play of some sort. I WOULD LET THEM CHANGE THE RULES IN THE MIDDLE OF THE GAME!!!!!!!!!! tHEY MISSED THEIR CHANCE.

    March 12, 2008 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  24. Theresa

    Of course he is opposed...he was on the ballot in Florida same as Clinton...neither campaigned...yet I believe an ad of Obama did air in error....AND he lost big...no wonder he doesn't want a re vote...He CANNOT win a big state. Clinton 08

    March 12, 2008 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  25. Monte Brown

    I don't know why the Obama camp is trying to disenfranchise voters just to win the nomination. That is a shame.

    March 12, 2008 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
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