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. Obama Spins out of Control

    It amazes me how Clinton or MCcain can throw out a zinger and off Obama goes swinging out of control. Does Obama not get it?

    It appears that Obama is easily influenced and easily conforms which is evident as he has now decided to more agressive and started attacking Hillary. Is the "Change" that Obama talks about to mean that you change the person you are from day to day?

    I'm so confused with which Obama I should be watching.

    March 12, 2008 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  2. Gerald F.

    Interesting. It's starting to sound as if Senator Obama is afraid that the votes of Michigan and Florida may put Senator Clinton further out front.
    In a democracy are not all votes accepted in an election? In the end if those votes are not accepted.....................what does that tell the rest of the states waiting to vote?

    March 12, 2008 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  3. Maria

    Go Obama!!! Don't allow Clinton to steal this from you!!!

    Obama 2008

    March 12, 2008 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  4. cheryl theriot

    Senator Obama has won this primary race, Hillary Clinton lost.
    It is time for the Democratic party to stop these insults against
    Senator Obama, unite behind him so he can pick a running mate
    and the country can move forward to working on America's
    concerns.

    March 12, 2008 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  5. Mike

    Indeed, these are exactly the games we are tired of and the main reason Hillary can take a hike.

    March 12, 2008 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  6. Sarah L, Fayetteville, AR

    The mail-in option does present a lot of technical problems. One of the largest problems is making sure all registered voters get a ballot. This could be particularly difficult when it comes to younger voters and college students who move more frequently than older people.

    March 12, 2008 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  7. FR

    Obama needs to stop complaining. He was running ads in Florida, something the other candidates did not do. He also elected to keep his name on the ballot in Florida after realizing that he should have kept his name on the ballot in Michigan. Furthermore, he encouraged voters in Michigan to vote uncommitted since he knew that the DNC punished those states for moving their primaries. So, instead of him and his followers for attacking Clinton – yes Obama, you are equally negative, then they should allow the vote both in Florida and Michigan and give the uncommitted vote to Obama in Michigan. What he has to do is stop pretending that he is above all this fray.

    March 12, 2008 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  8. Tim

    Uh way to botch the title CNN. Where exactly does Plouffe say he is resistant. He voiced a few concerns but then said they would go along with the DNC. That is not resistance. Quit spinning for Hillary.

    March 12, 2008 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  9. Drew in Cali

    The only reason the Obama camp is resistant is because Hillary won those states back in January so they know the chances are that they will not benefit. Believe me, if the shoe was on the other foot, we'd hear a different song. Politicians are Politicians.

    I'm beginning to think I would back Gore since neither of these two can seal the deal and have split the party. The Heir apparent Hillary and the Opportunist Obama are both worthy candidates but we can not let the RepubliCANTS win by default.

    March 12, 2008 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  10. MARYLOU JONES

    WHY IS OBAMA'S CAMPAIGN BLAMING HILLARY CLINTON? IT IS THE VOTERS OF FLORIDA AND MICHIGAN DEMANDING THAT THEIR VOTES BE COUNTED AND THEIR DELEGATES SEATED! IF OBAMA WANTS TO DISENFRANCHISE THE VOTERS OF FLORIDA AND MICHIGAN BECAUSE THEY VOTED OVER-WHELMING FOR HILLARY THEN HE WILL PAY THE CONSEQUENCES! EVERY VOTE CAST SHOULD COUNT! COUNT FLORIDA'S VOTES! COUNT MICHIGAN'S VOTES!

    March 12, 2008 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  11. Ravi

    The Obama campaign's fears of are wholly justified given who their opponent is. The Clinton campaign doesn't really abide by any rules.

    March 12, 2008 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  12. sayeed

    hillary is full of twisted stunts and will do absolutely anything to get into the oval office. she has no morals or ethics. she is exactly what we don't want in a commander in chief.

    March 12, 2008 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  13. Susan

    Tricks, lies and manipulation.

    Welcome to the Clinton Whitehouse II.

    I truly hope every Pennsylvanian will take the time to research their candidate of choice before they vote.

    March 12, 2008 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  14. ademocrat

    What a joke. Obama cosponsored legislation in Congress
    promoting the pluses of mail in votes. But I guess he was thinking
    it didnt pertain to him?

    What a hypocrite !

    JUST WORDS......................

    March 12, 2008 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  15. Ivelisse

    hahaha... chicken-hack!!!!!! hahahahaha

    so ... we FINALLY know what scares him!!!...

    PLEASE ALLOW MICHIGAN AND FLORIDA TO VOTE!!!!!!

    March 12, 2008 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  16. Felton.."from around the way"

    ...YEAH...a mail in vote...that's the ticket...In Florida.?..They must be crazy...they are just asking for more controversy...Rules are rules...both states went against the rules...both got spanked...the end !!

    March 12, 2008 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  17. Randy - Denver

    So to all of those who will start crying that the Obama campaign is trying to keep their votes down when you read this I ask you a simple question. How do you keep those who voted for Republicans in MI and FL because they knew thier votes would not count for the Democrats, from now voting for a Democrat also? Why should Republicans get to vote more than once and affect the outcome of the democratic campaign? This is one reason why a mail in campaign will not work and there are plenty more what experiance does Fl have with a mail in ballot? what if the ballot is delayed in themail do they count? this was a big issue in FL when overseas ballots were delayed beyond the required delivery date. There are a lot of questions that Fl has no ready answer to, same applies to MI so just because a plan is promoted by one person doesnt mean it is a good one

    March 12, 2008 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  18. Maria

    No suprise here – Obama's camp just wants to change the rules about superdelegates – if Obama had been ahead in the first FL "primary" I am sure we would be hearing a different message from his campaign.

    March 12, 2008 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  19. New York expat in Santo Domingo

    Nicely slanted headline – Obama camp "resistant", as if, by not being in favor, the counter-intuitive deduction is that he is trying to supress.

    In this HIGHLY POLARIZED ENVIRONMENT THAT HILLARY HAS CREATED, CNN needs to be careful about their semantics.

    How can she be the candidate of Change and a Unifier, when she's doing what she's doing now for a last desperate grab for power that she feels entitled to? She is damaging the Party, its image, its moral, its resources... all for the sake of her own ego. Isn't that transparent enough for others to see? The viel of 'truth' is not so opaque.

    I'm going to find out how to contact the DNC directly and email them to put this to an end. I encourage others to let their opinions as fellow-Democrats concerned for the future of our Party to do the same.

    March 12, 2008 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  20. Why Bother

    A mail-in revote in Michigan and Florida would be way too easy to tamper. And if Barack Obama actually won either (or both) of the two states, Hillary Clinton would demand a recount and then sue everyone and their mother for voter fraud, which would delay things even further.

    If this is about seating MI and FL delegates, give half to Clinton and half to Obama and save the millions it would cost to fix the problem these two states brought upon themselves.

    What's done is done. It's time to unite the party and focus on the general election in November.

    March 12, 2008 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  21. Sarah

    CNN, they are not RESISTANT to mail-in vote...they are pointing out the flaws and logistics to get it done fairly. Choose headline words that represent the full story.

    March 12, 2008 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  22. b. jones tulsa,ok.

    why is this even an issue? these states knew what they were loosing when they decided to hold their primaries early. lesson learned....move on.

    March 12, 2008 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  23. Black Man in Dixie

    In a Sept 30, 2007 article in the Tampa Tribune, Obama stated he "would do right by the Florida voters." (Artical is available at Tribune's website.)

    According to Roland Martin, Obama is now a "HACK."

    March 12, 2008 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  24. Amy in Iowa

    With all the dirty Rovian campaigning and underhanded tricks of the Clinton campaign, I would also be resistant to a mail in vote. The Clintons are going by the playbook of "How to Steal an Election."

    March 12, 2008 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  25. Esteban - Indiana

    Seems that Obama is very much willing to ignore the voters from those 2 states... probably because he will lose. You can't pretend that you will go to the convention with 48 states when the Union has 50, that is not democratic but seems to fit well to the Obama camp... Oh I forgot, he won't win FL because he CAN'T win any big state...

    March 12, 2008 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
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