March 10th, 2008
04:00 PM ET
15 years ago

Sen. Nelson: Florida and Michigan deserve a do-over


Watch Nelson's comments Monday.

(CNN)—Florida Sen. Bill Nelson warned the Democratic National Committee Monday that denying Florida and Michigan rights to a do-over would be a terrible mistake for the states and the Democratic Party.

“It would be a tragedy for America and especially for Florida,” Nelson told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer adding that his state still feels the effects of the controversial 2000 presidential election.

In an op-ed in Monday’s Wall Street Journal, Nelson praised the 3.6 million Floridians who headed to the polls Jan. 29, and pushed for a speedy resolve by the DNC.

“With so much at stake, and the race so close, it's apparent to me that a new election in Florida is a fair way to provide both candidates with another chance to win needed delegates in a state that is certain to be pivotal in November,” Nelson wrote.

The Florida Senator’s proposed plan: a mail-in ballot which he says worked in Oregon for years. However, Nelson explained, one challenge would be signature fraud on voter registration cards.

–CNN’s Emily Sherman

Filed under: Florida • Michigan
soundoff (64 Responses)
  1. Randy - Denver

    So if there is a do over for the dems shouldnt there be one for the repubs?
    and for those few who still believe that if oyu count the illegal votes in Michigan and Florida as they are this would give Ms. Clinton the lead.. umm nope since the delegate count would also go up for Mr. Obama (it is NOT winner take all) and the overall delegates required would go op there would be minimal change. This is why Ms. Clinton is pushing so hard for a redo she will be seen as the one supporting MI and FL voters more and hopes to gain more votes that way and cut down on the delegates she is losing by slightly more. The fact of the matter is without winning by over 30% in all the remaining states (including MI and FL) Ms. Clinton cannot overcome Mr. Obama's elected delegate lead and very possibly his total vote lead, which is why she is trying to get elected delegates to change she knows the superdelegates are leaqving her so she is trying to steal Mr. Obama's elected delegates.

    March 10, 2008 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  2. Black Republican in New York

    Of course, Sen. Nelson. You're such a pathetic sucker-up to Hillary, you got your whole head stuck up her rear end trying to kidd her slack butt.

    If Hillary was way out in front of the race with no chance of Obama ever catching her, you wouldn't want a re-do in Floida because your ESTABLISHMENT choice would have been where you wanted her.

    Can you imagine how you guys have no principle? The DNC, the only authority recognized by all Democrats to make rules and amend rules, made a ruling and instead of the Democratic leadership taking the lead and setting an example, you guys are taking the lead in nullifying the the ruling. HYPOCRITES! HYPOCRITES! HYPOCRITES!

    March 10, 2008 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  3. Rob---CO

    Florida and Michigan do-over is a terrible idea, it will make a mockery of the Democratic primary and McCain would pounce on this to his advantage. As sad as it is, FL and MI should remain null states. Any ammendment would taint the delegate tallies.

    March 10, 2008 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  4. dave

    Obama comes up again

    As a state senator, Barack Obama was consulted on the makeup of a state board...

    At the center of controversy in the Tony Rezko trial. The defense showed a 2003 memo to jurors today listing Obama's name, among others, including Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan, as having discussed the Illinois Health Facilities Planning Board.
    Among the recommendations on that memo included Stuart Levine, who will act as the government's chief witness in the case. Levine has admitted to taking part in a kickback scheme while he served as a member of the board.
    I will post that memo later today when it is released. The government has accused Rezko of stacking that board to ensure that Levine and others would vote his way to make money.

    Also today, Jill Hayden, who headed boards and commissions for Gov. Blagojevich testified that Rezko or "T.R." as she said he was referred in the office, held powerful sway over appointments to 300 boards. She said she dealt with Rezko often and that his recommendations, more so than others, usually stuck.

    March 10, 2008 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  5. Black Republican in New York

    Look, why not forget the re-do and go with the DNC's ruling and the will of the people so far?

    March 10, 2008 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  6. Cody Harding

    You've made your bed, Senator. Now lie in it.

    The Electorial College is an outdated and near useless system, anyways. In this day of modern technology and near-instant communication, there should be an easier and more sensible method to electing a national ruler than a system that is over two centuries old.

    As for Florida nad Michigan, you should have waited your turn. Now, due to your premature rush, you find yourselves worse off then you were in 2000. Live with your mistake, Senator.

    March 10, 2008 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  7. Florida

    Obama ran commercials in Florida (6.6 million households)

    What if 1.7 million people dont vote in the redo, how is that fair to the people who actually took the time to vote.

    CNN you are the only ones who said our vote wouldnt count. Every party official said that our delegates would be seated. Not one person in Florida was told not to vote!!

    You show me one person that was told "Dont vote" CNN!!!! Just because some people who are inspired to vote for Obama didnt go do it thats not our fault. If hes so inspiritional and these people are going to get involved in politics how come they didnt go vote in an important primary and State election?

    How many Obama supporters that didnt before watch CSPAN senate hearings or visit google for government? In asking I havent found one single person!!!!

    What has Obama inspired you to do besides vote for him?

    March 10, 2008 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  8. Sonya

    A re-do is unnecessary, since both states already voted. Just why did Sen. Obama remove his name from the Michigan ballot? It seems odd to do something that takes unnecessary effort for a man so busy running for president he hasn't time to chair his own Subcommittee meetings. Could it be he realized that if his name weren't on the ballot, he could use this as a tactic to invalidate the vote?

    March 10, 2008 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  9. Cliff Murdock

    Mr. Dean:

    Leave my state out and I vote for McCain. Period.

    Cliff Murdock
    Pensacola, Florida

    March 10, 2008 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  10. joe m.

    the voters of these states should insist that in any do-over there be a proposal for the rimmediate emoval of all the political leaders of these states who helped cuase this mess. the voters obviiously want to vote, but their political leaders failed them in not showing better judgement. in the grown up world do-overs are things that only happend in the playground and adulrs live with their choices. but i guess this isn't the real world so a do-ver will eventually happend. this is a slap in the face of all those states who managed to follow the rules. i'm interested to see how many states will choose to push things in 4 years, knowing full well that the worse that will happen is a slap on the wrist.

    March 10, 2008 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  11. Arkansas Undertaker

    They knew the rules so FAT CHANCE!!!!!!!!

    Trying to be smart cost them. Democrats wont carry Florida in the Genral Election anyway so ther ei no lose there.

    We can however talk about Michigan tho.

    March 10, 2008 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  12. Brian

    The real tragedy would be to let these states vote again, thus rewarding them for breaking the rules and giving them what they wanted in the first place. They made the decision to break the rules. Now they have to live with it. It is not fair to let them cast deciding votes after they moved up their votes to try to have more of a say. So why give them the ultimate say now?? If the Dems backpeddle on this, they will risk alienating voters.

    The Dems are looking to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory yet again.

    March 10, 2008 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  13. HILLLARY 08

    Florida never should have been penalized for something the Republican led Gov. and Legislature did. HOWARD DEAN SHOULD BE FIRED! They shouldn't have to revote it was a fair primary even though obama ran a national ad after he signed a pledge not to campaign there. ReVote will only go to Hillary AGAIN, there will be no way Floridians' will vote for obama after he has been trying to disenfranchise them.

    March 10, 2008 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  14. Grif

    I Did... But as usual. It disappeared!!!

    Never mind just don't try to Control this electorate, in favor of Obama.

    The way you just did my last comment.

    March 10, 2008 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  15. Bill

    What a message this would send to the American Public. If you don't like the way the game is turning out, change the rules. How silly the Democrats will look if this happens.

    March 10, 2008 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  16. Phil

    And believe me, Obama-ites will be blatantly taking advantage of signature fraud on voter registration cards just as they have bullied Hillary's supporters at the caucuses. "Anything to Win" seems to be their motto.

    March 10, 2008 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  17. Mary

    Gov. Nelson, you and your democratic buddies voted unanimously to move the primary ahead of super-tuesday and you knew at the time you would lose your delegate status. It is your fault and your constituents should vote you out of office next election.

    March 10, 2008 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  18. Texas Independent Voter

    Be very careful with your little do-overs. The mail in ballots does not sound like a very valid method to me. I would think there is great opportunity to manupilate ballots being mailed out or received back in with zip codes having large minority populations. Whose to say all those ballots get put in the mail in a timely manner or put in the mail at all. If there is a way to tilt the outcome to Hillary's benefit, it will happen. I am a white voter who experienced the Texas caucuses and they were awful.

    The conditions were deplorable with the election judges refusing to release caucus packets for us to start caucusing until 11:30 or 11:45 long, long after the last person voted. There are reports of missing documentation in packets, and missing signed sheets at some precincts. In my precinct alone we lost 2/3 of the people we had at the outset. People were in wet muddy fields in the cold using flashlights. We finished at 1:30 am. We had a large portion of Obama supporters hanging in there. But believe me when I tell you, the old school democrats were doing everything they could do to discourage Obama supporters.

    I know the Democratic party was responsible for either the very poor plannning or the very shrewd lack of planning for the Texas caucuses. I was ashamed of my state and this really needs to be looked into.

    March 10, 2008 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  19. TwoCentsWorth

    There must be a do-over because this year the primary elections are essentially electing a president, so all Democrats and Independents should be allowed to participate in the Democratic primary. And no goofing around with caucuses and mail-in's; make it a secret ballot! With the two campaigns able to raise 85 million in a month, surely they can split the 3-4 million needed for a ballot; it would be "ad" money well spent.
    There is nothingto be gained by quibbling over "they didn't follow the rules"; the voters aren't at fault and should not have to be disenfranchised because of Party officials' decisions. NEXT TIME, the voting order and dates should be chosen by lottery for all States.

    March 10, 2008 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  20. Allison Marie

    I'm in Florida the votes that were cast should count all names appeared on the ballot! Obama ran TV ads. Obama also had such a boust from the media. We are not living under rocks, I have been voting for a while and have never gone out and met a candidate, and don't need to, Obama's arguements are lame.

    Count Florida's votes.

    St. Petersburg, Florida

    March 10, 2008 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  21. Jen

    Nelson is just as annoying as Hillary. Both rule breakers!!!

    March 10, 2008 07:54 pm at 7:54 pm |
  22. Nadeem Tahir

    Obama is resisting a do over because he will lose in both Michigan and Florida and then she will have the most popular votes plus we all know that the super delegates are going to vote overwhelmingly for Hillary because they are democratic party regulars and that is her strength. Obamas goose is cooking and should get well done after pensylvania. Let his show what he can do mas a senator. He hasn't done anything yet except make empty speeches.

    March 10, 2008 07:54 pm at 7:54 pm |
  23. Anonymous

    I did not know that the Right to a Do Over was a right

    March 10, 2008 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
  24. Jay

    A mail in ballot is rife with opportunity for fraud. The states (or someone) needs to spring for an all out primary (like they had before) or else they have to settle for the consequences of breaking the DNC rules that they had agreed too. The results of the January should absolutely not count...they are tainted, and you can't change the rules of the games and still use the old results.

    March 10, 2008 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
  25. Barb

    Some of my friends, in NH, would like the opportunity to vote again–they wasted a vote on Edwards. Do you suppose that could have the legal opportunity to vote twice in the same election? Who is going to be checking?

    March 10, 2008 08:11 pm at 8:11 pm |
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