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

Obama camp resistant to mail-in vote

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="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. Disenfanchised ,FL

    I live in florida and I knew our votes would not count LAST YEAR! I would like to know why the people in Florida and Michigan don't place the blame solely where it belongs, with the Republican governors and legislators in these two states. If you no longer want to be DISENFANCHISED VOTE THOSE PEOPLE OUT. THey are the reason you are being DISENFRANCHISED. THEY chose to DISQUALIFY YOUR VOTE.

    March 12, 2008 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  2. Matt

    The Obama camp wants to suppress the vote in Florida, plain and simple. They know they will lose and they are denying the voice of Floridians in the process. It's disgusting coming from the candidate of "hope" and "change." I guess by "change" Obama means "shortchanging" voters who don't agree with him.

    March 12, 2008 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  3. John

    Sen Obama wants all the super delates to go him (being that he is ahead). Doesn't want to count Fla and Mich (because he lost and will must likely lose again) . . . that sounds very reasonable. About as reasonable as George Bush!!!!

    March 12, 2008 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  4. doc

    Roland S. Martin says Florida and Michigan blew their shot in the delegate process by moving up their primaries

    . Is Roland S. Martin saying we should not count over a million votes just so we can elect a black man? Does Sen. Obama feel the same way?

    March 12, 2008 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  5. clarity

    Obama is not supporting the vote of Florida and Michigan, because if they are out, it benefits him!


    The thing is that even though rules are rules, some rules are bad rules, and these ones fit that description.

    Presumably folks are aware of the bad rules of the past that have done a lot to damage the human rights of minorities, including the African-American community. Then people should also be able to recognize when rules of today don't serve the interest of the whole population.

    Granted, in their frustration at an unfair and outdated primary system, a couple of elected officials made hasty decisions. That does not mean that millions of their electorate should be disenfranchised. And that is EXACTLY what will happen if the votes in Florida and Michigan are NOT either counted or re-done!

    Shame on Obama!
    It seems to be very clear that Obama isn't in this for the people, but only for himself. Otherwise he would activley throw all his support behind the effort to ensure that the votes of the electorate in Florida and Michigan counted, one way or another.


    March 12, 2008 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  6. Pon Mao

    Mail-in-vote is very prone to fraud. Just imaging how long it will take to verify the mail-in ballot in FL, knowing this state has a history in miss-counting "Chad", the result may not be available until 2010!

    March 12, 2008 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  7. carrie

    no chance to rig for the clintons.
    obama 08

    March 12, 2008 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  8. D in MA

    the rules say that FL and MG don't need to redo the elections. They need only appeal to the DNC before the convention...If Obama wants to stand in the way of voting rights, for "the Rules"...He should at least learn them first. Candidates were not required to remove their names from the MG ballot, but Obama and Edwards did so anyway... Why? What political purpose did that serve? Hillary didn't break the rules by keeping her name on there. Hillary wants to follow the rules in resolving this election controversy....Besides, in American history, how many voters have been disenfranchised by "the rules?" How can he claim to be able to win in Florida, when he's fighting to keep their votes from counting!! That's some serious audacity! We need real unity. We should never have done this to two important states. Its up to both campaigns to ensure a speedy resolution.

    March 12, 2008 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  9. james martin california

    mail in vote is the most absurd process one can think of in the state of Florida. Do the democrats really want to allow Florida to control their chances again. Florida is a republican state period. In the general election they have no chance of carrying the state. If their candidate was to receive a majority of the votes the election folk in Florida would make sure the votes would not be counted. Can't you imagine hanky panky followed by democrats going to court to resolve the problem. I mean it would be heaven for the republicans. Don't you think the governor of Florida is salavating just thinking about it. Divide the delegates 50 50 and move on.

    March 12, 2008 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |

    As long as these votes are counted it does not have to be mail in ballot. THEY NEED TO FIGURE OUT A WAY TO GET THESE 2 STATES HEARD!!!



    March 12, 2008 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  11. Sean McM

    He counts on social pressure of caucuses.............we should NEVER again have anything but secret ballot in America!

    March 12, 2008 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  12. Cathy

    Obama always preaches – let the people decide – ok that is what they are trying to do...If he won those states he would be for it, so why is he acting like Clinton is the only person wanting these two states to vote.

    March 12, 2008 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  13. Richard

    Cry Baby Obama, you are like a spoied child. It has to be your way.
    CNN is Anti Clinton and for Obama. So I doubt they will post this.

    Go Hillary 2008!

    March 12, 2008 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  14. Frank

    What is new? Hillary wants to "win at all costs" to realize her self-fulfilling prophecy. She is scary. If she is the nominee, like many others, I will not vote in the general election.

    March 12, 2008 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  15. MelanieL

    This is really dangerous territory for us Democrats and says a lot about Barack Obama that in order to grasp the nomination, he is prepared to trample on the voting rights of nearly 2 million voters in Florida and Michigan.

    It seems to be a trend, play dirty (airing hundreds of tv ads that showed in Florida), and cry 'foul' if you don't get the result you like. I think it's time that all the Dems who turned out in droves to vote in those two disenfranchised states got very vocal. Demand that their votes are counted, or that there is a mail vote.

    Voters in Florida and Michigan are being disenfranchised – they must demand to have their voting rights upheld and the delegates must be seated at conference according to their vote. We, the electorate, should settle for nothing less than equality for all voters.

    The agent for 'hope' and 'change' is sending a loud message to millions of voters by his unwillingness to listen to the will of the people because he doesn't like the message. Seems like politics as usual from Sen Obama after all.

    March 12, 2008 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |

    Of course the Clintons are trying to change the rules to benefit her. This slob of a candidate just can't get it right at all!
    Prove that Obama co-sponsored a bill last June that would establish a vote by mail program, it would be when the two states of FL and MI would "still" play by the rules set for by the DNC! not get around it like she thinks us, the voters are so stupid, she wants to slice it , dice it and gewt there way no mater what!

    The whole reason that this problem with these two states belongs to the state government of the two states and becasue of Howard Dean, he made the rules, now he is going to be brought to his standards now that he had "better" stick to "rules and regulations" of the DNC that will show the worls what a gutless lying jerks the libs are and they don't think that people see this. If it goes to court, then we are going to see for the third election in the row for the presidency that there will be more questions. Has this country learned yet form the past mistake...NO it hasn't if the lib liar Clintons are the mail in vote and have the idiot Howard Dean change the rules because the Clintons will pressure him to do it so help me, mark my words that is what will happen. Bur obama will over come and beat her fat butt still.

    Dean will probably cave in under pressure to try to apease Clinton, what a coward he is.

    March 12, 2008 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  17. Craig

    Words not actions again, Obama did want legislation to establish a vote by mail program but now he does not want these two states to vote by mail.

    Will it never end with Obama. Always on the record saying one thing and then doing another.

    In Ohio, it was denials about NAFTA and his campaign meeting with Canada and describing his talk as "just rhetoric". He denied it on several Cleveland TV stations and then the facts come out they did meet.

    In Nevada, it was denials about playing the race card and then Tim Russert pulls out a four-page talking point memo the Obama campaign was using to press the issue.

    In Texas, it was Obama was ready to be President and then his own campaign adviser says he is "not ready".

    Throughout the campaign, Obama has chastised Hillary for not having a firm withdrawal date for Iraq then another foreign policy adviser to Obama cannot be held to what he is saying in his campaign because it was not valid.

    When he talks about those who will do anything and say anything to win an election it is directly applying to him and his campaign.

    March 12, 2008 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  18. Donna

    Has anyone stopped, and taken a good look at this big political sewer were all swimming around in, it's all a big mess, and if anyone is wandering why, it's all because of this so called great woman who has all this experience and has no clue that she is completely out of order. First of all we have all lost site of what this country really stands for, we say on our US currency IN GOD WE TRUST, if this were really true than we would not be entertaining Hillary Clinton with this great idea of being President, in (1 Timothy Chapter 2) God's words states that he does not permit a woman to have authority over a man, but to be in silence, For Adam was formed first, then Eve, Adam was not deceived but the woman was deceived. I strongly believe that if this country continue to proceed with this idea of Hillary Clinton for President than we are putting our Country at a great risk for for a fall or the (Warth of God).

    March 12, 2008 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  19. franklahai

    thought the road to the White House was through OHIO (and TX as the firewall), what happened here? Just a foolish thought. I guess the OHIO people are now irrelevant!! By June, the PA people will equally be irrelevant; it would be FL or MI. Aren't we tired of using and abusing people for political gains in this nation?

    For Catholics, I urge you not only to contribute money, but to say a decade of the Rosary for the anointment of a decent and God-fearing man, such as Obama, to regain the White House. We are a nation of rules and laws, including our basic moral virtues.

    March 12, 2008 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  20. precious

    I believe that all the candidates played by the rules – no campaigning, but the candidates names were on the ballot, which gave the people of Florida a "choice". The "choice" was that everyone could "vote", but their votes will not be "counted". But the "reality" is that, thousands, if not millions of people, decided on that "special" day to let his/her voice be heard, for the candidate that he/she supports. Isn't that the democratic way? Whose voices are the strongest/loudest? the candidate(s) or the "voter(s)"? What is an amendment? Can we "amend" the rules? In all fairness, give each candidate his/her share of delegates based on the voices of the voters in Florida.

    As for Michigan, only one candidate name appeared on the Ballot, and the reality is that the voters' "choice" in Michigan can be considered as "limited" based on this fact. So, in all fairness, a resolution would be to "split" or "divide", since this is where we are at now in this "democratic" race.

    March 12, 2008 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |

    I am a floridian but I am also against the vote by mail. I woul like to see a primary where the candidates could first come in and campaign on the terrain then people could head to the polls and pick their nominee.

    March 12, 2008 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  22. Hillary 08 Ohio

    Let MI & FL VOTE!!!!!!!!!!!

    March 12, 2008 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  23. Kay

    How can Obama claim to be a uniter if his campaign is pushing to disenfranchise 1.7 million voters here in Florida ?
    They don't want to seat the delegates as-is and mail-in vote unacceptable to them. It clearly means that they don't care about Florida voters. Seriously, how can Obama win the General Elections without carrying Florida or Ohio ?

    March 12, 2008 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  24. A-Man

    Can some one tell me why the Democratic party pays for the state election if they change their date? If it is not going to count why pay for it, would that not put an end to such things? As a Canadian observing the election I cannot understand wht is to like about Hillary? I do not know Obama but at least he is a chance for something better. Hillary is the one that is only a senator and in this race simply because she is Bill's wife. Also why have they involved their daughter in this process. Yes she loves her mom and obviously wants her to win and do anything, but if they care more for her then themselves and winning, any decent parent would keep their child out of this whole mess, not have her all over speaking to strangers at her age.

    March 12, 2008 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  25. Fernandez

    Here is the divider again. Obama will not agree to the mail in vote, because he is sure to lose in a landslide in both Florida and Michigan and In April he will also lose PA. Obama should be blaming the DNC not Hillary. His lead will disappear after these elections.

    In addition he would not want to give up his campaign contributions to support a re-do, if he loses. Obama has raised funds in Florida. I think the press should pay for the re-do

    March 12, 2008 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12