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. Cindy,CA

    Rules? Who made up these rules that say a state can't vote in an election process? The voters certainly did not say it was ok.. It was the few politicians that said it...The people have the right to vote period...It seems every election cycle since 2000 keeps getting more messed up...The people are the ones who suffer for it...Our rights can not be denied...Let's resolve this and let the people in Michigan and Florida have a say in this country.

    March 12, 2008 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  2. preserve our democracy

    Obama, you can't win the General Election without Florida and Michigan! (well you can't win anyway but that's beside the point). To exclude them from the democratic process is an outrage and contradicts the very ideals that make this nation great. There are 2.5 million people that would disagree with your position on not having their votes count, so don't count on them in the future for anything if they are nullified. Good luck with that.

    March 12, 2008 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  3. Yvette Johnson

    Of course he's hesitant to give people their GOD GIVEN RIGHT to vote and have their votes count! Those states will go to Hillary!

    How sick of him to use a couple of lame democratic leaders and their decisions as a way to keep the American people from voting. SHAME ON YOU OBAMA!

    March 12, 2008 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  4. Mukesh

    If we are talking about democracy, there should not be any argument. Florida and Michigan needs to be seated somehow. Let the DNC figure it out the logistic.

    Sen. Obama is worried as he does not stand a chance in these two states.

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

    More wiggly room to cheat with mail-in votes.

    Find another method...

    Internet voting is a bit more secure.

    March 12, 2008 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  6. A.R. Jannah

    The one thing that many if not all Barack Obama supporters are 100%sure of is that if there is mail-in re-do of the Florida primary vote, the Clinton campaign will cheat and win the election by 25% or more. We are sure also that if the election re-do is done properly, using standard election methods, that Barack will win in Florida and in Michigan too...

    March 12, 2008 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  7. Austin, Texas

    The Rules were fine. The Punishments were not.

    You want a resolution? Strip the superdelegate votes from those who chose to move the primary up, but do not void our constitutional right to vote. How unpatriotic can the DNC get?

    0 Superdelegate votes
    100% Popular vote

    case closed.

    March 12, 2008 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  8. Tim, MN

    Didn't the Obama camp and Plouffle also tried to change the rule too by suggesting that superdelegates should vote with the will of the people knowing full well before the primary started that the rules clearly stated that superdelegates can make the decision of their own.

    March 12, 2008 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  9. Bill

    Caucus in Fl and MI for a revote. Less voter fraud. Pledged delegates are seated and superdelegates are not seated, because although some claim that in Florida that the democratic congress was forced into the early primary by the Republicans, the facts state otherwise. They wanted the primary early, so they could count. This was not a Republican twisting the Democrats arms. In Michigan, the governor is democrat, so no excuses. Superdelegates shouldn't count. You cannot expect Fl to get a mail in right without the danger of voter fraud. Caucusing will be easier and probably cheaper.

    March 12, 2008 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |

    The fact is the DNC is going to have to seat the Delegates from Florida and Michigan. If they do not I would not be opposed to staging a protest outside of the convention to demand they get seated. I see some people write about rules. Rules are not right or just if they deny a democratic voice to large portion of the country.

    Obama is going to look like a VILLIAN in a Black Hat in Florida and Michigan. He is not powerful enough to really deny them seating at the convention. People say Hillary is willing to loose some of the black vote. Obama is willing to loose the Chicano vote and the Latino vote. Mexican-Americans in Arizona support Latinos in Florida and all people of Florida and Michigan.


    March 12, 2008 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |

    I think this is an opportunity to any and everyone who wants to physically affect the race and to disadvantage the TRUTH to get their cheat sheet ready... Because its about to be open season for CHEATERS!

    March 12, 2008 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  12. I agree

    I agree with the possibility of tampering. It seems the best option is to have caucuses which wouldn't be as expensive as a primary. Besides the extravagant cost of a primary, Florida doesn't have the machines to actually conduct a primary. A caucus is the only option that would be fair and not disenfranchise voters from the process.

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

    A mail in vote seems fair on the surface, but there are lots of issues. What about incorrect addresses? What about people who are dead and still on the voter registry? How can you be certain that one person hasn't filled in the votes for a neighbor who's on vacation, etc. Florida has never done a mail in vote, and I think their legislators (who have not signed on to this plan) are rightly concernced about such a vote's potential problems in this very tight, and increasingly bitter and divisive, campaign.

    March 12, 2008 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  14. Monica, Texas

    Consindering FLA's history we should not trust a mail in vote either...FLA and MI delegates should be prorated for the total number according to the overall count. "Sorry" FLA and MI, you should be upset with your gov. and leaders, not the DNC....

    March 12, 2008 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  15. GoBama

    So she was fine with not counting them in the beginning and ignoring EVERY vote in Florida and Michigan when she was a friont runner. She was even fine with it two weeks ago. Suddenly when she has an opponent she thinks she can some how rise above, as though awoken from some daze and say, "oh wait! we cannot ignore these people! It was fine when i thought I was going to win, but now, I don't know that anymore!" As an ardent ex- Shrillary supporter I think this 'I made a mistake' policy is getting old! It did not work with NAFTA, the Iraq war and it should not work here. The voters in these states have to recognise that she is not saying any of this for their good or in their interest, she is being opportunistic and trying to USE them!

    March 12, 2008 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  16. actxent

    Hillary Clinton should give it a rest and listen out for the 3 am phone call, because it could be for Bill

    March 12, 2008 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  17. Samuel

    If Hillary had lost both Florida and Michigan, do you really think she would be fighting for them to be seated? Two-Face Hillary only cares about herself, not the "disenfranchisement of the voters" as she claims. How dare she even declare that the results of the primaries in michigan and florida were FAIR and should be HONORED. Are you kidding me Hillary? Obama wasn't even on the ballot in Michigan... how is that FAIR?? Hillary, you wouldn't be saying that if you lost!!

    Hillary can't play by the rules and neither did Michigan or Florida.

    Perfect Scenario: Re-do primary in Michigan and Florida and Barack Obama wins both states. That would be very satisfying for two-face hillary.

    March 12, 2008 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  18. HHH



    OBAMA SUPPORT 2008 & 2012

    March 12, 2008 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  19. moderate dem

    Obama's new CNN henchman Roland Martin says voters in FLA and Mich have no right to be counted. He says its the fault of political hack governors in both states. He absolves Howard Dean of all blame. Howard Dean banished them, not the governors. The Governors held the primaries. Howard Dean in a case of punishment not fitting the crime, it is what it is and now can't get out of it. He should be fired and we as Democrats need to start pointing fingers in the right direction.


    March 12, 2008 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  20. Ruslyn Schultz

    If all voters in a mail-in vote would get a ballot, does that mean Republicans as well or only registered Democrats? If it's going to everyone, wouldn't folks be able to vote in multiple primaries, and make the results of them suspect?

    March 12, 2008 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  21. carlo

    I say the DNC made a terrible mistake when they even started entertaining the idea of allowing Florida and Michigan. I think that their votes are important; however, what is more important is that this country stands for being rule-abiding citizens. Why would the majority of delegates not want a revote when only 10% of the 17-20 million people in Florida actually voted?

    Talk about disenfranchisement!

    March 12, 2008 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  22. Mail in Vote

    First, the re-vote should be done no matter what the Obama camp thinks. Florida and Michigan voters deserve to have their voices heard. There was no need for the DNC to take that right away in the first place. If the shoe were on the other foot, Obama and his supporters would be crying racisim. Which by the way, I am getting sick and tired of hearing how Hillary's people are racist, not to mention all the other nasty remarks that come out of his campain staff and supporters. Obama is the one running a negative campaign.

    If Florida and Michigan do not want to re-do their votes – well then so be it – its their decision. Obama the candidate will not be Obama the President – it will then go to McCain.

    March 12, 2008 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  23. Cathy from PA

    The only reason why Obama and his camp think a revote is bad is simply because they are ahead in delegates. What do they care about disenfranchising the voters.

    Obama doesn't care about anything except his own agenda.

    Sad...the so called uniter is a fraud.

    March 12, 2008 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  24. Raphael Houston Tx

    Its obvious the Obama camp is scared of a redo vote of any kind in Florida or Michigan. What Obama's campaign is saying is that Florida and Michigan voters should not count. Voters in these states have the right to vote like everybody else.
    If I was a voter in one of the states, its obvious which candidate is looking out for their rights.

    March 12, 2008 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  25. Louis

    I don't see this as resistance as much as posing legitimate questions. These are issues that are going to have to be addressed, to insure the vote is valid.

    March 12, 2008 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
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