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. Fred Couples

    Oh come on now. Who could ever think there might be problems with hastily throwing together a statewide vote in a couple of weeks using a system they have absolutely no experience with ...

    in Florida.

    I mean, it's not like they have EVER had any problems with voting before in Florida using methods they had YEARS to perfect.

    March 12, 2008 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  2. Cheer

    Florida and Michigan do not deserve a revote! Why? They must ask the Michigan governor and Nelson why they disfranchise voters by knowingly violeting the rules!

    March 12, 2008 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  3. Joe

    I like how CNN's wording gradually becomes less and less sensationalist as you go from the main page to the actual quote.

    The main page link says the Obama camp is "against" a mail-in vote.

    But then the story headline just says they are "resistant".

    But wait - the actual quote is just that "there's a lot of questions" still to be figured out.

    Basically, anyone who doesn't actually read the entire article gets the impression the Obama camp is misled into thinking Obama is against seating the delegates.

    Why not just report the truth, instead of this misleading, sensationalist approach?

    March 12, 2008 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  4. Bill Clinton

    Lets divide the florida and michigan delegates 50-50 where is the purnishement for moving their primaries date, lets sit them but have them not decide the nominee. This is the simplest way to resolve, this, they sit they dont decide, they move back their primary date.

    March 12, 2008 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  5. wann

    We do not trust Florida and Michigan, they did not follow rules before. Hillary trying to change rules of Voting Right Acts, what an untrustable first lady.

    Let Hillary that five million dollar woman, pay for it, she was the only unfaithful to attent, and call it a victory for herself.

    March 12, 2008 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  6. Anonymous

    That's because Obama is all about socialism and oppression.

    March 12, 2008 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  7. Ralph

    Split the delegates. No advantage to either. Everyone can have a seat. These states still have time to ensure they don't do this to themselves again in 4 years. Now let's move forward.

    March 12, 2008 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  8. Why Bother

    Everyone agreed to the rules before the primaries, including Hillary Clinton. Michigan and Florida politicians knew the consequences of moving up their primary dates. Why didn't their governors say something back then? This is pathetic. This general election looked like it would end in a landslide victory for the Democratic nominee. Now, because of this debacle, who knows?

    March 12, 2008 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  9. Beth Jackson

    The people of Florida and Michigan should actually sue the DNC and the leaders who denied them the Constitutional right to vote and have their votes counted. I would.

    March 12, 2008 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  10. Vee


    What if she gets her share in Fl and Obama gets his share in Fl...Is not she still behind???I am curious

    March 12, 2008 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  11. Black Former Obama Supporter

    Sorry but that is the kind of political maneuvering that is required to get things done in politics in any democratic country. The hypocrisy of the Obama campaign is just amazing. I was an Obama supporter until I saw their strategy in the Texas caucus of planting middle aged black women to steal the caucus packet and rig the names and votes. That is the kind of Daley Chicago style politics voters are tired of.

    Only Obama–afraid of Big State votes–would advocate disenfranchising voters. Watch, they will "offer" a caucus solution to the problem. They are very good at rigging those. Harder to rig a ballot based election.

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

    If there is a way to steal this nomination from Obama, Clinton will find it.

    March 12, 2008 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  13. dt

    If Obama was in the position as Clinton, he would be doing the same thing. However, we all know that a revote isn't to his advantage.

    March 12, 2008 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  14. Cecilia,Calgary,Canada

    "I want the President of the United States of America, not the President of the significant States of America."

    Obama alll the way!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    March 12, 2008 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  15. Johnson

    I don't see how mail in votes can be very secure. Anyone can get the ballot, make copies, and send in their form multiple times. What sort of precautions are being taken to make sure that this sort of thing does not happen?

    March 12, 2008 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  16. bigben

    This is the United States of 50 states. Not 48. How sad the great uniter want to silence the people of MI and FL.

    March 12, 2008 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  17. Christian, Tampa FL

    We need to have either a primary or a caucus. A mail-in primary might be confusing, especially in a state that's never had one before.

    March 12, 2008 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  18. Why Bother

    Why Bother?

    March 12, 2008 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  19. Walter

    There is no way that Obama can be seen to be disenfranchising the voters of Michigan and Florida.

    What ever you may think about the Democratic Party leaders in Michigan or the Republican controlled legislature in Florida that made these decisions, that has nothing to do with the right of the citizens of those states to have their voices heard.

    Obama needs to get on the right side, the democratic side, of this issue in a hurry.

    March 12, 2008 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  20. divad

    Florida and Michigan broke the rules, now they want us to fell sorry for them. If Florida and Michigan can break the rules and get by with it, perhaps all the states can. In the future, any rules that are agreed to at the beginning of a primary are meaningless, and should just be ignored in future elections.

    Someone who doesn't play by the rules is typically called a cheater.
    After the 2000 election, Florida should be the last state that should be exempt from following rules.

    March 12, 2008 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  21. Anonymous

    Florida and Michigan just need to accept their fate...

    March 12, 2008 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  22. fixbone

    sorry, no re-vote. they made their own bed now they should sleep in it. The democrats in those can make their voice heard in the general election.

    March 12, 2008 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  23. Floridian

    Rules are rules I agree there should be no re-do down here. Split the delegates 50/50 and seat them at the convention.
    Nuff said already!!!

    March 12, 2008 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  24. Thomas

    "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" – Please I live in Oregon it did not take 10 years to get comfortable with it... Because it sooooo hard to print letters with 2 check boxes on it...

    I wish Obama would just say "I dont want a recount in FL or MI because its what the party wants" not acting like he wants to count the votes...

    March 12, 2008 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  25. Anonymous

    Obama does not want MI and FL voters to count because he lost in both states, pure and simple (and don't try to argue that he wasn't on the ballot in MI because everyone knew that an uncommitted vote was a vote for Obama or Edwards–and both their campaigns encouraged people to vote uncommitted–and even if you count ALL the uncommitted votes, which were not all for Obama anyway, Clinton still won). Talk about "political maneuvering and calculation."

    March 12, 2008 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
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