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. Joe

    Let's see: Clinton and Obama knew well beforehand that the elections in Florida and Michigan wouldn' t count and no delegates would be awarded. Now we hear a lot of talk about disenfranchised voters. I agree that Democrats need energized voters in those 2 states for the general election, but the only way to make sure that the rules aren't changed in the middle of the game is to award each of the 2 candidates 50% of the delegates

    March 12, 2008 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  2. Dian Mo

    Obama camp should wait and see for what the people of Florida and Michigan want. He is the player and he should not make the rule.

    The guideline for the new rule for Democrats for Florida and Michigan delegates is to have a strong president candidate in the coming election and to unit the party. Without the support from the Democrats from Florida and Michigan, neither Obama nor Clinton can win the race to John McCain.

    I think that the best solution is to follow what republicans have done, i.e. seat in 50% delegates based on the existing election results. It seems that republicans are smart and quick in handling the crisis.

    March 12, 2008 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  3. An Agnostic Democrat

    Thank you for finally stating the real facts, signed, pledged and on the record not the facts according to the perceptions and alternate reality of Hillary and her campaign thugs and the rest of the delusional Clinton cocktail drinkers.

    March 12, 2008 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  4. Drake

    50/50 seated delegates is the most fair, transparent and least burden on the state budgets as well as the Democratic party viability in Denver and in November. Do you really want a '68 Redux?

    March 12, 2008 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  5. Obama '08 NC

    Rules are rules, hopefully when these elections come again Michigan and Florida will know better. If the DNC allows for this to happen, what will that say to the people and states who did follow the rules? Next time you can break them and we do the same for you.

    March 12, 2008 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  6. Tracy

    A re-vote for Florida and Michigan should not be allowed. Those states made the decision to hold their elections earlier than they were supposed to and they should abide by that decision and should be held to their decision. If they knew their votes would not count beforehand, why should they now be allowed to change the rules in the middle of the game? C'mon people, we're not playing a card game with children. If so, your hand was dealt. No backsies.

    I heartily agree with David Plouffe's statement about the Clinton campaign thus far, "the kind of political maneuvering and calculaton that voters are tired of"...that's exactly what gives Obama his momentum. People are impressed with his fresh outlook on politics and hope to see that change in DC that he's looking forward to bringing.

    March 12, 2008 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  7. phillyPete

    I see this page has the appropriate title.
    Good job. Now kindly fix the one on your front page and you'll be getting somewhere!

    March 12, 2008 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  8. Independent

    CNN needs to report on who's decision it was to break the rules so that Florida and Michigan voters know who should get the blame for this mess. Wasn't it the Governors of each state who decideed to break the rules even though they knew the consequences?

    What exactly was their motive for taking such a HUGE risk? There is something more sinister at play here. Leave up to Florida.. Again..............

    March 12, 2008 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  9. Angela

    Who is doing the political maneuvering? Obama would be the first to want these voters included if they had voted for him. Playing by the rules?

    Them stop whining about the super-delegates disenfranchising the votes of the people. Rules state that super-delegates can vote their conscience. Rules are rules. And stop accusing of Clinton stealing the nomination by back-room deals with super-delegates.

    You don't think Obama is doing exactly the same thing?

    March 12, 2008 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  10. Elaine M

    You can not change the rules in the middle of the game. Florida knew very well that what they were doing was against the DNC rules but went ahead and moved their primary to January anyway. The candiates signed a pledge stating they would not compaign in Florida and also very much knew that the delegates would not be seated / nor counted at the convention. The people who voted also knew that. It appears to me that Senator Clinton did not expect the success of the Obama Camp and now wants to change to rules to behoove her.
    I live in Florida and I am against any kind of revote. Florida and Michigan should stand as is. Let's get on with the campaign and the issues that are so important to the American people.

    March 12, 2008 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  11. Mom in PA

    Why don't we ask Jimmy Carter and the Carter Fountain to come and oversee our elections to make sure they are fair and democratic. They have a lot of experience going to other countries and verifing elections. Perhaps, we now need their hepl!

    If the votes were going to be counted then John Edwards would have campaigned and probably won, at least in Michigan and he might still be in the race. Is it fair to him and those of us who would have voted for him to have a re-do now?

    Nobody wants to have people's right to vote taken from them. However, how can this be fair?

    March 12, 2008 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  12. Marty

    I agree. It will also leave too much room for fraud.

    Obama '08

    March 12, 2008 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  13. Miami

    Where are the comments, CNN?

    March 12, 2008 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  14. Jim

    Last year when Hilliary, were front runner. The whole world went after her with all type of attachs. Crying the blues, dose not help front runner.

    March 12, 2008 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  15. kevin, fl

    How can this clown be running for President and be against a re-vote in Florida to make sure we get seated at the convention. We already had 1.7 million votes (out of 4 million registered democrats) that voted on Jan 29th. Well I guess he realizes that Hillary would close the gap signifigantly after she wins in Pennsylvania. Obama should be ashamed of himself. He talks about hope and people and he does not want Florida or Michigan to count? Yea hell will freeze over before this guy is the President. Your station and MSNBC will be to blame for your biased coverage and if Hillary does not win the nomination and McCain slaughters Obama, all you media loonies will be bashing Hill for another 4 years. Frustrated in Florida

    March 12, 2008 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  16. Mike

    Now we can legally hope for change, even audaciously. We are already all hoping for something, small or big, from a penny to presidency. Why do we need to vote for Obama to continue hoping?

    March 12, 2008 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  17. mary c

    Senator Obama should resist. The only reason Hillary got any votes is because they were voting on some property tax. There isn't anyway to monitor the security of these ballots and call them valid. I don't believe there should be a revote. Remember they are being penalized for disregarding a warning. The governor certainly wasn't worried about his democratic folks when he went ahead and changed the date. This is a ploy to get Hillary in so the Republicans can demolish her in the fall. The saddest part will be that she will have demolished the Democratic Party first.

    March 12, 2008 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  18. Shannon, Charlottesville, Virginia

    isn't it convenient that the clinton camp never called for this until they found themselves in 2nd place?

    March 12, 2008 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  19. rabblerouser

    I say leave Florida as is – all names were on the ballot and his ads reached FL voters. That's the fairest way. But of course Obama doesn't think it's fair, because he didn't win. So now he doesn't want mail in votes. I bet he wants a caucus...

    March 12, 2008 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  20. Matt

    Of course they are against it... He lost.

    March 12, 2008 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  21. Alma

    Hillary 2008!!

    March 12, 2008 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  22. 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 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  23. Celia

    I do not agree to a mail in ballot. We can barely get it right with human beings. What make anyone have confidence in a mail in ballot? We need to follow the rules that we knew were in place. When we start bending the rules things get messy. They are already plenty messy. Look at Gov Spitzer, no one asked if the rules applied to him. Isn't that what we teach our children???

    March 12, 2008 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  24. Deborah Dirk-Haley

    I would like to make a brief comment on politics and the people who are in government. The general public and the media need to stop trying to find saints in everyone. I believe everyone desires a second chance when it comes to making personal mistakes about their behavior and the comments they make about certain people whether they happen to run for office or not. Let all us find some type of good in all of us.

    March 12, 2008 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  25. Niky

    I guess the best thing to do is agree to re-do the process the way everyone agrees. Barack is not opposed to a re-do... he just wants it to be in a way that is fair.... I think this is fair enough!

    March 12, 2008 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
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