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. dee

    Isn't it so funny how the people in Fl. voted only 1 weel early and the Obama camp wants to cheat them out of their vote. Obama saying one thing and doing something else as usual. Remember he says he is a uniter not a divider, what a joke.

    March 12, 2008 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  2. Larry Dickman Des Moines, IA

    How do you alleviate Fraud?

    March 12, 2008 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  3. Natahn from California

    This is part of an obvious pattern. Obama campaign calls “political maneuvering and calculation that voters are tired of." anything that does not give them an advantage. I am just so tired of it. It looks that unless they are given an advantage, they will oppose it as, you guessed it, “political maneuvering and calculation that voters are tired of."

    March 12, 2008 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  4. Dazed and Confused in DC

    If Obama thought he had any chance of winning either one of these two states, he'd be champing at the bit for some kind, any kind, of revote. But since he knows that the only way he can win the nomination is by excluding two major states from participating, he's opposed to any kind of revote. Simply exclude two states so I can win: the new politics of Sen. Obama.

    March 12, 2008 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  5. Toyin, Marietta, GA

    Mail in vote? Some will vote for their dead relatives.......This is no way democratic.

    March 12, 2008 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  6. Arnold, WV

    The Democratic party is so messed up know I don't think they can fix things before the Nov election let alone the July convention.They were so sure that Hillary would win and not even go past "Super Tuesday" that they didn't even have a plan for after that.They thought that Michigan and Flordia wouldn't matter.They thought the mess they call "Super Delegates " would not come into play.I say give one candidate half the delegates the other candidate the other half and say there they are seated,save millions and one of them could still win outright.

    March 12, 2008 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |

    follow the rules set forth and quit trying to change the rules.
    everyone was on the same page when this was decided until it became beneficial to clinton. i am a voter and i would go after my people higher up who did this to hurt the voters.

    March 12, 2008 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  8. Andy

    what should be at the heart of both candidates is keeping both FL and MI in play for the party come November. If the Democratic party ignores these citizens durring the primary, why would these citizens look toward the Democratic party, come November, to represent them on the national level? What the DNC, Clinton and Obama's priorities should be is; 1) what is best for the country, 2)what is best for the 3) citizens of these two states, what is best for the party. beyond this, things will run their natural course.

    March 12, 2008 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  9. Jim Wade, IA

    They broke the rules. If they get away with doing so it will set precedent, and every state is going to try to make sure their state is first on the primary calendar. Let Florida and Ohio keep the dates they used 2012, and let the delegates count then. But this year they need to be penalized.

    March 12, 2008 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  10. Teresa

    I totally agree with Mr. Plouffe. She is definitely trying to bend the rules and twisted the DNC arms to get her way. Ms. Hillary honestly thought that she was going to win the democratic election in the early part of the year based on her judgement and popularity. She judged wrong.
    I've voted for her earlier part of the year because she had portrayed a good canindate but my observation of her campaign and speeches. She did not inspire me at all with her so called "I am a fighter" line dirty tactics of discrediting her opponent/democratic member of the same party. Her first lady carma has been replaced by some kind of dragon lady attitude. This is not the way to inspire young people to be in the future generation of Americans.

    March 12, 2008 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  11. Eli

    First of all it was crazy for the DNC to think that all the millions of people in FL and MI would just sit and not want their vote to count. This should have been worked out prior to the voting in the two states. These people will have to have some say in the election , we live in the USA not some third world nation that supresses some of their citizens. If you are not wanting their voice to be heard then you are supressing the voices of people that live in the so called land of freedom.

    March 12, 2008 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  12. Mike in MI

    Why don't people recognize that in MI 45% of Democratic voters bothered to go to the polls and vote for "none of the above," when the only name on the ballot was Clinton?? That's a lot of trouble to go through to vote AGAINST someone. Flordia and Michigan delegations should NOT be seated. Their state parties broke the rules, they should suffer the penalty. Simple as that.

    March 12, 2008 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  13. Jay

    The Clinton's way of trying to steal an election.

    March 12, 2008 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  14. Jay Cain

    Plouffe needs to step back and listen to what he's saying! Voters are "tired of political maneuvering" .... give me a break! Both campaigns do that all the time. Get a different line of work if you can't handle it. Is the Obama campaign afraid of loosing again in Michigan and Florida? As far as I'm concerned, the people of those two states have already voted and Clinton won. If Edwards and Obama removed their name from the Michigan ballot, then that's unfortunate for them. I say re-tally the delegate count adding Florida and Michigan to the Clinton column!

    March 12, 2008 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  15. HRC

    whatever it takes

    March 12, 2008 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  16. Lolito Bagtasos

    This is about the proposed "mail-in vote" for Florida & Michigan. Why's Obama camp afraid of it?... It is NOTof the voters fault for that "go-ahead" election done earlier, instead of that super-tuesday primary of February 5th.

    Now, these voters need their votes to be counted!....that's it!... & let them cast their votes.

    Los Angeles

    March 12, 2008 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  17. Jason - Visalia, CA

    The only reason Clinton is pushing to have these delegates count is so the super delegates will also count. It expands her pool of party insiders that can use steal the election for her.

    March 12, 2008 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  18. Obvious

    CNN = The Clinton camp's mouthpiece. Notice how all the headlines give Obama a negative slant...

    March 12, 2008 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  19. Ron W., SC

    "We think that's the kind of political maneuvering and calculation that voters are tired of."

    Wait a minute... I think what the voters of Florida might get VERY tired of is the Obama campaign trying to deny them a voice in the nomination process.

    If Obama succeeds in silencing their votes now, how does he expect to go back to them ask them to vote for him in November? Barack's arrogance and inexperience are really starting to show. This would be just the kind of bad taste that would drive people to the republicans in November.

    March 12, 2008 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  20. Anne Landry

    I don't think a mail-in would work either. Does Senator Obama have a proposal?

    March 12, 2008 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  21. Ree

    This is the United States of American and every American should have a vote. There should be no revote. The people of Florida have spoken-55% voted for Hillary Clinton. Of course Obama does not want Florida to stand--he only got 30%.

    If Florida does not get to have a vote, the state will probably go to McCaine in November. The DNC should think about this and just let the vote stand.

    March 12, 2008 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  22. Chuck in Oregon

    I agree with both candidates on one had and disagree with the whole mess on the other hand. In the interest of the voting public of both states it is important for their voices to be heard. However it was the leadership of these states that caused this problem. The DNC made a decison and should for once stand by that position regardless of the fall out. Both state govenors need to take full responsibility for this mess as well as the democratic leadership of those states for allowing this to go as far as it did. All parties being fully aware of the "cause and effect" of their actions in both Florida and Michigan messed up and need to suck it up. They are the ones that disenfranchised their voting public. It is not the fault of the candidates nor the fault of the DNC. Every one voted and agreed on the process and they must now abide by that decision and stop trying to place the blame on either Obama or Clinton. This is just more of the same ol petty politics that I as an American am so tired of.

    March 12, 2008 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  23. raul

    Obama – she cannot stop the will of a nation!!! Clinton we are tired of the drama just resign

    March 12, 2008 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  24. Tired but True

    How can you tell if a Clinton is lying?

    Their lips are moving.

    My 6 year old tries to change the rules of game whenever he starts losing. With 35 years of experience, why does Hillary still act like she is 6?

    March 12, 2008 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  25. SB

    Can we say election fraud? How is any of this transparent? There is no proof that anyone voted or did not vote? Why is this even an option?

    March 12, 2008 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
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