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. rachel

    I dont think florida should be split obama's and hillary's name were on the ballet. People chose not to go out to vote for him. On another note. Between florida michigan and all the in fighting us democrates probably deserve to lose the white house in 08. We are to busy mimicking the words of our candidate of choice to see anyone elses view point.

    March 12, 2008 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  2. James in Ohio

    So – Obama the candidate for change is also the candidate for dissenfranchising millions of democratic voters (who were disenfranchised due to the decisions made by a Rebulican governer).


    I'm not sure that's the kind of "Change" I am looking for,

    Thanks anyway.

    March 12, 2008 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  3. Greg

    Split the delegates in Michigan and Florida equally to both candidates
    this process would bring the number closer to the 2025 needed. This would not give either candidate an advantage. Based on the fact that they were not supoosed to be conuted this is the most fair way to seat their delegates.

    March 12, 2008 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  4. Gary

    I think that it is important for the DNC to find a way to seat delegates from Florida and Michigan in a way that is equitable and fair and which doesn't too strongly favor one candidate over the other.

    I also wholeheartedly agree with David. The DNC created these rules at the beginning. All the candidates signed off on them, including Senator Clinton. Now that the rules haven't worked out as expected for her there is this big cry to chage them.
    Why should the general electorate vote for a party which isn't able to make rules and then stick to them. Isn't making rules and then altering them when when they don't work out to your advantage just the kind of thing we are trying to change?

    March 12, 2008 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  5. ellie

    is mr obama affraid?

    March 12, 2008 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  6. Mary

    Hillary Clinton would run over anyone to get to the white house. i didn't
    like her when her husband was president, and she hasn't done anything to change my mine. she's very smart, but she's also very devious !!!

    March 12, 2008 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  7. Florida Dem

    As a Florida Democrat who voted in the primary, I believe the race for our presidential nominee should move on from Florida and Michigan. It's time to focus on what's coming rather than what was.

    Our states were told if they moved up their primaries the results wouldn't count. They did it anyway and now we need to all live with the consequences. I do not feel disenfranchised in any way, and frankly, I am tired of the discussion.

    It is unfair to change the rules because the game hasn't turned out the way someone hoped. Live with the decision and move on!!!!!!

    March 12, 2008 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  8. Mike in Ohio

    All the "leading democrats" pushing this are Hillary Clinton supporters, not neurtral voices. So no credibility can be given to their sudden outcry.

    March 12, 2008 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  9. Rich

    Kudos for the Obama Team! You agreed to play by the rules and you're sticking to it. That's why so many Americans are drawn to Obama. He walks the walks and talks the talk! Come on Hillary and Howard Dean! Do the right thing and stick to the rules everyone agreed to or split the delegates evenly between the candidates. There is no other fair solution.

    March 12, 2008 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  10. Annie Cherif

    I believe that any type of re-do or re-make is out of the question at this stage of the campaign. To do so would cast a cloud over the entire election process. It appears as if the candidates are trying to cheat. I was in Austria during the Bush election and every where you went, co workers were mocking the US election process. A double standard exists here and it can not be allowed. As a voter, I will pickett the convention if those delegates are seated; they have forfeited their right to participate in the convention.

    Annie Cherif
    a voter from Herndon, Virginia

    March 12, 2008 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  11. Eric in Ca

    Hillary you can't be an agent of CHANGE when you continue to play politics of the past.

    March 12, 2008 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  12. Ekele

    Why should there be a re-do in Florida? They knew the rules. The Democratic officials in both states are among the smartest people in the world who knows what a rule means. I beleive they also know what the consequences of holding the elections are. They went ahead. Who are they trying to fool? Clinton is just a sore loser...To clinton....Be magnanimous in defeat.

    March 12, 2008 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  13. abbey

    Is the people that voted Obama in Texas caucuses also Blacks? Please let us face the fact Obama is leading and there is nothing the Clintology can do about that. Do anything say anything Obama is leading.

    March 12, 2008 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  14. txpoodoo

    I'm glad to hear that the Obama camp will go along with the final decision that is made however.

    I understand the apprehension of trying something totally new and never used before in the state however.

    March 12, 2008 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  15. ObamaForPeople

    Obama disagrees with any suggestions of solving the problems in Michigan and Florida. Does he have any better suggestions? Or he just refuses to let the voices of the 2 states to be heard? I will call that a discrimination against the voters in Michigan and Florida.

    March 12, 2008 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  16. E Popp

    Can you say, "Supreme Court"?

    March 12, 2008 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  17. Dave

    Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, a U.S. senator from New York, called Fallon a "sensible voice" that supported "engaging Iran." She urged her colleagues to back a bill requiring Bush to get congressional approval before taking any military action against Iran.

    Wait one minute. Obama said to do this and she called him inexperienced. Someone please explain this to me?!?!?!

    March 12, 2008 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  18. Mike

    Florida and Michigan. Your votes don't matter. What don't you understand about that. Now, quit your whining and useyour energy for something more useful.

    March 12, 2008 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  19. Tiffany

    I agree. I really don't think these states should count at all. The officials knew exactly what they were doing and even the people themselves knew their votes weren't going to count. We didn't hear any fuss from anyone until Clinton started.

    If the delegates must be seated, we should split the delegates in half, have a caucus or just do the whole thing over. But all of this is really ridiculous. We have found a way yet again to look like idiots.

    March 12, 2008 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  20. Dahlia, from Texas

    AMEN! Don't cry now Hillary! These words should have been said 18 months ago when it was discussed.

    March 12, 2008 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  21. monica

    A mail-in vote would be a disaster. What about ballots that never arrive? Or are stolen? Or lost on their way in? There's too much room for corruption.

    March 12, 2008 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  22. Justin--Obama Supporter

    Nothing new, Clinton camp will continue to do anything within their powers to change the rules to have them favoring her win of the nomination. Perhaps, Florida and Michigan can be the only hope of her stealing the nomination.

    March 12, 2008 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  23. james martin california

    Split them down the middle and move on.

    March 12, 2008 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  24. Burt

    Lets face it if Obama was behind and these voters were on his side he would be doing the same thing as HRC. Its all part of the game.

    March 12, 2008 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  25. Dale Wise

    Oh yeah, a mail-in vote would really go a long way to legitimizing the democratic election process in the state of Florida. I think a better idea might be to simply remove Florida's voting privileges altogether since they have proven time and time again that they simply cannot handle the responsibility.

    March 12, 2008 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
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