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. Rob

    Why should Florida and Michigan get to vote twice? Especially now that the race is so tight? Do the states where Edwards was on the ballot get to re-vote because he's no longer running and his supporters have been "dis-enfranchised"? These two states tried to make a power play to gain more influence and they got burned for it, other states did not. Why should the Democratic party give them what is essentially the power to decide the election because they violated the rules and now realize they made a mistake? Any re-vote will make a mockery of the process and will alienate at least this Democrat for a long time.

    March 12, 2008 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  2. Jay from Toronto

    Both parties agree to the rules before the game start. Now just because the situation is not favor Hillary camp, they want to change the rules so that they have better chance of winning the game?

    This is in my opinion very silly.

    March 12, 2008 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  3. john

    If Florida and Michigan are alowed to flout the rules then there will be total chaos in the 2012 & 2016 elections.
    But for the Clintons political agitation this would be much less of a problem.

    March 12, 2008 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  4. Lisa CA

    Obama can't afford to have Michigan and Florida seated, he will lose. It doesn't matter thoug, if they are not seated he may win the Democratic nomination, but will lose the General in November!!! "Catch 22"!!!

    March 12, 2008 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  5. NelsonDean

    Reject Sen. Bill Nelson he is clinton supporter he doing thins to favor clinton . what happened to Howard Dean comments the rules are the rules they will not be changed. Now all of sudden he is in support of mail vote. My question to you is Howard are you trying to help clinton by changing the rule in the middle of the Game, if that is what you are doing shame on you and it will be shame on the democratic party.

    March 12, 2008 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  6. Michelle

    I think this whole do over is ridiculous. The party knew what the consequences were before they decided to move the primary up and they chose to do so anyway.
    I'm tired of seeing them on tv talking about how we need to fix it and not disenfranchise FL and MI...that's what's wrong with our country today, we don't think about the consequences before we comit action.
    They made their bed now they need to lie in it.

    March 12, 2008 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  7. Sick and Tired

    These states do not deserve a revote. THEY BROKE THE RULES!

    March 12, 2008 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  8. PAB in PA

    Why doesn't CNN ask Obama exactly WHAT his accomplishments are? Another channel is having a weekly short"The Real Obama." I watched that show and they brought up that Obama was an undistinguished sentor in Illinois,when he served there, and is an undistinguished Junior Senator in the U.S. Senate. It was stated that McCain would prefer to run against Obama because of his lack of accomplishments and real time experience. Why don't we hear any of this information on CNN?

    March 12, 2008 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  9. Judy Bruce

    The votes should be counted. Neither candidate campaigned there, but Obama did run ads in Florida. If the votes are not counted, then there should be a mail-in or revote. The people of Florida should not be punished for the mistakes of the party.

    March 12, 2008 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  10. Paul

    Clinton's moves regarding this make me so mad. As the Obama people have said she did not start to challenge it until she needed the votes. This would not be an issue if Florida played by the rules!

    March 12, 2008 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  11. Lou in Miami

    Go ahead Obama don't count our votes... you know what's going to happen come November... I regret voting for you Senator Obama but
    I wish you well.

    March 12, 2008 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  12. Go Barack

    Stay vigilant Barack. Only your administration can bring about real change, McCain wants to continue the war, and Hillary wants to advance her wealth, or anything else that is self-serving. You are for the American people, and we want you to win.

    Obama 08
    Hillary 0-Never

    March 12, 2008 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  13. saul, WI

    I believe the rules are the period. As long as they know that they are violating the rules and they did it any they should not be forgiven. It is in soccer match the the referee gave you red card for unacceptable behavior, you don't go back and ask for forgivenss.

    The bottom line is rules are rules

    March 12, 2008 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  14. James

    Why should the two state that knowingly violated the rules be allowed to hold primaries again ... and at extra expense? The one "solution" I have not heard proposed is for the required delegate total for nomination - now 2025 - to be reduced by the number that would have been allocated to Florida and Michigan. What wrong or unfair about that?

    March 12, 2008 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  15. Brian Tampa, FL

    Don't say one word about disenfranchised voters this election cycle. If King Howard wasn't such a control freak we wouldn't have this problem. As a tax paying citizen of FL I believe the DNC should pay for any re-vote. It was their arrogance that created this situation, it is not the taxpayers job to bail them out!

    March 12, 2008 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  16. Clintonfatigued

    The entrenched Clinton crowd is getting ready to steal the nomination from Obama, watch how this goes down.

    Try and fool people by saying a vote for me is a vote for a dream ticket with Obama (who is leading her across the board) as incredibly number TWO!

    After being the "inevitable nominee" and agreeing with all of the other candidates to not count Florida and Michigan, I now change my mind and use the Democratic code word "disenfranchisement" and the flock agrees we need a do-over.

    Instead of making people go out and vote, make it easier for voter fraud and ballot stuffing (hallmarks of the party) by insisting on voting by mail even though it takes years to get it right especially in states of this size, but who cares, as long as you WIN.

    As a non-Democrat, but very respectful of Obama, this whole process is an insult to anyone with a brain stem, but as the exit polls indicate, that would NOT include CLINTON supporters.

    Ready to mislead from day one.

    March 12, 2008 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  17. Mike

    Then let's have another debate before revoting so Obama can parrot more of Hillary's answers.

    March 12, 2008 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  18. Linda, Boulder, CO

    A caucus wouldn't be fair, either.

    March 12, 2008 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  19. Saska

    After reading the content of the article, I find the headline inaccurate. I doubt this comment will be posted, but I can hold out hope.

    Plouffe's statements have to do with the difficulty of successfully running a mail-in revote in Florida. The strongest rejection of the idea comes not from Obama's campaign, but from the Florida Democratic delegation.

    More accurately, the campaign is not "resistant" to the idea, they're "reserved" about the feasability of it.

    Further, Plouffe specifically states that the Obama campaign will support whatever the DNC decides, leaving it to the party as it should be - as opposed to the way Clinton is handling it now that the states of Florida and Michigan suddenly "matter" again, pushing actively for resolution and complaining about the possibility of a caucus in Michigan. Why aren't there headlines about Clinton rejecting the caucus, when she clearly and unequivocally did so?

    March 12, 2008 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  20. Texas4Obama

    Rules are rules.
    Clinton should have took her name off of the Michigan ballot like Senator Obama and Senator Edwards did when they all agreed that they would not run in Michigan and that Michigan would not count. You can't go and change the rules just because you are losing. It's time for Hillary to bow out gracefully and go back to New York.

    March 12, 2008 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  21. Rick in Boynton Beach

    Im a FL voter and I agree, you just can't have a redo. Even if we revote the delegates must at least be cut in half as a punishment. If we revote now it will actually be rewarding us for breaking the rules because it will matter even more now. Any solultion must at the minimum reduce the delegates. I think the 50-50 split and a reduced count is appropriate.

    March 12, 2008 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  22. E Lawrence

    Why don't we hear about Hillery's tax returns? Why is she able she able to hide them?

    March 12, 2008 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  23. Jacqueline Samms

    I agree. Michigan and Florida need to take this up with the officals they elected to represent them. If I lived in either state, I would hold these decision makers accountable and vote them out as soon as I could. The reules are the rules and should not be broken. They had ample time to protest. I find it suspect that they are doing it at this stage of the election. Smells fishy to me.

    March 12, 2008 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  24. kerri

    Baracks campaign depends on states that the democrats have no way of winning in the general election. When is this young man going to realize that he is not going to get the kind of treatment from McCain that the press and googly eyed Americans have given him since he had the audacity to hope he could lead the free world. Like her ot hate her, Hillary knows how to win, and for the sake of the Dem party, I hope she does.

    March 12, 2008 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  25. Anthony

    Florida and Michigan should get new leadership. Both states broke the rules. With that being said, it is important for those states to be seated, so the only answer is to split the delegates down the middle. Call it a draw.

    That still leaves Obama with more delegates.

    March 12, 2008 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
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