March 13th, 2008
05:10 PM ET
14 years ago

Florida's Dems reject mail-in primary plan

TALLAHASSEE, Florida (CNN) - Florida's Democrats in Congress rejected Thursday a plan for a combined mail-in and in-person primary election to let the state regain its 210 national convention delegates.

The plan, floated earlier by state party officials, would have set the combination vote for June 3 in an effort to replace delegates lost when Florida moved its primary ahead of the approved time frame.

"After reviewing the party's proposal and individually discussing this idea with state and local leaders and elections experts, we do not believe that this is a realistic option at this time and remain opposed to a mail-in ballot election or any new primary election in Florida of any kind," read a statement released Thursday afternoon by the states Democratic congressional delegation.

Under the state party's plan, fund-raising and public comment would begin immediately.

"The plan would be inclusive of all Democratic voters," according to a memo accompanying the draft plan that was sent Wednesday night to party leaders, including Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean and Sens. Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, the party's candidates for the presidential nomination.

Any plan would need the blessings of the DNC and the Clinton and Obama campaigns.

"We really believe that all Floridians deserve to be heard," said state party Chairwoman Karen Thurman, but "if this is not what the people of Florida and our presidential candidates want, then we're not going to do it."

Related: Florida Dems devise do-over plan for primary

Filed under: Florida
soundoff (139 Responses)
  1. Baylie

    Its Florida! They would have found a way to screw that election up too!

    March 13, 2008 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  2. RickytheGriff

    Awww, Hillary isn't going to get what she wants? Cry me a river!

    Watch now as she demands recounts in the states she lost in. If Hillary has proven anything ... it's that she's willing to drag down the entire Democratic party to win.

    Well, without Florida .. .she's toast. Thank God.

    Obama 08.

    March 13, 2008 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  3. Allen

    It truly amazes me how Florida and Michigan has become so important in this process. They were punished by the party for moving up in the process(because they wanted to have a bigger voice in who was selected).

    But if you now have a revote the whole process is truly tarnished. Their punishment would be that they become very very important in who gets selected.

    Where is the deterrent for those who want to break the rule in the future?.

    Stand by the rules as they were put in place at the beginning of this process, that's the only fair way of doing it.

    March 13, 2008 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  4. Val, Pennsylvania

    It IS really crappy for the voters......but the leaders of the state should have taken that into account before they decided they wanted to butt in line to be have more say in the outcome.
    We reap the harvest we wanted more, despite who it would hurt....and you ended up with nothing. I feel sorry for the voters.
    Hillary's on board with you though....she's of the same thought process.
    Me Me Me !!!!

    TRUTH: Obama is the ONLY level-headed and consistent politician i've ever known. We're blessed that he even wants to be our president.

    March 13, 2008 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  5. Gerb

    Example 1: Oh, you say that I can only have two beers by law and be ok to drive, I say I can have a six pack and cant give me this ticket!
    Example 2: Oh, I know you said I cant take steroids or HGH and play professional baseball, but I did it anyways, Im sorry, I want to still play and I want to re-play the whole season!
    Example 3: thou shall not commit adultery...but I wasnt married yet so that doesnt count right!
    Example 4: I will play by the rules, I wont campaign in Florida becuase there votes dont count because they moved there election up w/out approval....wait, I think those votes should count, the people of Florida have spoken (even though they were republicans who voted for me in overwhelming numbers) I want those votes!

    March 13, 2008 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  6. doug

    As the old saying goes, as Florida goes so does Cuba. I wonder if they both actually are under the same political rule.

    March 13, 2008 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  7. Keith

    Hopefully this dramatic an dpainful topic will soon be behind us. There should not be a re-vote!
    The delegates should not be seated by the results of an uncontested election!
    Some accomodation needs to be reached that seats the delegates but it should be reflective of the outcome of voting by the other states or a 50/50 split!
    There has to absolutly be some consequence for trying to ignore the procedures and rules of an agreement!

    March 13, 2008 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  8. Mark

    Unfortunately, I doubt this is the end of the story. One thing should be clear though- They cannot possibly try to use the current results from the original primary in Florida. Here are a few reasons why:

    1) Everyone knew at the time that it was a meaningless vote. The DNC had already announced that Florida and Michigan were stripped of all of their delegates because they broke the party rules and moved their primaries up ahead of Feb. 5. It was all over the news. The media was calling it a "beauty contest" at the time. As a result, many people who might have voted otherwise, probably did not vote.

    2) Don't believe my number one reason? Well check this out: There are only two states so far in which Democrats did not outvote republicans in the primaries. The two states were Florida and Michigan- the same two states that had "meaningless" primaries. Coincidence? I doubt it.

    3) All candidates signed a pledge to NOT campaign in Florida AT ALL, and none of them did. The Florida voters did not have the benefit of seeing the candidates in person before casting a vote.

    Michigan cannot be counted for the same reasons, plus an additional one- Obama's name wasn't even on the ballot. All of the candidates had been requested to remove their names from the Michigan ballot. Almost everyone did. Hillary refused.

    The rules were agreed upon by the DNC and all of the candidates in August 2007. To try to change the rules now is simply not ethical or fair.

    On a side note- I read today that Hillary has said that she thinks the Florida results were "fair" and that they should count... What planet does Hillary live on anyway? Considering all of the above, how can she consider those results to be fair?

    March 13, 2008 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  9. Sim

    Then, what in the world do they want? At least the people of Florida should give the DNC something to work with.

    March 13, 2008 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  10. Kety Gonzalez

    The total number of 2025 delegates needed to win the democratic nomination should be lower to:
    2025 – (the number of delegates of the state of Florida plus the number of delegates from the state of Michigan)

    2025 – (210+156) = 2025 – 366 = 1659 delegates

    This will teach Florida and Michigan a lesson!

    March 13, 2008 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  11. Nono

    to wolf: ...and sure Floridians are guilty of that... They have to pay the price for error of the politicians, logic *ironic*

    March 13, 2008 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  12. DrFill

    The whole voting concept is lost on Florida, so let's not stress them out on such difficult undertaking.
    Let them rest in their retirement villages, and we'll see them in 4 years.

    March 13, 2008 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  13. Linda L

    When Florida & Michigan decided to hold early primaries, the DNC stated that if they did so the votes would not count and the delegates would not be seated. Florida & Michigan decided to go ahead. Both Democratic candidates signed pledges that they would not campaign in those states.
    To now suggest that "to be fair" their votes should count is not fair at all. One of the candidates was not even on the ballot, honoring the DNCs ruling.
    If we're to teach our children that their word means something, we need to have that example set by our "leadership".
    Both states, the DNC and both Campaigns need to stand by their word and not change the rules at this late date.

    March 13, 2008 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  14. Sophia, Los Angeles

    Why do you guys think CNN closed off all comments for the article about Obama releasingi his earmarks.....I find that to be a significant and substantive issue that should be discussed.

    He has now released all of his earmarks since he has entered the Senate and his 2006 tax returns.......HILLARY HAS DONE NEITHER!

    His call for transparency is not merely a "speech of empty words" but is backed up by action.

    That empty suit is starting to fill in mightly nicely!

    March 13, 2008 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  15. Mary Z Thorsen

    No plan will be percieved as fair to all parties, including the rest of the states [ those other than Florida and Michigan] who just want to go forward. Any attempt to fix this is digging a deeper hole. A very expensive hole. And while the Dems are digging MCCain is digg'in it! Is our party unable to compremise to win in November? The rules were broke the consequences are as they stand. We don't have the resources of time and money to undo the broken system during this important race. I would like to see voters of these states stand for the good of the party and let this go. It would be an honorable sacrifice. Then we need to repair the problems before this happens again. None of this is right or fair. We can only do what is best. Follow the plan. Make sure this never happens again, Just because Dems cut off their nose to spite their face is no reason to now shoot themselves in the foot.

    March 13, 2008 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  16. MJG, Castle Rock, CO

    Dear Mrs. Chairwoman Karen Thurman,

    You acted very irresponsible. You should not blame the DNC or the candidates. You are the one to blame!

    The rules are the rules. You knew the consequences upfront when you broke the rule.


    March 13, 2008 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  17. Jenny from IN

    I don't think anyone should be disenfranchised, but these states were warned.

    They broke the rules.

    If you seat them at the convention, you're telling every other state that in the future they can try to move up their primaries. What they really need is a system where they rotate the dates of each states primary vote so every state gets an opportunity every few years to have a say.

    But we can't seat these delegates.

    March 13, 2008 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  18. Matthew

    The delegates are going to be seated one way or another, wolf.

    March 13, 2008 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  19. no primary election


    March 13, 2008 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  20. Peg

    It's really impossible for either of the candidates to agree with any sort of "do-over" at this point in time. Someone will feel cheated.

    Mr. Dean should have seen this as a possible result and prevented it from happening as it now has the potential to screw everything up, even splitting the democratic party. If a nominee isn't decided BEFORE May or June......we have a real problem both with our party (splitting, as they seem to be doing now) and with the Republicans being in a stronger position to win in the fall. He should get his body in gear and get those super delegates to swing over to the leader at this point, so it will be very clear who the nominee really is.

    March 13, 2008 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  21. dj

    what exactly is it that the florida voters just aren't getting? here it is, once again, plain and simple.

    a) in late 2006 the rules were agreed to by all parties, including state party officials.

    b) state party officials were informed at that time, that if they moved up their primaries, they would be punished. half the delegates for republicans, all delegates for democrats.

    c) florida and michigan moved their primaries up, in violation to the agreed rules, and were sanctioned.

    d) no voters were disenfranchised, as they were able to freely vote/not vote in primaries that were in violation of scheduling rules.

    e) for violating the rules, both parties were officially sanctioned by their respective parties.

    as the primaries were held, the results should stand as well as the sanctions levied against both states. voters voted/not voted freely, so no one was disenfranchised. if anyone is to be blamed, blame the local party officials, who knew full well the consequences of moving up the primaries, not the candidates or national party officials.

    March 13, 2008 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  22. helena

    I don't know if anyone is seeing what game Hillary clinton is playing at here, when they agreed to sign that the florida and Michigan votes would not count , it was because she was so sure beyond any reasonable duobt that by february super tuesday she would be the nominee, things did,nt quite work out that way so now she is desparate and ambitious enough to pull out any stunts to win this election because she feel entitled to it, that is just my opinionshe did not realize that she would be fighting for the president and that is why she is trying to pull in the florida and michigan votes not because she cares about the voters voices counting, but because she wants to win this race no matter what

    March 13, 2008 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
  23. James

    Thank god. However this fight is not over. Hillary is going to file lawsuit after lawsuit to get the super delegates seated.

    March 13, 2008 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  24. phillip, monterey ca




    YES WE CAN OBAMA 08 !!!!!!!!!!!

    March 13, 2008 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  25. Deirdre

    Oh for God's sake, stop anguishing over what to do. Just distribute the delegates according to the already held, fair and legitimate election. It was an even playing field for all contestants (except that Obama ran an ad there in defiance of an earlier agreement). No one should complain about that. . . just let it go. Let the voices and votes of the Floridians be heard.

    March 13, 2008 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
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