Florida Finalizes Mail In Revote Plan

By Big Tent Democrat

Florida finalizes mail in voting revote plan:

Facing tight deadlines for a do-over election, Florida Democrats are rushing to deliver to the national party as soon as Thursday a plan to vote again in the presidential primary this time, by mail. If approved, ballots could start going out to voters in April.

MORE . . .

. . . Under the emerging plan, estimated to cost as much as $10 million, the state's four million registered Democrats would be mailed self-addressed, stamped ballots that would be tabulated by an independent party, such as an accounting firm or a company that runs corporate shareholder voting.

Ballots would be due back in Tallahassee on a specific day in late May or early June, and regional sites would likely be employed for last-minute voters, party officials said.

Sounds like a plan. One down, one to go.

On Cnn, Obama is asked specifically about a mail in primary, VERY noncommittal. The Obama campaign will object I predict.

Donna Brazile is horrible. She is badmouthing the mail in primary. She should be removed from the DNC. Paul Begala argues for the revote, hits Donna Brazile as Bush v. Gore.

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    Why can't they just mail ballots to (5.00 / 1) (#12)
    by ivs814 on Tue Mar 11, 2008 at 08:03:06 PM EST
    those Democrats that did not vote last time?

    Craig Crawford's idea (5.00 / 1) (#19)
    by echinopsia on Tue Mar 11, 2008 at 08:11:39 PM EST
    Do more instead of Do-over

    The Trail Mix Do-More Solution

    Here's a solution: Only send ballots to registered Democrats who did NOT vote in the Jan. 29 primary (voting records show who voted and who didn't). That would cut almost in half the number of votes to process by mail. For choosing delegates to the national convention count both the new mail-in results and the original primary. Call it a Do-More instead of a Do-Over.

    Barack Obama should have the advantage in the new mail-in balloting if his supporters are correct in arguing that many of his voters did not show up on Jan. 29 because they thought it would not count. Hillary Rodham Clinton obviously benefits from any solution that counts the primary she's already won by 17 percentage points.

    Such pros and cons for each candidate should be a reason to consider this approach. No solution is going to work if it only benefits one side.

    How is that fair (none / 0) (#22)
    by flyerhawk on Tue Mar 11, 2008 at 08:17:12 PM EST
    Hillary starts off with an 17 point lead?  

    So the only thing Obama could hope for is to cut into her lead?  

    Obama's argument is not that his supporters stayed home.  It's that the voters in Florida didn't know him or his message.  That is still the case with this solution.


    Hmmm (5.00 / 2) (#32)
    by xspowr on Tue Mar 11, 2008 at 08:29:28 PM EST
    I'm not sure about the official position of the Obama campaign on the "voter turnout suppression" meme (if there has been an official statement), but I've certainly seen lots of chatter about that from Obama supporters on the blogs.

    As for the "voters don't know him or his message" meme, I guess the 569,000 Florida voters that cast a ballot for him were operating on guesswork, and the 857,000 voters that cast a ballot for HRC didn't watch any television, listen to any radio, read any newspapers or blogs, do any independent research, or just plain missed the Obama ads that violated the no campaign pledge? And now they, and the voters that didn't turn out, will now get to know him? I've never been to Florida myself, but it's interesting to learn that it's hermetically sealed off from the rest of the country.  That being said, I agree, I don't like the "partial" plan. Let's seat them the way they are or do the whole thing over.


    Didn't you know? (4.50 / 4) (#35)
    by echinopsia on Tue Mar 11, 2008 at 08:34:03 PM EST
    Floridians live in caves. NO TV, no newspapers, no Internet.

    It's sad, really. They had no opportunity to learn about either candidate, but especially about Obama.


    too much sunshine (4.00 / 2) (#40)
    by Kathy on Tue Mar 11, 2008 at 08:37:45 PM EST
    in the Sunshine State.  No clouds to part.  The light is already shining down.

    Funny (none / 0) (#44)
    by flyerhawk on Tue Mar 11, 2008 at 08:43:51 PM EST
    Nothing like snark to really make a point.

    I guess campaigning really doesn't do anything for the candidates.


    Well (none / 0) (#50)
    by Steve M on Tue Mar 11, 2008 at 08:53:00 PM EST
    Obviously the candidates are entitled to campaign.  But I think you overrate the importance of campaigning in the big states.

    One of the reasons some of us attach significance to Hillary's wins in the biggest states - even though, for example, California will not be in play either way - is because the general election plays out a lot like a big-state primary.  You have to rely on TV ads, making headlines, and tools other than retail campaigning.

    I expect Obama to work hard in Florida but that kind of state just isn't like Iowa where you can shake every hand.  We'll see how it plays out.


    I simply (none / 0) (#57)
    by flyerhawk on Tue Mar 11, 2008 at 08:57:27 PM EST
    pointed to Obama's argument about Florida because someone was incorrect about what it was.  

    I'm not sure I agree about the relevance of big state primaries.  I get what you're saying, but in the big states Hillary started with a tremendous advantage as well as control of most of the big state political machines.

    Also the latino vote has really been the reason why Hillary has done so well in many big states.  


    have you looked at a census lately? (none / 0) (#61)
    by Kathy on Tue Mar 11, 2008 at 09:00:26 PM EST
    Because Clinton's demographics stack a lot higher than Obama's.

    As for the political machines, are you familiar with the one running Chicago?  How about John Kerry's and Ted Kennedy's?


    Thats true but why do people always (none / 0) (#90)
    by Salt on Tue Mar 11, 2008 at 09:25:31 PM EST
    mention Obama growth areas what missing in that story Ms Pelosi for example seems to belive Obama brings the growth?

    Just for the record (none / 0) (#102)
    by gyrfalcon on Tue Mar 11, 2008 at 09:34:50 PM EST
    there is no "Kennedy machine" in Mass., nor is there a "Kerry machine."  Neither guy has had significant opposition, so no need to have one. (Kennedy did have a tough race with Romney way back when, but the fact that it was tough actually underlines the fact that he had and still has no machine.)

    Mass. voters are pretty notorious for making up their own minds on stuff, and they've been badly bummed by their own post-election experience with an inspirational reformer who ran on a somewhat vague platform.  Deval Patrick's endorsement of Obama almost certainly hurt him more than helped him in Mass.

    (speaking as a recent ex-Massachusettsian, if I can figure out how to spell it...)


    I meant their mailing lists (none / 0) (#106)
    by Kathy on Tue Mar 11, 2008 at 09:44:31 PM EST
    and fundraiser lists.  I got six billion mailers from each of them.  I wish I was exaggerating.  They might not need MA, but they have friends with deep pockets.

    As someone from Mass.... (none / 0) (#104)
    by CST on Tue Mar 11, 2008 at 09:37:58 PM EST
    Not much of a political machine for Kennedy or Kerry.  They both always get elected, and then we kinda forget about them and expect them to do their jobs as liberals in the senate, they have never really had to campaign here.  Honestly, I think local politicians (mayors, etc...) have much more "muscle" here, and they went pretty strongly for Clinton.

    Well (none / 0) (#63)
    by Steve M on Tue Mar 11, 2008 at 09:02:51 PM EST
    The Latino vote is pretty important for Dems in the general as well.

    All I'm saying is that there's a big difference between states where you can shake every hand and those where you can't.


    How many Latinos (none / 0) (#64)
    by auntmo on Tue Mar 11, 2008 at 09:04:22 PM EST
    voted  in   Ohio,  Fly?

    maybe they were some of those (5.00 / 1) (#65)
    by Kathy on Tue Mar 11, 2008 at 09:05:53 PM EST
    "vaguely Latinos" that the Times piece was talking about?

    Kathy (none / 0) (#103)
    by gyrfalcon on Tue Mar 11, 2008 at 09:35:41 PM EST
    that's at least the third time you've made me laugh out loud this evening.  Thanks!

    My point (none / 0) (#89)
    by flyerhawk on Tue Mar 11, 2008 at 09:25:19 PM EST
    wasn't that latinos are the only people voting for Hillary.  That would be silly.  But it would be silly to suggest that the latino vote didn't give Hillary Texas and California.  

    Obama has a ton of cash. (none / 0) (#146)
    by halstoon on Wed Mar 12, 2008 at 01:55:34 AM EST
    Have you not noticed that he crushed her in money in Jan. and Feb? The difference in just those two months was something like $30+ million. He can and will get on TV, both now and in the fall.

    Some other hurdle you care to set up??


    You don't understand (none / 0) (#149)
    by Steve M on Wed Mar 12, 2008 at 03:00:43 AM EST
    Obama has shown the ability to win votes through retail campaigning.  He has not shown the ability to win votes through TV advertising and other GE-suitable techniques alone, as his showing in the large states demonstrates.

    Money was no object for him before any of the other big-state primaries, so I don't see any reason he would be able to buy Florida if he couldn't buy the other states.


    I see your point. (none / 0) (#150)
    by halstoon on Wed Mar 12, 2008 at 03:06:26 AM EST
    But I also see a lot of value in the fact that he was able to compete in a lot of those places. Sen. Clinton had huge leads on him, but he closed gap after gap, and ended up winning a whole bunch of places.

    He finished within like 8 points of her in CA. That's pretty impressive when you consider her margin among women, Latinos, and Asians.

    He also kept her from breaking 60% in NY. That's her home state. She should have beaten him badly.

    So, I still argue that his combo is best suited to win in the fall. We can certainly disagree, though.


    Well (none / 0) (#151)
    by Steve M on Wed Mar 12, 2008 at 03:41:32 AM EST
    if we do have a re-vote in Florida, it provides an excellent test case for whether the type of GE-style campaigning I'm talking about can make a big difference for Obama.  Certainly if there's a big difference between the January vote and the new one, that has to tell you something.

    huh? (none / 0) (#141)
    by TeresaInPa on Tue Mar 11, 2008 at 11:12:43 PM EST
    they have been campaigning for a year.

    It's a very insulting argument: (none / 0) (#116)
    by MarkL on Tue Mar 11, 2008 at 09:59:01 PM EST
    If only you get close enough to BO, you will become a believer.

    Are you denying that Clinton's (none / 0) (#147)
    by halstoon on Wed Mar 12, 2008 at 01:56:44 AM EST
    16 years of fame in Washington was not an advantage in a race where Obama made no personal appearances in the state?

    Is that what you wanna go with?


    I'm sorry. (none / 0) (#148)
    by halstoon on Wed Mar 12, 2008 at 01:57:20 AM EST
    I meant denying it was a difference.

    I think that's true. It wouldn't be fair. (5.00 / 2) (#43)
    by derridog on Tue Mar 11, 2008 at 08:41:31 PM EST
    The do-over needs to be perceived as fair by both sides, but if Obama's people don't quit badmouthing it, it won't be. If he becomes the nominee and has alienated the Floridians, that can't be good for him. I think he should just accept this as the best he can get.

    So things are only "fair" if (none / 0) (#60)
    by kenosharick on Tue Mar 11, 2008 at 08:59:55 PM EST
    they are set up to help obama? Like caucuses are "fair," but superdelegates are "unfair," right?

    Officially there was no vote last time (none / 0) (#33)
    by ruffian on Tue Mar 11, 2008 at 08:30:40 PM EST
    According tp the DNC rules, that Jan. primary is invalid and it is as if it never happened.  The votes cast then do not count.  The only way to do anything is from scratch.

    No (5.00 / 1) (#48)
    by xspowr on Tue Mar 11, 2008 at 08:49:19 PM EST
    The DNC rules do not mandate that the January results are invalid and that "it is as if it never happened." The DNC has penalized FL and MI by stripping those states of delegates; however, the DNC rules provide for the reversal of that decision by the Credentials Committee (politically unlikely, but perfectly within the rules), which would permit the seating of those delegations as is.  Sorry to pick nits, but blanket statements like the "Jan. primary is invalid" is simply wrong, and conflates the validity of the results with the DNC's decision to disregard those results as a penalty.  There is therefore nothing theoretically wrong with the "add on" approach under the DNC rules, as the rules do not render the original votes invalid (i.e., there may be other arguments on that point, but the rules themselves will not provide you with authority vis-a-vis validity).

    Actually (none / 0) (#51)
    by flyerhawk on Tue Mar 11, 2008 at 08:53:06 PM EST
    as far as I understand it the primary delegates are stripped.  That's a done deal.  

    They can try and have a revote that can be approved by the DNC or they can appeal to have their delegates certified.  But that delegate count can be based on anything they want.  

    However the primary delegates themselves have been ruled null and void.


    wrong, see credential cmte above (none / 0) (#53)
    by RalphB on Tue Mar 11, 2008 at 08:55:53 PM EST
    Did you read what I said? (none / 0) (#68)
    by flyerhawk on Tue Mar 11, 2008 at 09:08:37 PM EST
    The credentials committee can seat delegates for whatever reason they want.  

    Can't find the actual rules but I did find this pretty interesting


    CC (none / 0) (#69)
    by waldenpond on Tue Mar 11, 2008 at 09:09:01 PM EST
    No, they also have the right to appeal to the credentials committee.  The CC isn't 'sat' until late in the season.  The CC is split between Obama and Clinton so this would not be resolved by them, there is no majority. Then there is the rules committee (I don't remember, I think 24 or 28 members).  The rules committee support a re-vote.

    That's not how I read it (none / 0) (#74)
    by xspowr on Tue Mar 11, 2008 at 09:12:12 PM EST
    The states can apply to the Credentials Committee to seat the delegates as is, to my understanding; much of the discussion about seating the existing delegations has revolved around whether HRC or BHO partisans will control that committee, and that in turn will determine whether the delegations are seated, and (as I think you suggest) any potential alternate allocation of delegates. Nothing, however, prevents the current delegations from being fully recognized by the Credentials Committee, which may overturn the penalty decision of the Rules Committee as it see fit. More to the point, however: the post I was replying to claimed that the original voting results themselves would be invalid for purposes of an "add-on" type of do-over, and was grounding that point by an appeal to the DNC rules, which do not support that conclusion.

    Fair enough (none / 0) (#86)
    by flyerhawk on Tue Mar 11, 2008 at 09:23:26 PM EST
    my point was more of a technical point than a practical one.  

    According to the link I posted upthread, the credential committee is comprised predominantly of controls the most delegates.  So it is unlikely they would allow them to be seated.  But then it would go to the floor which could get interesting.


    Obama (5.00 / 1) (#16)
    by Coldblue on Tue Mar 11, 2008 at 08:08:48 PM EST
    is on CNN and wants to make sure that a mail-in is "fair" to both candidates.

    Begala (none / 0) (#41)
    by waldenpond on Tue Mar 11, 2008 at 08:40:39 PM EST
    has said on the show that he is the only one with something positive to say about Clinton.  This has been done to Brazile before, but she just keeps coming back.  She supports Obama, she can't help herself.

    FTR, (5.00 / 1) (#18)
    by flyerhawk on Tue Mar 11, 2008 at 08:10:41 PM EST
    Obama just finished an interview with Wolf.

    1.  He wants to seat the candidates in a fair way.
    2.  He clearly will not accept seating the existing delegates.  
    3.  He says he will abide by whatever the DNC decides.
    4.  He has some concerns with the mail-in vote but believes it will get sorted out.

    Nothing really earth shattering.

    Debbie's not going to like this. (none / 0) (#110)
    by tbetz on Tue Mar 11, 2008 at 09:53:45 PM EST
    TPM TV includes Wasserman-Schultz's Fox News Sunday appearance in this episode.

    In contrast, Obama just told Tweety once again on the 10 PM special edition of Hardball that he's fine with whatever the DNC approves for Florida.


    #2 and #3 are not mutually exclusive (none / 0) (#139)
    by ding7777 on Tue Mar 11, 2008 at 10:36:50 PM EST
    if the the DNC decides to seat the existing delegates. (unlikely but it is within the rules)

    wonder how the dnc (none / 0) (#1)
    by Turkana on Tue Mar 11, 2008 at 07:54:17 PM EST
    will try to derail this...

    They won't (5.00 / 2) (#4)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Mar 11, 2008 at 07:56:51 PM EST
    Obama will though.

    CNN just said that the FL Congressional (none / 0) (#26)
    by RalphB on Tue Mar 11, 2008 at 08:20:18 PM EST
    delegation will not go along with any revotes at all.  Apparently Bill Nelson met with them today.

    They lied (none / 0) (#27)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Mar 11, 2008 at 08:22:57 PM EST
    CNN I mean. That is false.

    I sure hope CNN lied! (none / 0) (#49)
    by RalphB on Tue Mar 11, 2008 at 08:51:05 PM EST
    I know they did (none / 0) (#126)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Mar 11, 2008 at 10:06:22 PM EST
    The FL congressional delegation will stand in the way of a revote? Never.

    According to AP: (none / 0) (#132)
    by tbetz on Tue Mar 11, 2008 at 10:17:26 PM EST
    No, nyt is reporting the same thing. (none / 0) (#94)
    by corn on Tue Mar 11, 2008 at 09:29:07 PM EST
    Alcee Hastings (none / 0) (#105)
    by Kathy on Tue Mar 11, 2008 at 09:42:56 PM EST
    made the statement. Hm.  Wonder why he would do that?


    Florida's congressional delegation said Tuesday it opposes holding a Democratic presidential vote by mail, and Barack Obama expressed concerns about the fairness of that option.



    You know (none / 0) (#112)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Tue Mar 11, 2008 at 09:55:27 PM EST
    let's call off the rest of the elections too and have the DNC choose the candidate.

    That's what they're trying to do anyway!


    Yeah, why would Alcee Hastings... (none / 0) (#120)
    by tbetz on Tue Mar 11, 2008 at 10:03:06 PM EST
    ... object to a re-vote in Florida?

    Maybe for the same reason his friend and Clinton National Campaign Co-Chair Debbie Wasserman-Schultz is objecting?

    BTD, are you still pretending that the Clinton campaign isn't working in concert to prevent a re-vote in Florida and Michigan, and that Obama is?


    Yep (none / 0) (#125)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Mar 11, 2008 at 10:05:36 PM EST
    I am still pretending.

    Watch and see.

    They want a full blown primary. They ain't going to get it.

    If you think they favor no delegation vs one chosen by a revote by mail you are nuts.


    They have to suck it up (none / 0) (#122)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Mar 11, 2008 at 10:04:20 PM EST
    This is the plan.

    This one or no Florida delegation.

    What do you think they will say?


    Is Bill Nelson prepared to lose his next (none / 0) (#129)
    by Angel on Tue Mar 11, 2008 at 10:10:42 PM EST
    election?  Because if the FL people do not get seated at the convention, with delegates by a new vote or with delegates from the original vote, he will be defeated.  

    Is this trouble? (5.00 / 3) (#6)
    by ghost2 on Tue Mar 11, 2008 at 07:58:35 PM EST
    would be tabulated by an independent party, such as an accounting firm or a company that runs corporate shareholder voting

    Is there going to be sufficient oversight?  I am suspicious of giving anyone power and say, "go ahead, we trust you."


    That is exactly how the ballots for the (5.00 / 1) (#8)
    by oculus on Tue Mar 11, 2008 at 08:00:10 PM EST
    Academy Awards are tabulated.

    was gonna say (none / 0) (#10)
    by Turkana on Tue Mar 11, 2008 at 08:01:34 PM EST
    pricewaterhouse, is it? if it's good enough for the coens, it's good enough for the democrats!

    You don't think (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by 0 politico on Tue Mar 11, 2008 at 07:58:50 PM EST
    they would actually dream up an excuse to say, "No," do you? 8-)

    The article makes it look like HRC (none / 0) (#2)
    by oculus on Tue Mar 11, 2008 at 07:55:43 PM EST
    campaign is stalling, not just Obama's.  Not so.  One big improvement over CA absentee ballot:  FL voters don't have to hunt for a stamp and then try to figure out what current current first class postage is.

    No problem (5.00 / 1) (#3)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Mar 11, 2008 at 07:56:37 PM EST
    The Clintons will accept and Obama will hem and haw.

    Why (none / 0) (#11)
    by waldenpond on Tue Mar 11, 2008 at 08:02:05 PM EST
    Any ideas on why she doesn't think this would be as workable for her demographics?  Older voters leaving for better climates etc.  I have no idea.

    Maybe, (none / 0) (#36)
    by ruffian on Tue Mar 11, 2008 at 08:34:35 PM EST
    But I think the Clinton camp would prefer to just take the January vote as is.  They will certainly lose some in a re-vote.  But the truth is dawning on t hem that the way they want is just not going to happen, and this mail-in primary is the next best thing.  I can't imagine they will not agree to it.

    I wouldn't be surprised if Clinton (none / 0) (#83)
    by Boston Boomer on Tue Mar 11, 2008 at 09:21:34 PM EST
    wins by more in the revote.  Florida voters know that Obama is the reason they have to go through the do-over.

    Not so sure about FL .. (5.00 / 1) (#152)
    by Rainsong on Wed Mar 12, 2008 at 04:42:50 AM EST
    Although I only have my FL family's take on it to go on. They voted in good faith in January, trusting the Party to sort out their beef, as it was only a matter of days before ST anyway. My sis-in-law has been strong Party member since she first voted in 1972, and wrote to me:

    " I still get e-mails, newsletters from the Party, invites to fund-raisers, things like that, but when I click on the links to find one near me, there aren't any within a hundred miles. Its like knowing you are not invited to the prom, but they still expect you to help decorate the hall.

    When I call around its more like a general loss of any enthusiasm this year. We are all making other plans. Apathy set in, they either sit the state, or they don't. In our family and circles we thought the Party had written off Florida as a red state loss.

    Now after ignoring us for weeks, they are telling us we have to do it over again. We can't get a ticket to the prom till we do it right. With our history of voting, recounts etc, I trust the vote that "didn't count" to be the most accurate!

    Whatever - most of us will vote Democrat as we always do in November, but this will be the first time since 1976 that I wont be volunteering to help in the campaign."


    The DNC really screwed up. (none / 0) (#153)
    by Boston Boomer on Wed Mar 12, 2008 at 06:08:17 AM EST
    It's hard to believe they could manage to mess up this badly when the Republicans are so disliked.  But these days, I'm just not confident of a win in November.

    Slowmentum (none / 0) (#142)
    by Ellie on Tue Mar 11, 2008 at 11:12:59 PM EST
    Earlier, I listened to Obama and his supporters discuss the Miss results. It was like tuning into a whole different campaign.

    As a talking head separated from the vitality of his cheering audience, Obama looked stiff and bland floating phrases designed to keep him above the fray. His boosters were stuck alternating between:

    • crunching numbers that revealed how Obama was further ahead than met the naked eye, and
    • playing the Bad Monster Lady Card.

    These opposite emotional notes that made the campaign (and the boosters) seem like they were trying to stretch the truth.

    I think having their message disembodied from snowballing results -- and the feeling that, at anytime, this crazy ride could turn into a full blown avalanche -- gave the sense of being stuck in quicksand. Gonna be a lonnnnnnng few weeks.


    Proposal (none / 0) (#5)
    by waldenpond on Tue Mar 11, 2008 at 07:58:09 PM EST
    The initial proposal sounds good.  They are even going after the small items such as postage paid.  I will wait to see what the stalls are going to be.  Get the fund raising started.  That will push Obama to the fence.  He's going to have to climb over.

    Obama's Website has a lot of events (none / 0) (#9)
    by Jeralyn on Tue Mar 11, 2008 at 08:00:45 PM EST
    for his supporters scheduled in Florida.

    Very interesting (none / 0) (#14)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Mar 11, 2008 at 08:05:35 PM EST
    Very Smart (none / 0) (#29)
    by waldenpond on Tue Mar 11, 2008 at 08:25:12 PM EST
    So while he and his crew are stalling in public, they are getting set up to go in private.  Does Clinton not get this yet?

    this was my conspiracy theory yesterday. (none / 0) (#143)
    by oculus on Tue Mar 11, 2008 at 11:15:04 PM EST
    Interesting... (none / 0) (#13)
    by OrangeFur on Tue Mar 11, 2008 at 08:04:04 PM EST
    Either the January primary vote has to count or this one does.

    This one is less appealing than I first thought. I thought it would be an official government election, just conducted as if everyone is an absentee voter. This way somehow seems less official. What if turnout is lower than in January?

    My concern is (5.00 / 1) (#15)
    by flyerhawk on Tue Mar 11, 2008 at 08:08:17 PM EST
    that a mail-in vote will inadvertently miss a lot of voters.  That could lead to a lot of sour grapes.

    Less sour grapes (none / 0) (#59)
    by auntmo on Tue Mar 11, 2008 at 08:59:51 PM EST
    than if  you  disenfranchise  them completely, as  Donna   Brazille  wants,  Fly.

    mail in votes (none / 0) (#62)
    by Kathy on Tue Mar 11, 2008 at 09:02:08 PM EST
    have higher turn outs, apparently.  Who knew it was easier to check a box, peel a stamp and walk to your mailbox than it is to get in your car, drive to the polling place, wait in line, and wait for a machine that's working?

    Let me see drive 6 miles to my regular polling (none / 0) (#66)
    by Florida Resident on Tue Mar 11, 2008 at 09:06:31 PM EST
    place, or 20 so odd to a firehouse or just walk to my mailbox but the envelope in raise the red flag and the mail carrier picks it up for me.  Which one is harder thats the one I want.

    And what happens (none / 0) (#71)
    by flyerhawk on Tue Mar 11, 2008 at 09:10:58 PM EST
    when ethically challenged supporters go and swipe the ballots from mailboxes and submit them for their candidate?

    What is the mechanism that will be used to prevent fraud?  

    Apparently Oregon has a scanned signature for each voter.  What will Florida do?


    My goodness (5.00 / 1) (#84)
    by Steve M on Tue Mar 11, 2008 at 09:21:41 PM EST
    were you actually this concerned about people who were disenfranchised by the caucus rules?  I don't want to assume otherwise, but really, there are a million more problems with a caucus system than a mail-in vote.

    Signatures (none / 0) (#75)
    by waldenpond on Tue Mar 11, 2008 at 09:13:33 PM EST
    Only registered voters with a signature on file will be voting.  The mail-in ballots require a signature.  States have absentee ballot procedures.

    I'm not sure about that (none / 0) (#77)
    by flyerhawk on Tue Mar 11, 2008 at 09:16:11 PM EST
    wouldn't that require government oversight of the election?

    My union does mail-in votes (none / 0) (#113)
    by Bob In Pacifica on Tue Mar 11, 2008 at 09:55:58 PM EST
    for its officer elections. It's doable if the people who count them are honest. I presume there will be observers for both sides.

    What was the Florida delegation's argument against it?


    Not going to happen. (none / 0) (#78)
    by Joelarama on Tue Mar 11, 2008 at 09:18:06 PM EST
    Mass swiping of letters from mailboxes?  Impossible to do without being noticed.

    It could happen in isolated cases.  And it would be s serious federal crime.


    It's a federal offense (none / 0) (#117)
    by Bob In Pacifica on Tue Mar 11, 2008 at 09:59:50 PM EST
    to steal mail.

    Plus, if you're swiping ballots, how do you know who each vote is for?

    And if it's mail-in it'll be over the course of weeks, so is someone going to be swiping ballots for weeks? That doesn't sound possible.

    The two concerns are voter fraud, i.e., that someone else will vote instead of the person intended, and the counting of the votes. Historically, there has been almost no voter fraud and I would presume that both candidates make sure that votes are counted correctly.


    Long explanation short is (none / 0) (#123)
    by Cream City on Tue Mar 11, 2008 at 10:04:26 PM EST
    that the day the ballots arrive in mailboxes is known.  Also, ballots are bought.  See the book Deliver the Vote.

    Have you lived out in the country? (none / 0) (#119)
    by Cream City on Tue Mar 11, 2008 at 10:02:56 PM EST
    Mailbox half a mile from our home, stuff swiped all the time.  Rarely got our Wednesday morning newspaper, as that's the day with grocery-store coupons.

    Exactly this has happened (none / 0) (#85)
    by Cream City on Tue Mar 11, 2008 at 09:22:33 PM EST
    -- you must have read the book Deliver the Vote.

    are you kidding me? (none / 0) (#91)
    by Kathy on Tue Mar 11, 2008 at 09:27:10 PM EST
    ethically challenged supporters

    Have you ever worked in a polling station?  All the signatures are verified when the vote comes in.  There are records from when the voter originally registers to vote.  You look at the signatures, see if they match, then let them vote.  Easy peasy.

    I would actually love to see what would happen with people swiping ballots from mailboxes, because not only would they be accused of voting fraud, they would be slammed with mail fraud, which carries a stiffer penalty than murder does in some states. (and, uh, not to be blunt, but as segregated as some parts of FL are, I think it'd be pretty easy to pinpoint the person(s) stealing ballots)

    But, really, our CURRENT system is open to fraud.  It happens.  We can't fix it in time for FL and MI to revote.  We can't even fix it in time for the GE.  Actually, no one wants to fix it-at least the elected officials don't-because that's how they keep winning.


    Look (none / 0) (#96)
    by flyerhawk on Tue Mar 11, 2008 at 09:30:15 PM EST
    I am not the one who is going to approve or deny a mail-in vote.  I am stating what I believe will happen and the arguments against those mail-in votes.

    Entertainment (none / 0) (#72)
    by waldenpond on Tue Mar 11, 2008 at 09:11:57 PM EST
    But it's so much more fun to try and find a parking place.  Don't forget the joy of playing tag team at home, hanging out in crowds, standing in line and getting sent to the wrong table (3 times).

    Ha! (none / 0) (#82)
    by Kathy on Tue Mar 11, 2008 at 09:20:13 PM EST
    Not to be serious or anything, but do we really want to be put into a situation where we are questioning the validity of absentee ballots?  There are 26 states that now allow voting by mail with no excuse (in other states, you have to sign a form saying you're not going to be in town or your disabled in order to get one).  Are we now going to tell all of those voters that they should worry about fraud?

    Let's keep in mind that one of (if not the) most contentious elections in recent history had charges of voter fraud going back and forth, and that was certainly not because of mail-in ballots.

    Which is to say: mail-in is just as susceptible to voter fraud as any other method, so who is to say that one would be more fair than the other?  If people want to game the system, they will find a way.

    Any Obama supporters who are worried about challenging signatures should take heart in the memory of Alice Palmer.  I'm sure Obama's still got those guys' phone numbers.


    Pre-pd. return. (none / 0) (#144)
    by oculus on Tue Mar 11, 2008 at 11:15:47 PM EST
    If they send ballots to those that (none / 0) (#17)
    by ivs814 on Tue Mar 11, 2008 at 08:09:39 PM EST
    did not vote and add those numbers to the results from last time, that will assure that all the voters are heard.  No one is left out and everyone gets to vote once.  They had of kept track of those that already voted so by doing it like that it will significantly reduce the number of ballots to be processed this next time.

    You are adding (none / 0) (#20)
    by flyerhawk on Tue Mar 11, 2008 at 08:12:11 PM EST
    a lot of complexity to the re-vote for very little gain.

    And really no way that Obama would accept that.


    What's complex about it? (none / 0) (#21)
    by ivs814 on Tue Mar 11, 2008 at 08:15:45 PM EST
    Why must those that already voted, vote again?  Hasn't it been your complaint that Obama supporters did not vote because they did not think it was going to count, well now they have their chance.  Their votes can be added to those that already voted.  

    Actually no (none / 0) (#24)
    by flyerhawk on Tue Mar 11, 2008 at 08:18:20 PM EST
    My complaint is that Florda violated the rules.  But that's water under the bridge now.

    You are confusing MI and FL.


    The voters (none / 0) (#97)
    by MichaelGale on Tue Mar 11, 2008 at 09:31:01 PM EST
    did not make the rules...no one asked them.  And they voted because they wanted to vote and they voted big for Clinton.

    Officially to the DNC (none / 0) (#39)
    by ruffian on Tue Mar 11, 2008 at 08:36:32 PM EST
    Nobody voted in January, according to the DNC.  The primary was illegal, and those votes don't count.  

    Wrong. (none / 0) (#88)
    by Cream City on Tue Mar 11, 2008 at 09:24:43 PM EST
    See the reply above, I think to you, where this was said before on this thread.

    The voters and the state did nothing illegal.

    The DNC does not make laws.


    Its like this (none / 0) (#95)
    by Marvin42 on Tue Mar 11, 2008 at 09:29:20 PM EST
    If you don't like the results, shut your eyes tight, close your ears, and keep saying "it doesn't count, it didn't happen, it doesn't count, it didn't happen..."



    what are the obstacles to this? (none / 0) (#23)
    by Kathy on Tue Mar 11, 2008 at 08:17:28 PM EST
    1.  The DNC saying no (not likely as Dean has publicly been on board for a revote for some time)

    2.  The Obama campaign says no.

    I Still... (5.00 / 1) (#28)
    by AmyinSC on Tue Mar 11, 2008 at 08:24:51 PM EST
    Have a hard time with the whole FL re-vote in the first place.  The vote itself was fair and square the first time around.  Clinton won, go to the committee set up to look at appeals for case just such as these, and move on.  A re-vote seems to be yet another way to improve things for Obama.  He had an advantage in FL with his ads, and still lost.  These votes should stand, and EDWARDS should decide what to do with his delegates.  To change how the primaries are run IN THE MIDDLE OF THE CAMPAIGN seems like gaming the system.  (Obama has already had his incredible advantage with the whole caucus thing, and people being intimidated/threatened.  To do a re-vote seems like more of the same...IMHO, that is.)

    I don't think that either (none / 0) (#25)
    by flyerhawk on Tue Mar 11, 2008 at 08:19:30 PM EST
    the DNC or Obama will object.  However I can see Obama creating static during the planning to try and make this too difficult to implement.

    It would be absolutely crazy (5.00 / 1) (#45)
    by sara seattle on Tue Mar 11, 2008 at 08:44:06 PM EST
    for Obama to deny the people of Florida to vote.

    It was NOT the voters in Florida that screwed this up to begin with - it was the Democratic party

    the voters deserve to have their votes count -- the party can be fined -- but I see no reason for the voters to be punished.

    and for Obama to be against Democratic voters -- that certainly would turn this WA voter against him -- and if Obama says no - what does he think will happen in the GE - would FLorida voters vote for him if he was the moninee -- I doubt it.

    Obama has not been able to close the deal -- Florida will slam the door shut in the face of Obama - if he refuses to let them vote


    He isn't going (none / 0) (#47)
    by flyerhawk on Tue Mar 11, 2008 at 08:47:58 PM EST
    to deny anything.  A mail-in revote is fraught with problems.  He will simply highlight those problems and make the re-vote as difficult as possible to implement.

    You keep saying the mail-in is fraught (5.00 / 2) (#52)
    by RalphB on Tue Mar 11, 2008 at 08:54:30 PM EST
    with problems but why and what are they?  Oregon always does vote by mail and it works well.

    yes - Washington is almost voting (5.00 / 1) (#67)
    by sara seattle on Tue Mar 11, 2008 at 09:06:32 PM EST
    entirely by mail too - and it is terrific -

    I have voted absentee for a long time - and if you are registered as a voter in your state - what is your problem with voting by mail??

    they receive the vote in the mail - they vote they sign - they mail it off -- the voter office checks the signature - the vote is counted.

    tell me what your problem is - other than you do not want voters to vote. (what is that called in Florida - Republican)


    No, that's the kind of mail in vote. . . (none / 0) (#121)
    by LarryInNYC on Tue Mar 11, 2008 at 10:04:15 PM EST
    in which Obama wins.  That kind isn't fraught with problems.  Florida is.  The problem is that Clinton will win.

    They set up a (none / 0) (#73)
    by flyerhawk on Tue Mar 11, 2008 at 09:11:57 PM EST
    system over several years with a lot of planning.

    This will be a slapped together solution at the last second.


    You say: (5.00 / 3) (#55)
    by Kathy on Tue Mar 11, 2008 at 08:57:13 PM EST
    He will simply highlight those problems and make the re-vote as difficult as possible to implement.

    How do you see that working for him?  I know I'm usually snarky and dismissive of you (boy, for good reason!) but honestly, how do you see that strategy playing out for Obama: Clinton on one side demanding the revote take place, demanding to know why Obama keeps throwing up obstacles to prevent the voters from being heard, and Obama on the other side trying to play it all cool-like, saying, "well, I worry about the possibilities of fraud."  

    Meanwhile, the media is interviewing Oregon voters, who talk about how great the system is, and discussing absentee ballots (half of CA's votes were absentee, many other states have tons of absentee voters) and maybe one of them along the way will discover that voter fraud is mostly due to clerical errors rather than criminal acts, and that unless the race is very close, this generally falls in the statistical margin of error.

    And then how will that look for Obama?


    Believe it or not (none / 0) (#76)
    by flyerhawk on Tue Mar 11, 2008 at 09:14:35 PM EST
    but the Obama campaign has a bunch of professionals that know what they are doing.

    They will point to technical flaws that will "disenfrahchise" voters.  He won't block anything.  He will simply point to the flaws.  


    You actually think Obama will try to (none / 0) (#79)
    by Florida Resident on Tue Mar 11, 2008 at 09:19:19 PM EST
    disenfranchise voters in Fl

    That phrase (none / 0) (#99)
    by flyerhawk on Tue Mar 11, 2008 at 09:32:06 PM EST
    is starting to sound eerily like "Why do you hate our country?"

    What can I say (none / 0) (#100)
    by flyerhawk on Tue Mar 11, 2008 at 09:32:47 PM EST
    He hates America.  Oh and freedom.  Not a fan of liberty either.

    I've heard (5.00 / 1) (#108)
    by Democratic Cat on Tue Mar 11, 2008 at 09:50:28 PM EST
    he drowns kitten too.

    Both (none / 0) (#31)
    by waldenpond on Tue Mar 11, 2008 at 08:27:28 PM EST
    I think both will stall.  Comments like... we have concerns.... we are working on a solution... we only want to do what's fair for all.... should keep bouncing around.

    Hedging (none / 0) (#38)
    by Kathy on Tue Mar 11, 2008 at 08:36:23 PM EST
    is not wholly unexpected on either side.  I think that only letting people who didn't vote before vote now is a non-starter.  Not good for Obama, but more importantly, not good for the appearance of fairness.  There needs to be two or three simple steps to getting this done that they can sell to the voters so folks think it's fair.  The more steps you add in, the more rules and restrictions, the more they are going to think there is something hinky going on.

    Why are people certain that Clinton isn't doing what Obama is doing, which is putting feet on the ground in FL and MI?  


    Think 2000, think about AFTER the vote (none / 0) (#92)
    by Cream City on Tue Mar 11, 2008 at 09:27:14 PM EST
    as that is when the obstacles will come.

    Challenges, challenges, challenges to ballots, to processes, etc.

    Think 1996, when it was before the vote -- but it was about challenges on technicalities.


    think back to after the after (none / 0) (#101)
    by Kathy on Tue Mar 11, 2008 at 09:34:33 PM EST
    an election fraught with problems, the public demanding that our voting method be fixed, that the possibility of future fraud and malfeasance be stopped in its tracks and then...here we are.

    Nobody wants to fix this problem.  The public is too apathetic and our elected officials benefit too much from the current system.

    Obama's charges that mail-in voting is too risky are going to be met by many people with a "hehn?"  26 states (by my count) allow unexplained absentee ballots.  Oregon votes entirely by mail.  Is Obama's plan to convince all of these people that the method by which they have been voting for years is a fraud?

    Amateur hour yet again from the campaign.  Right up there with "the dog ate my ballot." (Actually, more plausible for the average American because we know for a fact that dogs hate mailmen...)


    What are "unexplained absentee ballots" (none / 0) (#109)
    by Cream City on Tue Mar 11, 2008 at 09:52:34 PM EST
    (I do see the irony in asking for an explanation.)

    It's possible (none / 0) (#134)
    by waldenpond on Tue Mar 11, 2008 at 10:25:28 PM EST
    that... in some areas you must have a reason to vote absentee.  Here is CA we just admit we are lazy and don't want to hang out with our neighbors and the elections board says 'cool'.

    I think it (none / 0) (#140)
    by OldCoastie on Tue Mar 11, 2008 at 10:39:49 PM EST
    just means that you don't have to prove you will be out of town or too sick to attend a regular polling place.

    Ok, here's my compromise: throw (none / 0) (#115)
    by MarkL on Tue Mar 11, 2008 at 09:57:44 PM EST
    out all the caucus results, because they are too problematical. In return, I will accept the disenfranchisement of FL voters.

    Yep. My suggestion was similar (none / 0) (#127)
    by Cream City on Tue Mar 11, 2008 at 10:06:55 PM EST
    the other day:  Each side picks another state to toss out, to match tossing out MI and FL.

    I repeat my offer:  Toss out my state, Wisconsin.


    Actually, by populuation, tossing out IL (none / 0) (#131)
    by MarkL on Tue Mar 11, 2008 at 10:15:00 PM EST
    makes more sense, right?

    A better idea -- we Cheesheads have (none / 0) (#145)
    by Cream City on Wed Mar 12, 2008 at 12:26:29 AM EST
    not a lotta love for the Flatlanders.  Sure, toss 'em into our mutual Great Lake, whaddahey.

    Oh, wait, tourism season is coming up.  Ferget what I said.  Love them Flatlanders and their tourism dollars.  Wunnerful people.  So they can't drive snowmobiles except into ditches, so they can't even drive their SUV's pulling boats on our freeways with switching lanes every few minutes and never, ever signaling first, so they mock us at every wrong turn they take.

    So what?  Lotta moola coming north to moo country.  Nevermind. . . .


    I just worry b/c I (none / 0) (#34)
    by NJDem on Tue Mar 11, 2008 at 08:31:51 PM EST
    read that it took Oregon 4 years to figure out mail-in voting and they're a much smaller state.  However, if they've 'perfected' the system, then I guess it can be used as a model.  Can people pick them up somewhere, or they have to mailed to them--that's the part that worries me.

    I agree with this (none / 0) (#42)
    by flyerhawk on Tue Mar 11, 2008 at 08:40:59 PM EST
    I actually see everyone agreeing with this in principle but the plan falling apart on the details.  

    It sounds really simple on first blush but I don't think it is nearly that easy.  


    Here in Oregon (none / 0) (#81)
    by caseyOR on Tue Mar 11, 2008 at 09:20:03 PM EST
    ballots are mailed to registered voters.The date that ballots go out is highly publicized. So, everyone knows to expect a ballot. If you do not get one within a few days of the mailing you can either call your county election office and have another ballot sent, or you can stop by said election office and pick up a ballot. Signatures are checked when a ballot is returned, so it is pretty hard to vote more than once. If you don't get your ballot in the mail in time for it to arrive at the election office by 8PM on election day ( we have about 3 weeks to vote and return ballots) there are drop-off spots all over at places like libraries and election offices. Drop your ballot off on election day, once again by 8PM.

    It is a great system, and people love it.


    Oregon's been doing this in some fashion (none / 0) (#138)
    by tree on Tue Mar 11, 2008 at 10:36:40 PM EST
    for over 25 years. See a history here

    Since Oregon was the pioneer in this it may have taken awhile to work out the bugs, but the system is working fine now and I hear that Sen. Nelson is consulting with Oregon to get the details. At this point I think the biggest obstacle would be voter education, but I'm sure that hurdle can be overcome with some good public service announcements, and a hotline for questions. ANd I'm sure both candidates campaigns will make sure their voters know what to do.



    Me too! (none / 0) (#56)
    by ruffian on Tue Mar 11, 2008 at 08:57:17 PM EST
    Christmas in April!

    sorry, what did cnn lie about? (none / 0) (#54)
    by NJDem on Tue Mar 11, 2008 at 08:55:56 PM EST

    "find" comment 26 (none / 0) (#58)
    by Kathy on Tue Mar 11, 2008 at 08:58:36 PM EST
    which rolls are going to used? (none / 0) (#70)
    by Florida Resident on Tue Mar 11, 2008 at 09:10:03 PM EST

    Thanks Kathy :) (none / 0) (#80)
    by NJDem on Tue Mar 11, 2008 at 09:19:34 PM EST

    Didn't Obama ask for a revote back in January? (none / 0) (#87)
    by Dawn Davenport on Tue Mar 11, 2008 at 09:23:47 PM EST
    I could swear that Obama's team said that only a total revote and new campaigning in the state would be fair, back around the time of the FL primary.

    If I'm recalling this correctly, Wolfson and his team should jump on this and call out the Obama campaign's flip-flop on the issue.

    Oh Dear (none / 0) (#93)
    by tek on Tue Mar 11, 2008 at 09:27:30 PM EST
    I have a bad feeling about this.

    Please don't tell me the people of FL are (none / 0) (#107)
    by Angel on Tue Mar 11, 2008 at 09:46:58 PM EST
    going to be hoodwinked and bamboozled if they have to do a mail-in vote.  

    apparently, that's the plan (none / 0) (#111)
    by Kathy on Tue Mar 11, 2008 at 09:53:55 PM EST
    I've read three stories now where Obama surrogates have said that they advocate splitting all delegates from all states 50/50.

    I'm not making that up.  How splitting them down the middle is not the same as not letting their votes count at all is beyond me.  This is the sort of response a kid would give when negotiating with his mom over what time he has to go to bed.

    Oh, wait...


    I'm really afraid this is going to turn into 2000 (none / 0) (#114)
    by Angel on Tue Mar 11, 2008 at 09:56:53 PM EST
    all over again.  I already sense that some people are trying to look for ways to declare the votes as unfair, disenfranchising, etc.  

    In South Florida (none / 0) (#137)
    by MichaelGale on Tue Mar 11, 2008 at 10:29:47 PM EST
    the blogs and opinion responses are simply "No".
    They do not want to pay for it, they see no reason to revote and they blame Howard Dean and the DNC.

    It may be one big mess.  Be careful of your expectations about this.


    Can't leave out hornswaggled and flummoxed :-) (none / 0) (#135)
    by RalphB on Tue Mar 11, 2008 at 10:25:31 PM EST
    Odd, isn't it? (none / 0) (#124)
    by OrangeFur on Tue Mar 11, 2008 at 10:04:49 PM EST
    In John Lewis' book, he talks about how when the black children of Birmingham marched for their rights, the white establishment wrung their hands at how awfully the movement leaders were exploiting the children. To which Lewis and others responded: "Oh, now you start worrying about the welfare of black children?"

    After over a month of spitting on Michigan and Florida voters and trying to deny them any representation at the convention, suddenly Obama's camp is concerned that the new vote might not be perfect. So now they're worried about the rights of Florida and Michigan voters? Tell me another one.

    [No, I am not comparing Obama to segregationists. Just noting that he's busy expressing concern about people he really couldn't care less about.]

    Not odd at all. Par for the course if you ask me. (none / 0) (#128)
    by Angel on Tue Mar 11, 2008 at 10:07:37 PM EST
    I think this is a big mistake (none / 0) (#130)
    by MichaelGale on Tue Mar 11, 2008 at 10:11:15 PM EST
    The party had to do little to get out the vote in January...people were motivated.

    I am betting that it will not be like that in April with not enough time to even get the word out or to work for the candidate. If you have already voted, it is questionable if you will do it again. Plus, Fl had an amendment for increase in Homestead Exemption ....from 25 thousand to 50 thousand and people certainly turned out for that and voted presidential primary too.

    I don't think they will get the turnout nor will the revote get enough publicity.

    My question is:  if the revote elects Obama, will the Clinton vote invalid? If so, isn't that an issue?

    Personally, I want the people to sue the DNC and get their vote, which was valid, to count.

    I know we are supposed to be talking about (none / 0) (#133)
    by Angel on Tue Mar 11, 2008 at 10:18:39 PM EST
    the FL mail in revote plan but I wanted to make this comment (although I will probably catch flak for it).  What I'm asking for is honesty.  What do you think is the RIGHT thing to do regarding FL?  They had an election, had a huge turnout, all the candidates were on the ballot, none of them campaigned in the state (except for the tv ads which we all know about); so the playing field was level for all.  Why shouldn't those results count?  Isn't that the right thing to do for the voters?  And please don't talk about the rules because the rules have not been followed consistently throughout this election process.  What do you say?

    Honestly, the votes should count as is. (none / 0) (#136)
    by RalphB on Tue Mar 11, 2008 at 10:26:52 PM EST