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.While I formally oppose making Florida and Michigan revote rather than simply seating them as-is given that the initial ruling against them had more to do with penalizing two strong HRC states than developing a realistic plan to prevent a mad rush to the head of the primary line, the political scientist in me is fascinated to see what will happen. There will be a lot of confusion, of course, which will be used by both campaigns to make political hay, but the prominence of the mail-in should go a long way to encouraging more states to use this very democratic and paper-trail-producing voting method.
Fla. Dems settle on new plan for vote-by-mail primary
All voting procedures can be gamed, of course. There is no method of voting that does not permit very determined cheats from gaming the system. However, mail-in ballots are very good ways to increase participation without significantly raising the cost of elections. And, I can't emphasize this enough, it provides a paper trail. You can't have only mail-in voting. There must be provisions for "day of" voting, giving people a location for dropping off unmailed ballots, encouraging some kinds of same-day registration and provisional voting (as it is called in California), and other ways to accommodate the procrastinators and the clueless. Oregon has had enormous success with their mail-in system.
In terms of the Florida contest, this forces Obama’s hand. The only reason for him to oppose this revote (and it’s a big reason) is that he will lose and probably by a larger margin than he lost the first time around, given the crap his campaign and surrogates have been throwing at Florida. They wanted a caucus where they could control access and intimidate voters and they won’t get it. They can’t suppress turnout with mail-in, and using an independent party to count the votes cuts down on the post-vote shenanigans like stealing tally sheets and misreporting numbers. They can’t get the “Democrat for a Day” people because you have to already be a registered voter.
My mother-in-law will be able to vote. She’s just had major knee surgery in the last week and it would have been very hard for her to physically get out and go to the polls. Now she can fill in her ballot from her easy chair and have her sister take it to the mailbox.
This is a win-win-win for Hillary. She won the state when no one thought it would matter and after Obama had just come off a huge win in South Carolina. She has championed the right of Florida to be hard even before she won the state and when polls were not going her way. Florida, like Ohio, is a must-win state for the Dems in November, and she is coming in as the person who fought for Florida’s voice to be heard.
If Florida does the mail-in, I suspect Michigan will follow suit, and it will be another good situation for Hillary. Again, it enfranchises her supporters, who have the greatest difficulty getting to the polls, and it counter-acts impulse and cross-over voting. While I think she will extend her margins in Florida, I think she will maintain and perhaps slightly increase her margins in Michigan. Then there is Pennsylvania and Puerto Rico, both of which favor her, plus Kentucky.
I’m going to hammer away at nomination strategy and not listen to the whining of the A-List Blogger Boyz. Neither Hillary nor Barry can get 2025 delegates prior to the convention unless there is a massive defection of super delegates. That is unlikely. The decision will be made by super delegates and the pledged delegates who are not in either camp as of yet. This means making some tough choices about who will be best for the party in the November election.
Most important, regardless of who the candidates are, the Democratic convention cannot be held without Florida and Michigan’s full participation. I’m not even talking Hillary’s advantage here, though I admit that makes it easier to argue. To exclude these two states is to guarantee a Democratic loss. This simple fact does not seem to be getting through the skulls of the people who keep insisting on “Teh Rulz”. People like Kevin Drum, who plaintively call on Hillary to gracefully concede when she is absolutely even and probably has a small edge, are aware of this. If only she would concede, the thinking goes, then Obama could graciously allow Florida and Michigan to be seated and we’d avoid the November debacle. That is at the root of the frantic demands that she bow out when no male candidate would be badgered in such a way. That is the only way to avoid having to fight about whether the Democrats will disenfranchise a substantial portion of their constituents in order to allow Obama to win.
Well, the DNC created the situation and Hillary is not their mother. They can clean up after themselves by either seating the delegations or else helping fundraise to pay for the mail-in revotes. Hillary is already raising money. I suspect the state voters will look appreciatively on a candidate who helps them get their voices heard.
There is also the problem that Obama’s coattails do not appear to be very long. His voters are much more likely to show up only to vote for him and then ignore the down ticket races. This is the exact opposite of his supporters’ talking points, which is that he would bring out voters who would support the party ballot. Surprise, surprise, it is the dedicated Democrats supporting a solidly Democratic candidate who can be relied on to vote for the Congress critters, state politicians, and ballot measures. Just what advantage does the party gain if they lose strength in the Congress and State legislatures, or fail to turn back racist measures like those that will be proposed in Missouri and Colorado?
Frankly, after Gore and Kerry so gracefully conceding their presidential races to C+ Augustus, I really like having a candidate who will not be backed down by a bunch of people getting in her face and screaming that she’s not playing nice. Hillary Clinton is firmly dedicated to Democratic policies and principles, completely supports the party, and will fight with the tenacity of a pit-bull bitch defending her puppies when confronted by Republican threats and dirty tricks.
Our passage has been paid for.