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Debate: Michigan and Florida delegates in 2008 US elections

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|WRITE CONTENT FOR THE "NO" BOX ABOVE THIS CODE colspan="2" width="45%" bgcolor="#F2F2F2" style="border:1px solid #BAC5FD;padding:.4em;padding-top: 0.5em ;"| |WRITE CONTENT FOR THE "NO" BOX ABOVE THIS CODE colspan="2" width="45%" bgcolor="#F2F2F2" style="border:1px solid #BAC5FD;padding:.4em;padding-top: 0.5em ;"|
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-*[http://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/politics/orl-newprimary1008mar10,0,5235091.story Tamara Lytle, Washington Bureau Chief. "Mail-in ballot gathers steam for Florida Democratic primary re-do". Orlando Sentinel. March 10, 2008] +*[http://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/politics/orl-newprimary1008mar10,0,5235091.story "Mail-in ballot gathers steam for Florida Democratic primary re-do". Orlando Sentinel. March 10, 2008]
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Revision as of 14:46, 17 March 2008

Should delegates from Florida and Michigan be included in the 2008 US elections?

Contents

Background and Context of Debate:

Rules: Do the rules allow for seating delegates after they've been stripped?

Yes

'Michigan and Florida both decided to violate the rules. They were told, 'If you violate the rules, this will be the penalty.' They violated the rules anyway. And so, now, here we are trying to change the rules after the game,"'he said.
But the rules, according to the DNC, gives the states stripped of their delegates the ability to try other options.
The first course of action is for the state parties to appeal to the Convention Credentials Committee, a group that resolves any issues that pop up."


No

  • Florida and Michigan knowingly broke the rules and deserved to be stripped of delegates. They violated the rules. They should pay the consequence.



Democracy: Is seating the delegates necessary in preserving democracy?

Yes

No

  • The Democratic party has the democratic right to enforce its primary rules. The Democratic party, with the right to free association, has the right to establish rules and to enforce those rules. If Michigan and Florida break those rules, the DNC has the right to punish them. If that right to set and enforce its own rules is limited, then the DNC's free right to association is infringed upon, which harms the democratic principle of the rule of law.
  • Another re-count in Florida in 2008 will re-kindle old American wounds. Florida played a pivotal role in the 2000 Presidential elections, with its courts deciding on the critical issue of whether a recount would be conducted. It was widely seen in America as having a disproportionately large and undue impact on the outcome of the elections. This has caused resentment, and the notion of Florida having another re-count in the 2008 presidential elections re-kindles these resentments.


Original vote: Should Michigan and Florida's Jan. 29th vote be used to allot delegates?

Yes

  • The Jan. 29th Michigan and Florida primaries represent the public will. There was substantial turn-out to the Jan. 29th Michigan and Florida primaries. While the Democratic candidates did not fully campaign in the two states, it would appear that they nevertheless felt that it was important for them to express their political will by turning out to vote. Their will was sufficiently expressed, with sufficient numbers and representation, to warrant using the results of the election to allot delegates.
  • If allotting Michigan and Florida delegates is desired, using Jan. 29th, 2008 vote is superior to a re-vote. If it is deemed important that Michigan and Florida voters have a democratic voice in the 2008 presidential elections, that their votes be counted, and that delegates be accordingly alloted, using the results of the January 29th vote seems a superior option to doing a re-vote. The reason for this are a combination of practicality and of process.


No

Mail-in re-vote: Does a mail-in re-vote concept make sense?

Yes

  • Raising money for a 2008 mail-in re-vote in Florida would not be difficult A re-vote would cost roughly $6 million. Howard Dean had DNC lawyers look at the idea, and they felt that a mail-in primary could be run and paid for by the party without breaking any laws. The Florida Democratic Party, under state law, could accept unlimited donations from people, campaigns, unions or companies to pay for it.
  • Argument: A 2008 mail-in re-vote in Michigan and Florida would be democratically inclusive. A mail-in ballot is democratically inclusive because every Florida and Michigan voter will receive a ballot in the mail, including those voters whom are abroad or in different states in America. This means that it is a very inclusive process, and is sure to be more representative than the first, meaningless elections that took place in these two states. The results are much more likely to be accurate and their is a much lower chance of vote-count problems. The will of the people would be very clearly expressed and then represented in the allotment of delegates. This would be good for Florida and Michigan voters' sense of their voices being heard, as well as for the strength of the Democratic process in general.
  • Howard Dean, DNC Chairman, said on a re-vote. "It's comprehensive. You get to vote if you're in Iraq or in a nursing home. It's not a bad way to do this."[1]
  • Florida Sen. Bill Nelson (D). "Florida Deserves a Revote". March 10, 2008 - "With so much at stake, and the race so close, it's apparent to me that a new election in Florida is a fair way to provide both candidates with another chance to win needed delegates in a state that is certain to be pivotal in November. And there is a practical and affordable way to conduct another election that would be fair to all involved, and should gain the support of state officials. It is this: Hold a revote via a mail-in ballot, and underwrite its cost with Democratic Party funds. I've already discussed the idea with Republican Gov. Charlie Crist and he is supportive."
  • Argument: A Florida and Michigan re-vote could help decide the Democratic nomination It is important that the Democratic nomination be decided in a timely fashion. This is good for the Democratic party, avoids bloody politics, and can enable the country and candidates to "rest" before the general election. A Michigan and Florida re-vote offers a final opportunity for one candidate to win decisively, secure the nomination, and end the Democratic primary election.



No

  • A mail-in re-vote in Mich and Flor risks encountering balloting issues Michigan Sen. Carl Levin (D) - "it would be very difficult to hold another vote in Michigan and that even a mail-in contest would have problems: 'Not just cost, but the security issue. How do you make sure that hundreds of thousands, perhaps a million or more ballots can be properly counted and that duplicate ballots can be avoided?'"
  • The 2008 elections are not a time for Florida to try a mail-in ballot Florida has never before held a mail-in ballot. Now is not the time for it to try to build this system and experiment with it. The importance of the 2008 presidential elections, and any outcome from a Florida vote, makes it inappropriate to experiment with an untested mail-in ballot.
  • A mail-in ballot funded by private interests risks conflicts of interest. Given the costs of a proposed mail-in ballot system, some propose that it be paid for, in part, by private interests. This may, indeed, be necessary for such a system to achieve funding viability. The problem with this kind of arrangement, however, is that private interests could be seen as having a conflict of interest in funding such a system, in which their favor for one candidate or another leads them to condition their funding on some under-the-table deal with an election official or monitor, who subsequently rigs or corrupts the process to give favor to that private interest. Even if measures are taken to ensure that such corruption does not occur, it is still a problem that the election be perceived by the public as being corrupted by private interests. Particularly in the context of concerns regarding the conduct of the 2000-election court decisions in Florida, any added concerns regarding the legitimacy of the process in Florida risk damaging national confidence in the results and in the national democratic process in general.
  • Argument: A mail-in ballot risks disenfranchising poor, more transient voters A mail-in system depends on ballots being received by voters. One of the problems, however, is that poor voters are frequently transient or without permanent or up-to-date addresses. This means that poor voters are uniquely disadvantaged and disenfranchised by a mail-in ballot system. A walk-in caucus or primary, conversely, does not depend on voters having permanent addresses, and is subsequently more accessible to poor voters.


Pro/con resources

Yes

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No

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External links:


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