Friday, February 12, 2016

Petition to Democratic superdelegates

Here's Robert Reich on the issue and the petition:

The massive victory by Bernie Sanders in New Hampshire was a pivotal moment in the race for the Democratic nomination. Taken with the close results in Iowa, one thing is increasingly clear: This is going to be a long primary season, and every single delegate is going to be important.

Which is why many Sanders supporters were shocked to see what the news media had to say about the delegate count on Wednesday morning. Even though Bernie won New Hampshire by an absolute landslide, the press claimed that he and Hillary Clinton were leaving the state with an equal number of delegates -- because most of the state's superdelegates are promising to vote for Hillary at the convention.

Here's how it works. In addition to the thousands of pledged delegates, who are allotted to each campaign based on primary and caucus results, there are 712 superdelegates -- made up of Democratic elected officials and party insiders -- who get to vote on who the party's nominee should be at the convention.

If the race is close, superdelegates could determine who the nominee will be regardless of who the majority of voters supported. Pretty undemocratic, isn't it?

I think the race for who the Democratic nominee will be should be decided by the voters, not by a handful of party elites. If you agree, please sign my petition with Democracy for America calling on all Democratic superdelegates to pledge right now that they will support the candidate who wins the popular vote.

This isn't the first time that Democrats have raised concerns over the superdelegate system.
In 2008, when the race between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton was at its closest, some people thought that superdelegates would be able change the results of the nomination process. My friends at Democracy for America took action then as well. In 2008, more than 60,000 DFA members signed and delivered a petition to Democratic Party leadership asking superdelegates not to overturn the will of the voters. And that year, they didn't. Most superdelegates either changed their support or waited to choose a side until after Obama won the majority of delegates pledged through the primary process.

Unfortunately, the party failed to reform this unfair and undemocratic part of the nomination process in the years since President Obama was elected. Now, we're facing another potential crisis in the party. If supporters of either candidate walk away from this process feeling cheated because party insiders nullified their votes, it will be impossible to put together a winning coalition in November.

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