Sunday, March 09, 2008

Republican Delegates Affected by Florida Primary Election Date Move


Not sure that either side thought through the end game thoroughly, but e.g. in Florida, was the decision in the hands of the Dem party? The GOP wanted the earlier date; could the Dems have opted for a second primary later?

More discussion here

Mail-In Votes in Florida?

BBV Forum comment: the GOP wanted the earlier date;

That idea is being spinned politically, and it's unfortunate.

What's forgotten is Republican delegates were also affected by the Florida measure.

Many forget at the time, moving the date up affected both parties and the Rep. delegates were cut in half as a result.

According to PBS Online New Hour report

Posted: January 29, 2008, 2:45 PM ET
Florida to Test Frontloaded Primary Calendar

Despite being punished by the national parties for moving their balloting to January, Florida's winner-take-all primary promises to be the biggest prize for Republican candidates among the early voting states -- with 57 delegates up for grabs...

...Although the move has increased the state's visibility in a crowded election calendar, the fate of the Florida Republican and Democratic delegations to the national conventions remain in doubt. Where Florida's 114 delegates to the Republican convention once made it the fourth-largest voting bloc in the nation, the Republican National Committee punished Florida alongside Michigan, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Wyoming for holding primaries before Feb. 5, the earliest primary date allowed under party rules. The number of Florida's delegates to the national convention has been halved to 57.

Though Democrats Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, John Edwards and Mike Gravel will appear on the Jan. 29 Florida ballot, the Democratic National Committee has taken even more stringent measures by depriving both Florida and Michigan of all of their delegates to the party's August convention in Denver.

The Florida wings of both parties have expressed hope that each party's nominee will intercede and allow all Florida delegates to be counted at the national convention.

"We feel very confident we'll send a full delegation to the convention," said Florida Democratic Party Communications Director Mark Bubriski.

Regardless of whether this holds true, electoral analysts see the frontloading of the nominating calendar by states such as Florida as a phenomenon with national ramifications.

The legislature's House voted unanimously on the legislation.

The plan, part of a bill that moves the state’s presidential primary to Jan. 29, was announced by Governor Crist in February. The Florida Senate voted for it last week, and the House of Representatives approved it unanimously on Thursday.

That legislation applied to a change in voting systems and moving the Primary date up.

The local Dem. Party didn't object to the date switch until after the National Dem. Party sanctions appeared set in stone.

However, the state Dem. legislators were well aware of the potential for sanctions earlier than the date on which the legislation passed unanimously and was signed into law May 2007.

Not only were Democratic officials aware of the sanctions, the officials were steadfast in participating on the earlier date, even though they could have submitted an alternative plan back in August, 2007 which surprisingly, could have included all-mail-in balloting.

August 22, 2007, 5:27 pm
Fla. Dems Stand Firm on Primary Date
By Jeff Zeleny
The Florida Democratic Party has no plans, at least for now, of blinking in the showdown over the date of its presidential primary next year.
Karen Thurman, chairwoman of the Florida Democratic Party, said in a late afternoon conference call with reporters today that she intends to go ahead with the state’s primary on Jan. 29. Even if the Democratic National Committee follows through with its threat to take away Florida delegates, she says she believes the nominee of the party will intercede and allow the delegates to be counted at the party’s nominating convention in Denver.
Florida, she says, is too important of a state in the general election.
“We’re going to fight for all of our delegates,” Ms. Thurman said. “The disenfranchisement is on their hands.”

In this case, “their” is the Rules and Bylaws Committee of the D.N.C. They have asked the Florida Democratic Party to come up with an alternate primary date - or a Plan B - to choose delegates. The Florida Democrats argued that the state’s Republican-controlled Legislature and governor changed the primary date and they had little control.
At issue is the so-called window for states to hold their nominating contests. If Florida goes ahead with its date of Jan. 29, the state is in violation of D.N.C. rules. Choosing an alternative date such as a vote-by-mail on another day, she said, would cost $5 to $8 million.
So the next stage of the showdown comes Saturday when the Florida Democratic Party presents its plan to the D.N.C. at a meeting in Washington.

Florida Acts to Eliminate Touch-Screen Voting System
Published: May 4, 2007
May 3 — Florida legislators voted on Thursday to replace touch-screen voting machines installed in 15 counties after the troubled 2000 presidential election here with a system of optical scan voting.

...The move is the nation’s biggest repudiation of touch-screen voting, which was embraced after the 2000 recount as a way to restore confidence that every vote would count. But the reliability of touch-screen machines has increasingly come under scrutiny, as has the difficulty of doing recounts without a paper trail.

...The plan, part of a bill that moves the state’s presidential primary to Jan. 29, was announced by Governor Crist in February. The Florida Senate voted for it last week, and the House of Representatives approved it unanimously on Thursday.

Florida Legislature OKs Plan to Move Up Presidential Primary to January
AP Thursday, May 03, 2007

...National Republican and Democratic leaders have said they will take away delegates to the nominating conventions if Florida moved its primary earlier than Feb. 5. The Democratic National Committee has said a candidate who campaigns in Florida for a primary earlier than Feb. 5 will be ineligible for receiving any of the state's delegates.

Lisa Camooso Miller, a Republican National Committee spokeswoman, said that under RNC rules any state that chooses to hold their primary outside the recommended window will be penalized half their delegates.

South Carolina Democratic Party Chairwoman Carol Fowler, a former DNC Rules Committee co-chair, said she has no doubts that the DNC will enforce rules that will deprive candidates and the state of delegates to the national convention for holding a primary outside of the party's rules.

"Under Democratic Party rules, this is an illegal process. They will have to have their own legal process later," she said. "This is not much more than a straw poll."

Florida lawmakers have repeatedly said they will not cower in the face of sanctions from the national parties because they believe choosing the next president is more important than sending delegates to a convention with a preordained outcome.,2933,269898,00.html

Florida Embraces Paper Ballots, Changes Presidential Primary Date
Posted on Friday, 4 of May , 2007 at 11:48 am
TALLAHASSEE, FLA—In a 118-0 vote in the Florida House of Representatives, a bill was passed requiring all Florida counties to have paper ballot voting technology in place before the 2008 Florida primaries and general election. The House vote comes shortly after the Florida Senate approved a similar measure...

...“This is an outstanding bipartisan achievement by Governor Crist and the Florida Legislature,” said U.S. Representative Robert Wexler. “The citizens of Florida have long demanded an election system guaranteeing that every vote is counted. Today the Governor delivered a paper trail, and Florida now stands as a model for the nation.”

South Carolina Democratic Party Chairwoman Carol Fowler, a former DNC Rules Committee co-chair: "This is not much more than a straw poll.",2933,269898,00.html

Green Papers with links provided

In August 2007, the Democratic National Committee voted to strip the Florida Democratic Party of its 210 national convention delegates because the Florida Democratic Delegate Selection Plan violates party rules. These rules state that only Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada, and South Carolina can start their delegate selection process before 5 February 2008 but Florida has scheduled their primary for 29 January 2008. The DNC gave the Florida Democrats until 29 September 2007 to come up with an alternate delegate-selection plan that complies with party rules.

On 23 September 2007 the Florida Democrats responded:
"After months of careful deliberations, your Party's leaders have chosen overwhelmingly to reaffirm our strong commitment to fully participating in the state-run Democratic Presidential Primary on January 29, 2008, despite the penalties from the Democratic National Committee. ....
Congresswoman Karen L. Thurman
Chairwoman, Florida Democratic Party"
On 30 August 2007, Victor DiMaio filed a lawsuit in the United States District Court (Middle District of Florida) against the Democratic National Committee and the Florida Democratic Party (Case No. 07CV1552). The suit is in regard to sanctions applied by the DNC to the Florida 2008 National Convention Delegation. The Florida Democrats are beginning their delegate selection process before 5 February 2008 in violation of DNC rules. The DNC has indicated that unless Florida changes their process, they will forfeit their entire delegation.

On Saturday 25 August 2007, the Democratic National Committee Rules and Bylaws Committee determined that the Florida 2008 National Convention Delegate Selection process, which begins with a 29 January 2008 primary, violates party rules. The DNC RBL voted to strip the Florida Democratic Party of all its 210 delegates to the 2008 Democratic National Convention unless a new plan is adopted within the next 30 days. DNC rules forbid states from beginning their 2008 Delegate Selection Process before 5 February 2008, except for Iowa (14 January), Nevada (19 January), New Hampshire (22 January), and South Carolina (29 January).

15 September 2007 media report: State Democrats backing down on primary. "Florida Democrats, unable to work out a compromise to avoid harsh sanctions imposed by the Democratic National Committee, appear ready to give in and declare the Jan. 29 presidential primary meaningless."

CS/HB 537, signed by Florida Governor Governor Charlie Crist (Republican) on 21 May 2007, moves the Florida 2008 Presidential Primary from the second Tuesday in March (11 March 2008) to the last Tuesday in January (Tuesday 29 January 2008). Both the DNC and RNC have indicated that Florida will be sanctioned should they hold their primary before 5 February 2008.

On 5 August 2008, (must be a misprint - means 2007) the Florida Democratic Party's Executive Committee requested that the Florida legislature move the state’s Presidential Primary from 29 January to 5 February 2008.

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