A new, smaller role proposed for superdelegates

Democrats charged with deciding the fate of "superdelegates," the automatic unpledged delegates criticized for their ...

Posted: Jun 9, 2018 5:38 PM
Updated: Jun 9, 2018 5:38 PM

Democrats charged with deciding the fate of "superdelegates," the automatic unpledged delegates criticized for their outsized influence on the party's primary process, are closer to a final agreement on reducing their role in electing Democratic presidential nominees.

During an impassioned meeting of the Rules and Bylaws Committee of the Democratic National Committee on Friday, members argued over multiple proposals considering how, or if, superdelegates should fit into the primary process.

After more than three hours of debate, most committee members seemed satisfied with a "third way plus" plan that would only let superdelegates vote on the first ballot for president if the outcome is already predetermined by the pledged delegates.

The proposal is based on the "third way" option introduced by committee member and American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten. Supported by Democratic National Committee Chair Tom Perez, it originally would have only given superdelegates voting rights if there was no nominee after the first ballot, something which hasn't occurred since 1924.

"It's a paradigm shift to say that the unpledged delegates on that first ballot are in a different position, that the will of the nominee is going to be chosen, if chosen on the first ballot, by what the primary and caucus process produced," Weingarten told CNN.

The "plus" part, an idea floated by Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party Chair Ken Martin, included finding a way for superdelegates to vote on the first ballot so long as they don't change the outcome of the pledged delegate vote. The details are still to be finalized.

Under both plans, superdelegates would still retain regular convention responsibilities and rights, such as serving on standing committees and participating in other floor votes.

Martin suggested the idea while members representing different minorities argued passionately that taking away the superdelegates vote on the first ballot was undemocratic.

"As a black woman I will never vote to disenfranchise any member," former interim DNC Chairwoman Donna Brazile said.

Artie Blanco from Nevada recounted her father's work on behalf of labor that inspired her own work in the party. The personal plea to preserve superdelegates' right to vote drew a standing ovation from members, including Weingarten who originally planned to leave them out of the first ballot vote all together.

Not all members were satisfied with this proposed compromise.

Former DNC Chairman Don Fowler, a current committee member who was with the DNC when superdelegates were introduced in 1982, said he found "logical flaws" in the outline.

"Obviously there's some confusion about the mathematics, so we'll wait and see how that turns out," he told CNN. "We don't want to render any final conclusions about it until we take the vote and see how it turns out."

The proposed changes come in response to intense criticism superdelegates received in 2016. Supporters of Sen. Bernie Sanders charged that Hillary Clinton's early superdelegate support bolstered her position during the primaries, in which she beat the Vermont senator for the Democratic nomination.

There were 712 superdelegates allotted in 2016, making up about 15% of the entire delegate selection. They included Democratic members of Congress, governors and party leaders.

Though Clinton earned enough pledged delegates through the primary process to win the nomination outright, Sanders' backers believe the sway these leaders had influenced voters to support the former secretary of state.

The contentious primary battle led to the formation of the "Unity Reform Commission" by the DNC to recommend ways to reform the nomination process.

Their report included reducing superdelegates by about 60%, which didn't go far enough for many Sanders supporters.

Committee members also voted on language aimed at Sanders' role in 2016. New proposed language requires presidential candidates to affirm in writing that they are members of the Democratic Party when they announce their candidacy, a proposal aimed squarely at Sanders, who has spent decades in Congress officially as an independent who caucused with Democrats.

The final recommendation of the committee is due June 30 in order to submit it to the full DNC for their August meeting in Chicago.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 253932

Reported Deaths: 5524
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto17120175
Hinds16207322
Harrison13353193
Rankin10689211
Jackson10303183
Lee8796141
Madison8232162
Jones6288110
Forrest5949119
Lauderdale5847180
Lowndes5355116
Lafayette494292
Lamar484165
Washington4777123
Bolivar3966108
Oktibbeha392480
Panola368378
Pontotoc362853
Monroe3533105
Warren348498
Union343060
Marshall341665
Neshoba3370152
Pearl River327899
Leflore3002105
Lincoln297085
Sunflower282669
Tate270862
Hancock266559
Alcorn263253
Itawamba262459
Pike262077
Scott246245
Prentiss245052
Yazoo244355
Copiah240849
Tippah240450
Simpson234867
Leake230564
Coahoma230054
Grenada217770
Covington211371
Marion210672
Adams204670
Winston200164
Wayne199630
George199038
Attala193559
Newton191342
Tishomingo184459
Chickasaw183644
Jasper169735
Holmes168567
Clay159033
Stone142320
Tallahatchie140134
Clarke138660
Calhoun135721
Smith120123
Yalobusha116534
Walthall111836
Noxubee110322
Greene109729
Montgomery109434
Carroll104221
Lawrence102417
Perry101631
Amite97725
Webster92224
Tunica86321
Claiborne86125
Jefferson Davis84125
Humphreys82924
Benton81523
Kemper77120
Quitman6888
Franklin66415
Choctaw60313
Wilkinson58325
Jefferson53819
Sharkey42717
Issaquena1596
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 422598

Reported Deaths: 6120
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson62039921
Mobile30225548
Madison27052186
Tuscaloosa20728267
Montgomery18978305
Shelby18504114
Baldwin16251182
Lee12465101
Morgan12233113
Etowah11735168
Calhoun11122200
Marshall10191107
Houston8598148
Cullman8023105
Limestone800274
Elmore7836101
DeKalb768397
Lauderdale754683
St. Clair7535120
Talladega6166108
Walker5897174
Jackson580341
Colbert532073
Blount530483
Autauga518455
Coffee441056
Dale396181
Franklin366248
Chilton336165
Russell330310
Covington327268
Escambia316842
Dallas303196
Chambers282769
Clarke281433
Tallapoosa2616107
Pike248729
Marion245650
Lawrence243647
Winston226635
Bibb215147
Geneva201435
Marengo199029
Pickens196531
Hale175842
Barbour172936
Butler169658
Fayette168226
Cherokee160330
Henry153621
Monroe145217
Randolph139835
Washington137626
Clay126145
Crenshaw118744
Lamar118019
Cleburne117423
Macon114735
Lowndes110335
Wilcox103121
Bullock99028
Perry97419
Conecuh94420
Sumter89026
Greene76023
Coosa60515
Choctaw51224
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