Sunday, March 09, 2008

Question About Michigan/Florida Re-Votes

The question of Florida and Michigan revoting the Democratic Primary heating up and the battle will intensify in the next couple of weeks leading up to Pennsylvania and later North Carolina (the final two big states in the Democratic primary calendar). As usually, both sides are jockeying for position:
Clinton wants the January elections, which she won, to count toward her delegate count. Alternatively, she wants new primaries in one or both states. Obama's camp wants the delegates apportioned, either 50-50 or by another standard, but hasn't ruled out favoring a new vote.

Dean expressed support for a new primary -- possibly conducted through the mail -- at least for Florida.

"It's comprehensive. You get to vote if you're in Iraq or in a nursing home," Dean said on CBS's "Face the Nation." "It's not a bad way to do this."

He said, however, that the Democratic National Committee would not pay for a second vote and that it's unlikely the Republican-led government in Florida would pay for it either.

"The Democratic National Committee is not going to pay for it because, right now, our job is to tell the American people about Senator McCain's record on Iraq and the deficits and so forth," he said, referring to presumptive Republican nominee Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.).

Dean said any decision probably has to come by June 10.

Florida Gov. Charlie Crist (R), a McCain supporter, said he saw no need for a do-over, since his state's residents had already voted.
The question of paying for the new primaries is an interesting one. Who should pay for them? The DNC shouldn't (I can't believe I agree with the DNC on any question) since the State Democratic party acceeded to the state moving the primary. The state shouldn't have to pay for another primary. The answer--either make the state party pay for the effort or leave the vote as it stands (Obama was on the ballot).

Michigan is a little different. Here Obama is right--a 50-50 split is the only viable option since it looks as though Michigan law will not permit another election. Since Clinton was the only candidate on the ballot (all the other candidates withdrew their name at the request of the DNC, she should not benefit from her flaunting of the rules. Thus a 50-50 split is the only rational course.

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