Revoting in two crucial states

With Illinois Senator Barack Obama leading New York Senator Hillary Clinton by almost 130 delegates, political analysts are saying the nomination race is too close to call. The small lead that Obama has over Clinton only adds to the fear of there being no clear winner to represent the Democratic Party as its presidential candidate by the time the party convention begins in August. The close count is one reason the Democratic National Committee should come up with a way for the votes of the states of Michigan and Florida to count.

Both states were informed by the DNC that delegates would not be seated when they decided to move their primary date earlier in the year, in order to make their votes have more relevance in the race. By trying to move their primaries ahead of other states, the Democratic parties of Michigan and Florida violated deals made with the DNC which bound them to their original dates.

Although the primary results from both states were discounted, they account for 366 delegates between them. Although the Michigan and Florida Democratic parties violated their agreements, the DNC should nevertheless allow both states to vote again.

To conduct a statewide national primary in each state again would be costly and perhaps too late. For example, it will cost Florida $20 million to hold a primary there again. Taxpayers there paid $18 million for the discounted one. To make them pay again for these primaries would be completely unfair.

Another reason why holding a new statewide primary there is not feasible is that a primary, according to DNC rules, can only be held as early as 90 days after the approval from the state’s governor and legislature. The DNC has stated that all primaries should be held before June 10. Therefore, new statewide primaries are now unlikely since June 10 is 92 days away as of March 12.

So, if Michigan and Florida can’t hold new statewide primaries before the deadline and their delegates are crucial, what should be the solution then? The answer: mail-in ballots.

Instead of a primary, people could just send in their votes by mail – a system used in the Oregon primary. Mail-in ballots would be sent to all the registered Democratic voters in Florida and Michigan and allow them to check off on their ballots who they want to vote for. This will make it easier for the voters, since they would not have to leave their homes.
The mail-in ballots would be cheaper as opposed to actually holding a new statewide primary, according to The cost of the mail-in ballot program would be cost $6 million in Florida, according to estimates.
So who should pay for it? The DNC, the state Democratic parties, or the taxpayers? Certainly, the taxpayers should not be forced to pay. Since the state Democratic parties violated their agreement with the DNC and started this whole mess, they should be the ones responsible for funding the mail-in ballots.

With the primaries neck-and-neck and the convention only months away, the mail-in ballots need to be done as soon as possible in order for Michigan and Florida residents’ voices to be heard. And no matter who funds it, these mail-in ballots might just be the deciding factor in this close race.