Democrats in the state of Maine appear to be on board with a sentiment that’s been floated around by a lot of progressive voters and media personalities in 2016. They are now going to be voting on whether or not to do away with having superdelegates be involved in their primary process starting in 2020.
State Rep. Diane Russell introduced the rule. Russel gave comment to the Bangor Daily News, saying:
“We have a system of government where you have one person, one vote, by and large. The primary system is not when that happens. And I think that we need to start moving toward a system that’s more fair, that’s more democratic and more reflective of the popular vote.”
Russell’s amendment would change things in the state to where all delegates – including people who are currently superdelegates – were awarded proportionately based on the caucus results of the state.
Complaints about the superdelegate aspect to the Democratic primaries have arisen in many election years, but in 2016 they’ve been particularly strong due to the fact that there is a perception they are having a disproportionate effect on the primary voting process.
As more voters have become aware of the concept of superdelegates, and the fact that they are unelected individuals – many of whom are not known to the public and don’t necessarily have to represent the people’s will – there has been increasing push-back towards the idea of the “progressive” party having what many are calling a partial rigging of primary elections.
This issue goes well beyond just the 2016 election. Some voters see the superdelegate issue as a party establishment that is increasingly out of touch with it’s voter base, following a recent history of extremely questionable moves made by DNC leadership which are more Republican than Democratic.
Rep. Russell is also including a non-binding but “strongly suggested” statement with the rule that Maine delegates vote proportionately in 2016 to better reflect the popular vote results. She chose not to include a mandatory change for 2016, because it would put Maine out of compliance with the rules set by the Democratic National Committee.
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