Michigan and Florida should count

Staff editorial
March 26, 2008
Filed under Opinion

The Democratic voters in the 2008 primaries in Florida and Michigan, who voted in record numbers, might have their vote tossed out all because state legislatures can’t decide on when to hold a primary in a way that doesn’t violate party rules.
The Democratic primary delegates in Florida and Michigan, which were both won by Sen. Hillary Clinton, have been disqualified by the Democratic National Committee (DNC) because their respective state legislatures held primaries earlier than the DNC says they’re supposed to.
Democrats and state legislators are trying to work out plans to hold another primary, but neither the DNC nor the states themselves want to fund it.
The delegates in both populous states are integral to either Clinton’s or Sen. Barack Obama’s nomination at the convention.
The people of Florida and Michigan did not choose when to hold their primary. They took time out of their busy schedules to do their democratic duty and choose who they wanted to represent their party in the presidential election. Representative democracy is the only way that people in America can exercise the social contract they enter with their government at birth.
So, for the people of Florida and Michigan to have one of their inalienable rights stripped away because their elected officials can’t get their act together, is deplorable.
With the exception of this year’s election, the Democratic and Republican nominations are typically decided before many states even get to hold primaries. The state legislatures simply wanted to move their primary to a sooner date so that the citizens of their states could have a greater say in determining the presidency.
However, other states, including California, were able to move their primaries forward this year in a manner that both the DNC and the Republican National Committee (RNC) found suitable. That fact further indicates the incompetence of the Florida and Michigan legislatures.
A re-primary, like what Democrats are trying to work out, would be wrong because the voters have already made their decision. Furthermore, the primaries would have to be held sometime in June, which means that it would become overtime for the already-heated Democratic race, undermining the decisions other states made that followed party rules.
If there is going to be a re-primary, then the funds for it should not come from taxpayer money. Taxpayers should not have to make penance for the incompetent decisions of their elected officials.
Here’s a novel idea that would never make it past the legislative chopping block: Make the state legislatures pay for the second primaries out of their own pockets. After all, they were the ones that put their electorate in this actionable position in the first place.

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