Friday, January 11, 2008

Democrats: Vote in the Florida Primary

Seriously, your vote matters, despite what you may have been told to the contrary. We will have an important role in choosing the Democratic Nominee for President and our delegates, ultimately, will be seated.

In a previous diary, I provided quotes from Howard Dean, Nancy Pelosi, former DNC Chair Don Fowler and Senator Carl Levin all essentially saying that Florida's delegates will be seated by the Democratic Nominee at the Convention.

To add to the list of people who've said our votes matter and our delegates will be seated, I give you Senator Bill Nelson:

"By virtue that it's basically a two-person race on the Democratic side and a four-person race on the Republican side, Florida now becomes critical," Nelson said. "Florida is the first big state primary prior to Super Tuesday, a week later, when 22 states are going to vote."
Nelson noted Florida is a more demographically diverse test for the candidates than Iowa and New Hampshire, which should impact financial contributions and some voters' opinions going into Super Tuesday.

He also expected Clinton and Obama to storm the state in the two days before the primary, even though they and other Democratic presidential candidates were told by Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean to avoid the state until after the South Carolina primary for Democrats on Jan. 26. The Republican primary in South Carolina is Jan. 19.

As for the national parties excluding convention delegates from Florida and Michigan, which also moved up its primary date to the displeasure of Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina, Nelson expects that issue will be resolved before the weeklong events go live on TV.

"They want to win in November," Nelson said. "Can you imagine them not seating two big states?"

No, I can't! That's why many of us in the netroots have been saying over and over again that our votes matter and that our delegates will be seated.

Even the media is starting to change their tune somewhat. Ken Quinnell at the Florida Progressive Coalition wrote The Latest on the Florida Democratic Primary which provides a good round-down of articles from the Florida press illustrating the importance of our state's primary. Yes, even for us Democrats!

I've found a few more:

The Orlando Sentinel: Presidential primaries: Moment of truth waits in Florida:

Florida's primary on Jan. 29 should result in a big turnout. It will be the first primary state to have absentee ballots (with voters submitting same as early as Christmas Day), as well as early voting, which means that ballots can be cast at certain polling places beginning on Jan. 14 so as to prevent long lines on the regular voting day. Most of all, the instigator to vote early on Jan. 29 may be the fact that the state's property-tax-reform measure is on the ballot, and, for many municipalities, there are local offices to be filled.

To be sure, the national Democratic and Republican higher-ups aren't happy with Florida moving this year's primary to a date before Super Tuesday (Feb. 5) and have imposed sanctions in terms of cutting the number of convention delegates. But the truth is that any candidate getting a solid vote in Florida -- where the population mirrors the nation -- will have a leg up on Super Tuesday and the national convention.

TC Palm - State Democratic primary vote means more than ever

What makes this election even more interesting is the fact that the Democratic Party candidates agreed not to campaign in Florida prior to the primary due to Florida’s non-compliance with the bipartisan agreement on primaries. It was suggested that states such as Florida and Michigan, which violated the agreement, not be allowed to rally at the Democratic National Convention, but this is not likely to happen.

The candidate(s) will be in control of the late August convention and will want to have their delegates seated. As opposed to the delegate conventions of the 1960s, today’s conventions serve more as rallying functions than playing key roles in determining election results. To not seat Florida’s Democratic delegation would show disunity in the party and the Democratic candidates cannot afford such an episode.

News 4 Jax - 3 Weeks from Florida's Primary, Some Ask: Why Vote?

Local party officials said they are still hopeful Florida's delegates will have a voice at the conventions, and the result of this month's primary will determine how those delegates vote.

"I assure you the delegates will be seated," Duval County Democratic Chairman Travis Bridges told Channel 4's Jim Piggott. "When the nominee is selected the nominee has the choice of seating or not seating delegates. There is no nominee that is going to exclude Florida."

First Coast News - Florida's Primary: Will Everyone's Votes Count?

But during a voting machine testing session Tuesday, Duval Elections Supervisor Jerry Holland said the decisions Florida's voters make on the 29th will still carry huge unofficial weight.

"We get that question a lot: 'Will our vote count?'" Holland said. "And I tell people, I say, 'The world will know who Florida selects for their two candidates.'"

Ballots will still be cast in three weeks and results will still be published. Voters across America will still know how Florida feels, even if that big "Florida" sign is missing from the convention floor this fall.

Holland believes both parties' delegates will eventually be allowed to take part in the big conventions. Neither party wants to risk angering voters in America's fourth most populous state.

You have the opportunity to influence who will become the next Democratic nominee for President. In previous years, by the time we voted, the Democratic nominee was already known. Don't give up your voice in this election.

Tell the world who you want as the Democratic Nominee - VOTE JANUARY 29TH!


RightDemocrat said...

I will going to the polls on January 29 to vote for John Edwards and Amendment 1. Florida's working families need property tax relief.

Anonymous said...
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David said...

Sorry, but if the national party doesn't want my vote, I don't have much use for the national party. I'll sleep in on the 29th, and you can count on my republican vote in the election.

katma said...

I'm voting FOR John Edwards on Jan 29 and AGAINST Amendment 1.

FOR Mr Edwards because I want the Dems to know they need to stand FOR our issues (universal health care, caring for the poor/working poor, reduce taxes for middle class and working class and increase them on the upper class) and AGAINST the war.

AGAINST Amendment 1 because it will negatively impact education, emergency services, and every single person who is not a homeowner.

Fees will be instituted for many services, and other taxes will go up. These affect not only homeowners but EVERYONE, rich and poor.

Recent homeowners will not benefit much from Amendment 1. It's only "portable" for those who've owned their homes for awhile.

VOTE Jan 29th if only to show the candidates and the party where you stand.

Are you progressive, centrist, or what? Do you support rights for the poor over rights for the rich?

It's important that the Democrats know!