Per Politico, an amazing thing has happened that can hopefully heal lingering divisions from 2016. Sanders and Clinton partisans, working together, put aside their differences and agreed on a comprehensive reform package to the DNC primary process. This could have an impact as great as the McGovern Commission did in the 1970’s in opening the party up to it’s members and putting democracy back into the Democratic Party.
What the Commission unanimously agreed on is the following:
The Democratic Party’s Unity Reform Commission is recommending cutting the number of superdelegates by about 400, equal to a 60 percent reduction. Many of the remaining superdelegates would see their vote tied to the results in their state.
The commission is also suggesting that absentee voting be required as an option for presidential caucus participants. It is calling for automatic voter registration and same-day voter registration. And it wants to mandate public reporting of raw vote totals from caucus states
Superdelegates will still remain. Nina Turner, one of the Sanders representatives, wanted them eliminated. Yet she voted for the final compromise. The remaining superdelegates have been reformed in a manner this critic finds to be fair and equitable. Elected officials will constitute the remaining pool of superdelegates, along with a few party operatives and grassroots volunteers. The days of fundraisers and consultants having a seat at the nominating process are over. The other important reform is forcing the majority of the remaining elected superdelegates to back the popular vote winner of their state on the first ballot.
A Democratic Convention has not gone to the second ballot since the 1956 vice presidential nomination. This reform would essentially eliminate the role superdelegates could play in overturning the will of the voters on the first ballot, the major concern of uperdelegate critics. It would also preserve the role of superdelegates to step in and stop a divided convention or an unacceptable nominee without the majority of the delegates support. An important concern for superdelegate defenders. Another Sanders-Clinton or Clinton-Obama contest that came down to the wire could fairly end on a second ballot when now unpledged superdelegates could swing the results to unify the convention. They would also maintain their role during this part of the process as a check on an unelectable or unacceptable candidate.
Reforms to automatic voting registration and same day voter registration are also important and eliminate many of the concerns New York voters and others had about the primary process. Like all compromises it isn’t perfect, but it’s one I think we can all live with and support. The final decision is up to the 477 members of the Democratic National Committee. It does reduce their power, but it’s backed by Perez, the Clinton and Sanders camps, and the Commission itself. I hope it passes.