Florida Democrats rule out re-vote in presidential primary
( dpa ) - The Florida Democratic Party Monday ruled out a repeat of its primary election, citing lack of support from within its ranks and the logistical problems as the state returns to paper ballots.
The decision removes one element of uncertainty in the roller- coaster race for the Democratic presidential nomination.
But US Congresswoman Karen Thurman, chair of the Florida Democratic Party, indicated the Florida ball could still be in play after kicking it back to the Democratic National Committee (DNC.)
"This doesn't mean that Democrats are giving up on Florida voters," she wrote in a letter posted on the party's website. "It means that a solution will have to come from the DNC rules and bylaws committee, which is scheduled to meet again in April."
The DNC ruled last year that states which defied a national schedule for primary elections would lose their delegates to the national convention.
Both Florida and Michigan went ahead anyway with earlier dates than those assigned, in Florida's case, because it was the whim of the Republican-controlled legislature.
Senators Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama agreed to not campaign in the two states, but their names remained on the ballot. Clinton, who is struggling to keep pace with Obama in state-by-state voting, won both primaries and is pushing to have the delegates seated at the August nominating convention.
"We researched every potential alternative process - from caucuses to county conventions to mail-in elections - but no plan could come anywhere close to being viable in Florida," Thurman wrote.
Thurman wrote that the party leaders had spent the weekend reviewing input from party members, and while the reasons varied, "the consensus is clear: Florida doesn't want to vote again."
She noted that the state was moving back to paper ballots, and at least 15 counties did not have the capacity to handle a major election before the June 10 deadline for state party delegate selection.
In 2000, US President George W Bush won the presidency after a lengthy dispute over the outcome in Florida, where he beat Democrat Al Gore by only 537 votes, Thurman noted.
The US Supreme Court stepped in to end the ongoing state-wide recount, awarding the White House to Bush.