Maine Democrats to Vote on Eliminating Superdelegates

On Wednesday, May 4, 2016, Maine Public Broadcasting reported that when Democrats in Maine gather in Portland on Friday and Saturday for the state convention, they will not only elect delegates to represent Maine at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia but will further vote on a change to the state’s superdelegate system.

Superdelegates are Democratic politicians who can vote for any candidate they wish during the Democratic primaries and caucuses — they do not have to vote for the candidate that gets the majority of votes from the people. Maine has 5 superdelegates. Bernie Sanders beat Hillary Clinton 64% to 35% in Maine, but Bernie Sanders only got 1 superdelegate. This has been extremely controversial across the country, as superdelegate totals help a candidate clinch the party nomination for president.

The amendment to fix this in Maine would require superdelegates be awarded to each candidate based on how the public voted.

“We have a system of government where you have one person, one vote, by and large,” said state representative Diane Russell, a Bernie Sanders supporter who is leading the effort. “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 claims the measure has widespread support and is confident it will pass.

The superdelegate change would be put in place for 2020, but the amendment also includes a non-binding suggestion that superdelegates from the 2016 contest also be redistributed, awarding Bernie Sanders superdelegate support equal to his victory in the state. DNC rules, however, may inhibit this.

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