Wednesday, May 21, 2008

What's Missing for Clinton, the DNC, and the Pundits? A clue about Florida voting

In the endless posturing and prognostication about what to do about Florida's aborted Democratic primary one group of voters is missing, unheard from and unhappy. These are voters who, like me, were registered Democrats in the state of Florida at the start of 2008, and who did not vote in the primary. Why? Because the DNC said that my vote would not count. No delegates from Florida would be seated.

And so, like untold numbers of Floridians, for whom voting is an effort at the best of times, I did the sensible thing, I didn't vote. Hillary Clinton may speechify about making sure every voice is heard and every vote is counted, but I'm sitting here with a vote that she can't count, a vote not cast.

If I had gone to the polls and cast my vote it would have been for Barrack Obama, but I stayed away, on no less advice than that of my party. So while pundits do and redo the numbers, hash and re-hash the rumors of deals, they overlook the fact that no candidate won the Democratic primary in Florida, not Hillary, not Obama. The DNC denied the vote. There is no fair way to seat the delegates.

When you're watching the Olympics this August, imagine that just before the starting gun is fired for the 100 meters final, the President of the IOC walks onto the field and says there will be no 100 meters final this year. Then someone starts running for the finish line. A few ruuners give chase while others are still in their blocks looking stunned. Belatedly an official starts the clock running. The first person across the line claims victory and a new world record. Mayhem ensues. Welcome to our world, the surreal world of voting in Florida. Or rather, welcome to what used to be our world. My wife and I are leaving the state this year, headed to a state that manages to hold elections without embarrasing and disenfranchising its citizens.

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