In response to last week’s My View column by Ron Maxwell, I wonder where Mr. Maxwell gets his information to generalize that voters from Florida “went to the polls…believing they were casting votes to decide who the Democratic nominee for president would be.”
I grew up in Florida and was visiting my extended family there during the weeks before and after the Florida primary. From talking to people and reading the newspaper I certainly didn’t get the impression that many people thought their Democratic primary vote would actually count toward choosing delegates to represent a candidate at the Democratic Convention.
My father voted for Hilary Clinton, even though he believed his vote would not be counted in any official sense, because he wanted her to do well in the “beauty contest” (as the election was described locally). My stepmother went to the polls to vote on a tax referendum that was also on the ballot, but refused on principle to choose a Democratic presidential candidate, in deference to the the decision of the Democratic Party that the Florida primary vote would would not be counted.
Subsequent to this primary there was discussion whether another primary could be held that would count for the purpose of seating delegates, but the idea was rejected because of cost. If a state party has the right to negate a primary election, it’s results can hardly be sacrosanct.
It seems to me that a decision by the Democratic Party Rules Committee to completely seat a Florida delegation (as Mr. Maxwell appears to favor) would have had the un-democratic effect of disenfranchising those Florida voters who didn’t vote because they had been told their votes would not be counted.
Kristl B. Hathaway