Last week the Democratic National Committee (DNC) declared that superdelegates will no longer be able to vote in the party’s presidential nomination cycle.
The nomination process includes candidates within each party competing against each other to get the most delegates from each state in primaries or caucuses.
At the end of the nomination season, the candidate with the most delegates supporting him or her at the party convention wins.
If you are Republican, the only way to win the nomination is to gain the support of pledged delegates who will vote for their electors’ chosen presidential candidate at the party convention.
The Democrats, though, had two types of delegates: pledged and superdelegate.
Superdelegates, which have been around since the early 1980s, make up just under 15 percent of the Democratic Party delegate count. They are a group of unelected delegates who can serve in that position for life. The people who get to this esteemed and powerful position are former Democratic presidents, congressmen, and party activists. Together, these people are as accountable as two teenagers on prom night.
Unlike pledged delegates, these delegates are not bound by their states’ popular votes. So even if a candidate loses the popular vote by 100 percent, he or she can still pick up delegate votes from superdelegates in that state. This has the potential to swing close elections.
This famously happened in 2008; Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama were separated by just 62 pledged delegate votes. What clinched the nomination for Obama was superdelegates from states Clinton won voting against their states’ selections. This same ordeal occurred again in 2016, when the superdelegates in states Bernie Sanders won backed Clinton.
It appears that until last week, Democrats’ definition of democracy included unelected party delegates voting against the will of the states they identify with.
Superdelegates have been a way for the Democratic establishment to interfere in elections. The DNC seems to have realized this and has taken the proper measures to stop this and restored full political power to the people and stripped the party of its ability to tip the scale of an election. For this, the DNC should be applauded.
As the old saying goes, even a broken clock is right twice a day.