Edited by Samantha Bates
To say the least, this primary season has been an educational experience for the average voter. Residents of states across the country are sharing epiphanic moments in time when their preconceived notions of the political process becomes drastically skewed. They are finding out about delegates in a political party.
Delegates in a political party essentially act as a funnel for the popular vote. It allows for millions of people to be represented in a manageable audience, a basic formula to nominate a party official. However, as most have found out by now, it’s not that simple.
Beyond the different types of delegates and the argument of their respective value to the process, there is another facet to delegates that may be addressed this primary season: an elected delegate is not guaranteed representation at the national party convention.
The removal of delegates from individual states by political parties is not uncommon. In fact, it just happened in the Democratic Presidential Primary of 2008 when Florida and Michigan had half of their delegates stripped, simply because of a technicality in date. Basically, half the popular vote of these two states was not represented due to the day the election was held.
The Case Against Arizona
By the Democratic National Committee announcing a lawsuit against the State of Arizona over the disenfranchisement of voters, it acknowledges the abhorrence of the presidential preference election that occurred in Arizona.
Testimony of registered voters ranged from suspected data manipulation to outright suppression. The lack of accessibility for the handicapped and the taxation of time were echoed over and over again during the infamous Arizona post election public hearing. Before the meeting was over, a female legislator even admitted that she had unintentionally misinformed a constituent by discounting the potential value of provisional ballots.
Needless to say, the DNC has a strong case against Arizona and will most likely receive the request for improvements in future elections and the counting of the provisional ballots cast during the botched preference election. However, they also made a strong case for the entire State of Arizona to not have delegate representation at the national convention. All 75 of them.
It is an argument that can grow legs on a convention floor. Especially if the race between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders comes down to the wire. As it stands, the delegate split for AZ is Hillary 42 and Bernie 33. Clinton would favor it being left as is, with provisional ballots being counted and included. For Sanders, not allowing the representation of Arizona whatsoever would mean a plus 9 in overall delegates.
It’s a harsh reality, but the lawsuit alone identifies the Arizona election as tainted and not a reliable gauge of the will of the people. And since precedent of the DNC allows for half of a state’s delegates to be removed for holding a fair election on the wrong day of the week, how many delegates should be removed for the atrocity that occurred in Arizona?
Thank you Arizona for standing up.
Follow me on Twitter @calmopinto92
Hampton is a contributor at large to Brooklynfights.com and Moniteau County Football FB