This weekend Maine Democrats will take the first step to completely change the meaning of superdelegates.
Superdelegates, widely unpopular, especially this campaign, are currently distributed however they wish rather than in proportion to their state’s primary results. A new amendment introduced by Representative Diane Russell would change that so that all superdelegates would be distributed in proportion to the voting results. Russell says, ‘We have a system of government where you have one person, one vote, by and large. 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.”
In the 2016 election superdelegates have come under fire after several states, including Maine, gave a hugely disproportionate number of superdelegates to Hillary Clinton even though she lost the caucus or primary. In Maine specifically, where Bernie Sanders won 64% to Clinton’s 35%, Clinton received three of the five super delegates and Sanders only received one (one is still undeclared).
Troy Jackson, the only super delegate to declare for Sanders in Maine, stated: “If you’re representing the state of Maine as a superdelegate, you should be going the way of the voters.”
If the amendment passes it will not officially take affect until 2020, but will allow for Maine to strongly suggest that this year’s super delegates vote in accordance with the caucus results. It may also be enough to spark a larger fight all the way to the contested national convention.
Voting on the amendment will take place this weekend at Maine’s state convention.