The Democratic National Committee voted on Saturday to change the party’s supderdelegate rules for its presidential nominations.
The DNC voted to weaken the role top party officials play in nominating their presidential nominee. A superdelegate is an unelected delegate that has the ability to support any candidate and aren’t beholden to results of a primary or caucus. Most superdelegates are current or former Democratic politicians.
The fight over superdelegates was sparked over the 2016 Democratic primary where former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was favored heavily by superdelegates over self-proclaimed democratic socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.). Clinton was able to secure the nomination sooner with the help of superdelegates and thus end Sander’s campaign. Sanders and many of his supporters have criticized the use of superdelegates and characterized them as a mechanism that subverted the will of the people.
CNN reports the vote was almost unanimous.
“In a surprisingly united vote, almost all members of the Democratic National Convention curtailed the ability of the superdelegates to vote on the first ballot for the party’s presidential nominee beginning with the next election. The group of about 700 automatic, unpledged party leaders, elected officials and activists previously were able to back whichever candidate for the nomination they chose,” CNN reported.
Superdelegates will no longer be able to vote on the first ballot at the convention unless the candidate has received the necessary pledged delegates, which are based off primary and caucus results, to secure the nomination.
“Today is a historic day for our party,” said DNC Chair Tom Perez. “We passed major reforms that will not only put our next presidential nominee in the strongest position possible, but will help us elect Democrats up and down the ballot, across the country. These reforms will help grow our party, unite Democrats, and restore voters’ trust by making our 2020 nominating process the most inclusive and transparent in our history.”
The fight over superdelegates has divided Democrats but it appears Saturday’s rule change was a compromise most were willing to accept.