Sunday, December 9, 2007

Vote Uncommitted Jan. 15

Vote Uncommitted Jan. 15
by Bob Alexander, East Lansing,, 517-351-0965

Much of the discussion on Democrats voting in the Jan. 15 Primary has not clearly stated that most Write-In votes and Protest votes either will not be counted or have little chance of getting the minimum 15% needed to earn a delegate to the Denver Convention. The only viable option for many Dems on Jan. 15 is to vote for the Uncommitted slot on the primary ballot.

1. Write In votes are a wasted effort in 13 of Michigan's 15 congressional districts, as they will not be counted.

In the Dem party for a Write In vote to be counted, the candidate you want to Write In has to give the Party Chair advanced written notice that they are a Write In candidate. Very unlikely that Obama, Edwards, Gore or Richardson will give permission. If a candidate does give permission, then that candidate must have at least 15% of the voters in a congressional district print in the correct similar spelling of the candidate’s name in order to receive a delegate to the Denver Dems Convention. With the primary 7 weeks away that is almost impossible for Obama or Edwards supporters to pull off, with the exception of Obama in the 13 and 14 congressional districts in Detroit.

2. Voting for Kucinich as a Protest Vote also will not be successful in the other 13 districts.

Dennis Kucinich is not a viable protest vote for Gore, Obama, Edwards, and Richardson supporters. I say this painfully as Dennis’ Michigan campaign manager in 2004. Dennis is great on the issues, but people just do not consider him as their candidate to be President. Most G, O, E & R supporters just do not consider voting for Kucinich, even as a protest vote. In the Michigan February 2004 nine candidate Dem primary Kucinich came in a distant 6th with 5,138 votes. Wes Clark who had not really campaigned got 10,986.

3. Organized Voting for the Uncommitted slot on the primary ballot might have national import!

The Uncommitted slot is on all the Democratic Primary Ballots, and is next below the last Democratic candidate, followed by the Write In slot. Voting for the Uncommitted slot is an excellent protest vote. If more than 15% of the voters in a congressional district vote for the Uncommitted slot, then an Uncommitted delegate will go to the Denver Dems Convention in August.

If there is an organized, consensus effort by the Gore, Obama, Edwards, and Richardson supporters, it is likely that the Uncommitted slot would win delegates in most of Michigan’s 15 congressional districts. Obama and Gore are the most popular choices in Detroit’s 13 & 14 Congressional Districts, and the Uncommitted choice might win 4-5 of the 8 delegate positions in each district. Gore, Edwards and Obama are very popular in the 12 (SE Oakland & Macomb), 15 (Ann Arbor-Ypsi and Downriver), 8 (Lansing and Livingston), 6 & 7 (Kalamazoo & Battle Creek), and 3 (Grand Rapids).

The potential success for an organized Uncommitted vote is seen in the Aug. 14 Detroit News poll of likely Dem Michigan primary voters: Gore 36%, Clinton 32%, Obama 15% and Edwards 8%. The Uncommitted supporters are 60% compared to Clinton supporters 32%.

The Dems who want to be the delegates to the Denver Convention will be selected by Democrats at the Congressional District Conventions on March 29, 2008. In order to vote in the convention caucus of Uncommitted supporters, one must be a member or become a member of the Michigan Democratic Party by February 28, 2008. To join go to

4. My major concern in all this, now that Gore is clearly not a candidate, is to make sure who ever wins the nomination has the enthusiastic support of the maximum number of Dems, independents and disgruntled Republicans to overcome the illegal and unethical campaign-stealing tactics of the Neo-Con Republican national campaign machine. For the last 6 weeks I and other Gore leaders have been urging Dems Party groups to approve resolutions for Michigan Dems to vote by the February 9 caucuses as the best way to keep our party unified. Sadly, our state Dem Executive Committee did not share our concerns, and voted to use the discredited Jan. 15 primary. Now we need to express our desire for the "most progressive candidate who can win" with a massive Uncommitted vote.

Please contact me if you want to help publicize Voting Uncommitted on Jan. 15 or organize our outreach efforts.

Bob Alexander, East Lansing,, 517-351-0965