Albany County Democrats Adopt Resolution to Change Delegate Selection System
The Albany County Democratic Party has adopted a resolution that looks to change the way the way state delegates operate ahead of the 2020 presidential campaigns.
On Monday, Dec. 11, the resolution, titled “Calling on the Promotion of Democratic Representation by National Convention Delegates” was adopted during the monthly central committee meeting.
The resolution aims to correct a number of issues the ACDP sees with the Democratic National party “Superdelegate” system used by the Wyoming Democrats during their April 2016 county caucuses. Mainly, the resolution seeks to bring so-called "superdelegates", or unpledged delegates in Wyoming into line with caucus results as well as to prevent them from publicly endorsing a candidate before caucuses are finished.
"This resolution is an attempt to fix some of these issues that have to do a lot with how the National Democratic Convention does things, but also how our Wyoming State Delegate plan is written, according to DNC guidance or rules," says Adrienne Vetter, Albany County Democratic State Committeewoman.
Vetter said the problems with the current delegate system were made apparent during the 2016 National Democratic Convention. The votes of the Wyoming delegation were cast 65 percent for Hillary Clinton, even though Bernie Sanders received support of 56 percent of Wyoming Democrats at their county caucuses in April. The ACDP says this was the result of the complicated process for selecting delegates, as well as the role of superdelegates, which are not chosen at the caucus level.
"Superdelegates are unpledged democratic party leaders and elected officials, who serve as delegates to the Democratic National Convention during presidential elections," Vetter said. "They can be democratic state party chairs, vice chairs, national committeewomen, national committeemen, other elected officials like governors, members of congress and senators. They get to cast a vote for their preferred presidential candidate with extra weight regardless of how their state or district voted in the primary, under the current rules."
The resolution aims to change those rules. The resolution urges the Wyoming representatives to the DNC to seek changes to national party rules that would eliminate the existence of unpledged delegates altogether, or to at least require them to vote in the same relative proportion as the elected delegates of the state they represent.
Vetter says the resolution doesn't have the power to change the current DNC rules by itself, but she hopes the resolution will effect change at the grassroots level.
"We can't reach up there and change those things in their bylaws, but we can urge them from a very grassroots level," Vetter said. "Like from county to county parties. As we go to our state central committee meetings we can then advocate to pass a version of this at our state convention in May."
In an effort to make the delegate system more representative, the resolution urges the DNC to combine delegate categories to better represent Wyoming’s presidential caucus results and to ban unpledged delegates from endorsing or publicly supporting a presidential candidate before all primaries and caucuses nationwide are finished.
The plan calls for the Wyoming Democratic Party to adopt a code of ethics that would outline penalties if the delegation selection plan was violated.