CHICAGO -- Two years after the gruesome presidential primary of 2016 left Democrats bitterly divided, the Democratic National Committee adopted major reforms Saturday to reduce the outsized influence of unpledged delegates, known as superdelegates.
In a majority vote, the DNC passed a measure to block superdelegates — elected officials and party leaders — from casting a vote for any presidential candidate unless a second ballot is required at the 2020 national convention, stripping them of power. The change comes after supporters of Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., asserted superdelegates gave Hillary Clinton an unfair advantage, creating a perception that she had the nomination sewn up before the primary.
But the reforms codified Saturday, which dramatically change the way the party picks its presidential nominee, were backed by supporters of both Clinton and Sanders. Other adopted changes include making caucuses more accessible to those with disabilities or unable to physically attend a caucus.
“We cannot repair the damage that has been done and we can’t restore the freedoms that have been taken away unless we can win elections,” said American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees President Lee Saunders, referring to the Trump administration. “That means we must have a nominating process that leads to victory in 2020 and beyond.”
“These aren’t radical or revolutionary reforms,” Saunders added. “But it will go a long way toward restoring trust in our party.”