Thursday, August 21, 2008

Rules and procedures for delegates voting on Democratic Party vice president nominee

Although it is usual, at least in recent times, for delegates to defer to the Party's presidential nominee when voting for the Party's vice-presidential nominee, this deference is not an automatic matter. At this point the Democratic Party does not have a presidential nominee - that will be determined according to the roll call vote on August 27th. The winner of the roll call vote may express a preference for a running may. Anybody who anticipates winning the roll call vote may express such the preference she or he has at any time. But announcing a preference, when you are the official nominee or when you are not, does not mean that your pick automatically becomes the running mate.

This post highlights and explains the relevant rules from The Democratic Party's 2008 Call to The Convention.

This post has nothing to do with my own views as to who I would like to see Senator Clinton choose as a running mate, should she win the roll call; nor who I would like to Senator Obama choose should he win; nor whether I believe either candidate should be willing to be the other's running mate in the vice-presidential slot.

From VIII. PROCEDURAL RULES OF THE 2008 DEMOCRATIC NATIONAL CONVENTION

9. Nomination for the Democratic Candidate for Vice President: The selection of a nominee
for the Office of Vice President of the United States shall be conducted in the same
manner as that heretofore provided for the selection of the nominee for President of the United States except that a request to nominate must be delivered to the Convention Secretary at a location as specified by the Secretary not later than 9:00 a.m. of the day designated for the commencement of Vice Presidential nominations. [annotation: a delegate wishing to submit such a request should contact the DNC immediately to find out precisely how to do this]
10. Roll Call Ballot for Vice Presidential Candidate:
a. After nominations for Vice Presidential candidates have closed, the Convention shall proceed to a roll call vote by states on the selection of the Vice Presidential candidate. The roll call voting procedure shall be conducted in the same manner as that heretofore provided for the selection of the nominee for President of the United States.
b. A majority vote of the Convention’s delegates shall be required to select the Vice Presidential candidate. Delegates may vote for the candidate of their choice whether or not the name of such candidate was placed in nomination. [IMPORTANT annotation: a vote for a name not in nomination simply counts as "present"; just as with the Presidential nomination roll call a person can only be elected as the Vice Presidential nominee if his or her name is placed into nomination] Balloting will continue until after a nominee is selected.

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