Several of you left comments or wrote and were confused as to why my vote didn't count in Michigan.
So was I.
I mean, by the day of the primary I understood, intellectually, why my vote wouldn't count, but I didn't understand the idiocy of the Michigan Democratic Party's actions in terms of why my vote wouldn't count.
Basically, the situation was this: Michigan didn't like having a late primary date. Both Michigan parties felt that it was time that Michigan broke the stronghold of the influence of Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada. And you know what? I agree with that part.
Because I believe our primary system, and our national elections system in general, is irreparably broken. But that's fodder for another post.
In any case, the Democratic National Party apparently has rules that the Republican National Party does not. The DNC's rules are that no state aside from Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada can hold a primary prior to February 5th. But Michigan decided to, and so did Florida. And the delegates from both states were stripped for the National Convention. We should have had 156 delegates. We now will have none, 17, or 34 (at least those are the numbers I've heard bandied around - if anyone wants to correct me on this, I'd be delighted). All the major national Democratic candidates said they would not campaign in Michigan for that reason. To avoid offending New Hampshire and Iowa, and to be fair to the rules of the DNC, Barack Obama, John Edwards, Bill Richardson and Joe Biden withdrew their names from the Michigan ballot. Hillary Clinton, Chris Dodd, Dennis Kucinich and Mike Gavel remained on the ballot (apparently, these candidates care less about fairness). Since Dodd and Gavel had withdrawn by the time of the election, that left Michiganders with three choices - Hillary Clinton, Dennis Kucinich or a strange category called "Uncommitted." We couldn't even do write-ins, even though a write-in slot was listed, because no candidate had registered to be a write-in candidate.
This created a huge mess for the absentee balloteers, because the Michigan Democratic Party neglected to mention this fact until after many of the absentee ballots had already come in. The only way to support Barack Obama or John Edwards, for example, was to check off the "uncommitted" box and hope/pray that a. Michigan would actually be given a few delegates, b. that the Michigan Democratic Party would deign to acknowledge that not every Michigan Democrat wanted either Hillary Clinton or Dennis Kucinich, and c. that the folks who went to the convention as "uncommitted" delegates actually voted for the candidate you wanted - which is anybody's guess, because the votes for Obama, Edwards, and even those who want to draft Gore (yes, they're still out there) would all be lumped together.
So, because I really, really believe in the importance of voting, I voted.
But as you might have guessed, since neither Ms. Clinton nor Mr. Kucinich are my candidates, I didn't really have a say. And it stinks, as far as I'm concerned.
For perhaps clearer information on the DNC's ruling on Michigan, please see this article.
Okay, and for something a bit lighter...
This is a last gasp reminder for The Writing Game. I'm still having people join, although I'm disorganized enough that I can't list them today. I'll list the final group some time early next week. If you still want to join, please check the rules here, and send me your ideas by midnight tonight, GMT -5, to jenshaines at aol dot com.