In an important and long-overdue step toward making the Democratic Party more accountable to voters and less captive to the interests of establishment insiders, the Democratic National Committee’s (DNC) Rules and Bylaws arm voted overwhelmingly on Wednesday to drastically curtail the influence of superdelegates by barring them from voting on the first ballot of the presidential nomination.
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), who has long criticized the party’s superdelegate system as undemocratic, congratulated DNC chair Tom Perez and the Rules and Bylaws Committee for the move in a statement following the 27-1 vote, saying the “decision will ensure that delegates elected by voters in primaries and caucuses will have the primary role in selecting the Democratic Party’s nominee at the 2020 convention.”
“This is a major step forward in making the Democratic Party more open and transparent, and I applaud their action,” Sanders added.
Nomiki Konst, a Sanders appointee to the DNC’s Unity Reform Commission, similarly praised the DNC’s move to limit superdelegates’ power in a series of tweets late Wednesday, attributing the nearly unanimous vote to a wave of grassroots activism that began during the 2016 Democratic presidential primary, when progressives recognized the way in which the system tilted the scales in favor of Hillary Clinton over Sanders’ insurgent campaign.
“This is a YUGE deal,” Konst wrote shortly following the committee’s vote. “Thanks to all of the incredible activism, superdelegates will soon be a thing of the past.”