Voters Discuss Michigan Delegate Controversy

Democratic Party officials will convene in Washington, D.C., on Saturday to resolve the awkward matter of what to do about Michigan and Florida. Detroit-area voters discuss how they would like to see the Michigan delegate controversy resolved.

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MADELEINE BRAND, host:

So the action is in Washington tomorrow. In Michigan, voters will be closely following what happens. More than a few of them are just a little frustrated with the whole process. Celeste Headlee reports from Detroit.

CELESTE HEADLEE: As far as Michigan voters are concerned, there is a party at fault here, and it's the State Democratic Party.

Ms. LOTIS PAGE (Detroit Voter): I do believe the Michigan party made a horrible mistake.

Mr. JIM DANIELS (Detroit Voter): Let's face it. I mean it wasn't a consensus that it should have been moved up. So I think, you know, they sort of ruined the vote for Michigan.

Ms. ELLEN KIRKFOOT (Detroit Voter): It is their fault that they went ahead and just figured everyone would fall in place when we do what we want.

HEADLEE: Lotis Page, Jim Daniels, and Ellen Kirkfoot (ph) all agree that moving the caucus up to January without the approval of the national party was a blunder. But Lorelei Kishley(ph) says it's the voters in the state that are ultimately suffering for it.

Ms. LORELEI KISHLEY (Detroit Voter): I think it would be a travesty not to permit Michigan to be seated at the delegation. What has really made me sad about the whole thing is that National Committee and the Michigan Committee started an ideological fight with each other, and the rest of us were all kind of left out of that.

HEADLEE: The most frustrated voters are those who didn't support Clinton in the caucus, and felt like their choice was taken from them. Ellen Kirkfoot says she voted for McCain.

Ms. KIRKFOOT: I would have voted for Obama if he had been on there, to be honest.

HEADLEE: Jim Daniels is taking a break from his bike ride, leaning back on a shady park ridge.

Mr. DANIELS: I wanted to vote for Obama, and he wasn't on the ballot.

HEADLEE: So that's one idea. Give the undecided vote to Obama. Some say the vote was a fair one and the Democratic Party should let the results stand as they are with the delegates going to Clinton. But the majority of people I spoke to didn't offer any solution. Instead, they said...

Ms. MADDIE DUNLEY (Detroit Voter): We should let it go, honestly.

HEADLEE: Maddie Dunley(ph) says Michigan and Florida should simply not be counted.

Ms. KIRKFOOT: You know, we should follow the rules, and we didn't, so we have to serve the consequences.

Ms. DUNLEY: I guess it would be better just to leave them out.

HEADLEE: And that's perhaps the prevailing opinion in this unscientific poll. Ellen Kirkfoot says Michigan's democrats made a mistake, and it can't be fixed.

Ms. KIRKFOOT: They screwed themselves, and all of us.

HEADLEE: The issue will be settled once and for all this weekend, and voters in Michigan say they'll be happy to forget the whole thing, and move on to the general election in November. For NPR News, I'm Celeste Headlee.

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