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US Democrats Vote Against Changing Superdelegates System

  • VOA News

FILE - Democratic presidential candidate former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton greets supporters during a primary election night gathering on April 19, 2016 in New York City.

FILE - Democratic presidential candidate former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton greets supporters during a primary election night gathering on April 19, 2016 in New York City.

A U.S. Democratic Party rules group has voted against doing away with the superdelegate system demanded by supporters of former candidate Bernie Sanders.

The role of superdelegates was the main topic of discussion at the party convention rules committee meeting Saturday, ahead of its national convention in the eastern U.S. city of Philadelphia where Hillary Clinton will formally accept the nomination for president.

Superdelegates, elected officials and party insiders who can vote for the candidate of their choice at the convention, strongly favored Clinton. She had 602, versus the 48 pledged to her main Democratic opponent.

Sanders has consistently said he wants to see the role of superdelegates re-examined.

What he got instead after Saturday's meeting was the promise of the party to establish a commission to draft changes to the superdelegate system, with a report due in 2018 — two years before the next presidential election.

Sanders, however, was able to leave his mark on the party's campaign platform. A draft of the party's campaign platform includes proposals for a $15 federal minimum wage, abolition of the death penalty and free college tuition for some students — basic tenets of Sanders' campaign.

The inclusion of the proposals means any divisions in the Democratic Party are less likely to spill onto the floor of the convention later this week.

The Democrats want to portray themselves as a unified party. However, the recent release of hacked Democratic National Committee emails, detailing the split between the DNC and Sanders, may put a damper on that goal.

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