March 6, 2008

Governor Jennifer Granholm
Post Office Box 30013
Lansing, MI 48909

Dear Governor Crist:

With the quantities of pledged Democratic primary delegates from two key states subject to dispute, the race between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton shows no sign of being decided before the Democratic National Convention. The dispute over Michigan and Florida delegates only increases the likelihood that un-elected super-delegates could decide the nomination. Both the continuation of a dispute about the two states' Democratic delegates and the prospect of super-delegates' playing the role of kingmaker would contradict the values of the Democratic Party and do its ultimate nominee a tremendous disservice.
Holding another in-person, precinct-based election would be cost-prohibitive and time-consuming. A more effective method of holding a primary would be to have a vote-by-mail election. This method of voting has been used in Oregon for years—and as the only method of voting since 1998--and has been proven safe, legitimate, and even more effective than traditional in-person precinct-based voting at galvanizing participation.
If the dispute over the Democratic primary is to be resolved before the convention, quick action must be taken.
The mechanics and preparation of a traditional in-person, precinct-based election, in addition to their costliness, might be inadequate in ensuring maximum participation. In contrast, studies by Common Cause and other reputable analysts have shown that traditionally disenfranchised voters are much more likely to vote by mail. In my own experience in many state elections and through my firm, Progressive Victory, I have seen the success of voting by mail in sparking turnout and holding swift, dependable elections.
If you exerted leadership in urging a vote-by-mail primary, private supporters could be called upon to help offset the cost of the vote-by-mail election.
And if you have any question, please refer to the Web site for the Vote By Mail Project [
http://www.votebymailproject.org] or contact me directly.
Hans Johnson
President, Progressive Victory