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Florida lawmakers offer up plan to seat delegates

  • Story Highlights
  • Plan would seat half of Florida's delegates based on January 29 primary vote
  • Other half would be allocated evenly or proportionally based on national totals
  • Florida, Michigan stripped of delegates for scheduling primaries too early
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(CNN) -- Two Florida state senators presented a plan Wednesday to seat the state's delegates at the Democratic National Convention, hoping that Sens. Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama will embrace their compromise.

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Democrats in Florida have a plan to seat the state's delegates after the controversy over the January 29 vote.

Florida Senate Democratic Leader Steven Geller and Sen. Jeremy Ring outlined a proposal to seat all the delegates at the convention in August.

The plan recommends seating half of Florida's 211 delegates based on the results of the January 29 primary.

The remaining delegates could be allocated in a number of ways, including evenly, proportionally based on the national popular vote (excluding Florida and Michigan) or proportionally based on the total national delegate count, also excluding Florida and Michigan.

"I invite the campaigns to endorse our compromise to ensure victory in November," Ring said.

The Obama and Clinton campaigns had no immediate comment on the plan.

Florida and Michigan held primaries in January, but the Democratic National Committee stripped them of their delegates for scheduling their contests too early.

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Florida has nixed the idea of a revote, but a proposal under consideration in Michigan would call for a new vote on June 3.

Ring said that it's "incumbent upon the campaigns to quickly resolve the uncertainty surrounding the Florida delegation."

"There is no do-over, no mail-in ballots, no complicated math. Just the basic process of American democracy is in play here."

Geller said the plan "gives us a light at the end of a very dark tunnel."

"As we all know, as goes Florida, so goes the nation," he said.

Wednesday's proposal comes two days after the Florida Democratic Party said a second primary was not an option.

"We researched every potential alternative process -- from caucuses to county conventions to mail-in elections -- but no plan could come anywhere close to being viable in Florida," said state party Chairwoman Karen Thurman in an e-mail sent to Florida Democrats on Monday.

Thurman said the decision now falls to the DNC Rules and Bylaws Committee, which is scheduled to meet again next month. But it is not clear whether that panel has the power to make a final decision, or whether it will fall to the Credentials Committee. The latter will decide in August which delegations will be seated at the presidential nominating convention in Denver, Colorado.

None of the major candidates campaigned in Florida or Michigan ahead of the primaries, but Clinton was permitted to host a few fundraisers in Florida.

Clinton won both states. In Florida, she took 50 percent of the vote to Obama's 33 percent.

In Michigan, the senator from New York was the only major candidate on the ballot. She won with 55 percent of the vote. Some 40 percent of Democrats in the state filed ballots declaring themselves "uncommitted."

Clinton said ignoring the votes in Michigan and Florida would be a "grave mistake."

"The road to a Democratic White House goes through Michigan and Florida, and if Democrats send the message that we don't care about your votes, I'm sure John McCain and the Republicans would be happy to have them," she said Wednesday in Detroit, Michigan.

She challenged Obama to join her in her call to count the votes or hold new elections.

Earlier this week, Obama's campaign released a statement: "We hope that all parties can agree on a fair seating of the Florida delegates so that Florida can participate in the Democratic Convention, and we look forward to working with the Florida Democratic Party and competing vigorously in the state so that Barack Obama can put Florida back into the Democratic column in November."

His campaign on Tuesday accused the Clinton campaign of attempting to change the rules late in the electoral game to garner delegates in Michigan, saying it continued to harbor "valid concerns about the proposal" to hold another primary in June.

Neither Clinton nor Obama may get enough delegates -- 2,024 -- to clinch the nomination before the convention. Clinton is trailing Obama in delegates -- 1,479 to 1,621. E-mail to a friend E-mail to a friend

All About U.S. Presidential ElectionDemocratic PartyHillary ClintonBarack Obama

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