Democratic National Committee
        August 25, 2018

DNC Passes Historic Reforms to the Presidential Nominating Process

Today, DNC members passed the most wide-ranging reforms in decades to the Democratic Party’s presidential nominating process. These reforms will grow the Democratic party, increase participation, rebuild trust with voters, and put our next nominee in the strongest position possible to win.

These reforms will:

  • Empower the grassroots and reduce the influence of superdelegates in order to better respect the will of the people; 
  • Expand the use of primaries;
  • Make caucuses more accessible by allowing shift workers, those in the military, seniors, people with disabilities, parents of young children,and others with barriers to caucus attendance to participate;
  • Encouragesame-day registration and same-day party switching; and 
  • Make it easier, not harder, for eligible people to participate in our democratic process.

“Today is a historic day for our party. We passed major reforms that will not only put our next presidential nominee in the strongest position possible, but will help us elect Democrats up and down the ballot, across the country,” said DNC Chair Tom Perez.  “These reforms will help grow our party, unite Democrats, and restore voters’ trust by making our 2020 nominating process the most inclusive and transparent in our history. Most importantly, these reforms will empower voters and ensure that they feel like their voices are being heard, especially young people who share the Democratic Party’s values. We listened and we acted, and I’m proud that our party is doing everything we can to bring people in and make it easier to vote. Meanwhile, the Republicans are working every day to divide our country and make it harder for people to exercise their constitutional rights at the ballot box. We have 73 days until the most important election of our lifetime. The future of our democracy is on the ballot. And it’s more critical now than ever that we continue to organize, engage voters, and win.  The American people are counting on us.”

“We applaud today’s vote to adopt the reforms put forth by the Unity Reform Commission.  After eight months of public meetings by this Commission and over 80 hours of discussion by the Rules and Bylaws Committee, our party has come together in unity to increase participation, empower our candidates, bring new and unaffiliated voters into the party, empower the grassroots, expand the use of primaries and make caucuses more accessible to workers,” said Unity Reform Commission Chair Jen O’Malley Dillon and Vice Chair Larry Cohen. “This progress didn’t happen overnight. Since delivering our recommendations to the DNC last December, DNC Chair Tom Perez, members of his staff and the members of both the Rules and Bylaws Committee and the Unity Reform Commission have had countless conversations with DNC members, party leaders, elected officials and activists.  Regardless of who we supported in the 2016 election, this group came together to make these reforms a reality in order to grow the party we all love. Today’s vote puts our party in a strong and unified position as we head into 2018 and 2020, and we are confident that because of these reforms, we’ll build on the wins up and down the ballot.”

Over the last year, the Unity Reform Commission spent eight months creating an initial proposal, the Rules and Bylaws Committee engaged in over 80 hours of discussion to finalize the slate of reforms, and DNC Chair Tom Perez spent over 100 hours holding meetings and calls in order to pass them. Countless elected officials, DNC officers, members, and party leaders also helped with this effort. In addition, the DNC spent the last two months whipping votes for this historic reform with a whip operation of about a dozen DNC staffers.  

Here are specifics on the reforms:

Superdelegates: The reforms passed by the full DNC require superdelegates to refrain from voting on the first presidential nominating ballot unless a candidate has enough votes from pledged delegates (based on the outcomes of primaries and caucuses) that superdelegates wouldn’t overturn the will of the people. While superdelegates have never in history reversed the will of the voters, this proposal rebuilds trust and addresses even the perception that this could occur. This proposal still gives superdelegates access to credentials, housing, and the convention floor; it maintains their voting privileges on all other party business like the platform, it maintains diversity of the 2016 delegate pool; and it does not preclude superdelegates from endorsing a candidate of their choosing.

Caucuses: The DNC passed reforms that make caucuses more inclusive, transparent, and accessible to participants. Specifically, these reforms require caucuses to have absentee voting or another mechanisms that would give folks who can’t participate in person a way to join in the process. In addition, these reforms mandate that states provide a written vote to allow for a recount if needed.

Primaries: While caucuses definitely have their place in the nominating process, the reforms encourage state parties to use a government-run primary where possible and to help ensure that primaries are more accessible to anyone who wants to participate as a Democrat. In addition, the reforms encourage state parties to work with states to strive for same-day or automatic registration and same-day party switching in Democratic primaries.

Party Reforms: The DNC passed reforms focused on strengthening the party and making it more competitive in all regions by investing in technology, empowering grassroots participation, diversifying the donor base, and supporting state parties in building infrastructure. Specifically, these reforms will combat voter suppression tactics; make the party competitive in every state and territory; increase grassroots participation; make the party more transparent, including in its Joint Fundraising Agreements and Memorandums of Understanding; and strengthen inclusivity and build on the great diversity of the party.

See also: background on the Unity Reform Commission.

Ed note: The RNC had a bit of fun poking at the Democrats...
Republican National Committee
August 23, 2018


UPDATED: Schedule of Events Open to the Press

The Democratic National Committee today announced major changes to the schedule for its Summer Meeting.


For questions, please contact Professor Tom Perez at during regular office hours.

DNC Summer Meeting


WHERE: Hyatt Regency

151 E Upper Wacker Dr.

Chicago, IL 60601


WHEN: August 23-25, 2018




Thursday, August 23rd


5:00pm            Breaking the ICE

Why we should actually support our own legislation


6:30pm            Softball Questions

Ask Professor Tom Perez anything! …except why he refused to participate in the annual RNC-DNC softball game


Friday, August 24th


9:30am            #MeToo or #KeithWho?

Senators Kirsten Gillibrand, Elizabeth Warren and Kamala Harris explain why immediately condemning Al Franken fit into their 2020 aspirations – but saying anything about Keith Ellison does not


11:00am          Running on Fumes

Tom Perez explains why he upset literally everyone by banning fossil fuel donations – only to reverse the ban two months later


12:30pm          Border Follies

Keith Ellison discusses why he doesn’t believe sovereign nations need borders.


Note: DNC Deputy Chair Keith Ellison will no longer be in attendance.


12:30pm          Til Debt Do Us Part

Now is not the time to ask us for money


2:00pm            Sanctuary Spaces

Socialist candidate Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez moderates a townhall about freedoms we have – and ones we shouldn’t


Note: Per Ms. Ocasio-Cortez, press is now banned from this event.


4:00pm            More Moral Victories!

We may not have won, but Ohio’s Danny O’Connor explains how we almost did


5:30pm            Bragging Right

How to sell reporters on thwarting cyberattacks, investing in state parties, and spending seven figures on a race – and none of it be true


7:00pm            “Stronger Together” Dinner

Hillary Clinton explains why Democrats are paying her millions for her email list


Saturday, August 25th


9:30am            When “No” Doesn’t Mean “No”

How to run for Congress and say you’re against Pelosi for speaker – when in reality you’ll still end up voting for her


11:00am          Breakout Sessions: Trashing America Today

2020 candidates will discuss their latest anti-America messaging over lunch

Vegan, gluten-free, paleo, and primal options will be served


The Wealth of (Other) Nations

Gov. Andrew Cuomo gives a history lesson on why America “was never that great”


Why Rev. Wright was Right

Sen. Cory Booker preaches about the “savagely wrong” state of America


It’s Mourning in America

Sen. Bernie Sanders lays out why America is “fundamentally immoral and wrong 


Do Blue Lives Really Matter?

Sen. Elizabeth Warren walks through how law enforcement is “racist…from front to back


1:00pm            No Money, No Problem!

How to sell the socialist agenda without explaining where you’ll get $40 trillion


2:30pm            Past is Prologue

A continuing conversation about the role of superdelegates in the nomination process