Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) praised a move by the Democratic National Committee (DNC) on Saturday to limit the role of superdelegates in choosing the party’s presidential nominee.
“Today’s decision by the DNC is an important step forward in making the Democratic Party more open, democratic and responsive to the input of ordinary Americans,” Sanders said in a statement.
“This has been a long and arduous process, and I want to thank Tom Perezand all of those who made it happen,” the 2016 Democratic presidential candidate added, referring to DNC Chairman Tom Perez.
The DNC reform, adopted by voice vote on Saturday at the party’s summer meeting in Chicago, would prevent superdelegates from voting during the first ballot of the nominating process. However, they’d be allowed to vote on a second ballot should the need arise.
“Today is a historic day for our party,” Perez said in a statement after the vote. “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.”
Superdelegates are unpledged delegates to the DNC who are seated automatically and can choose to vote for whatever candidate they prefer. They are often party elders such as former lawmakers, presidents and other party dignitaries.
The superdelegates broke overwhelmingly for Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential primary, deepening the divide within the Democratic Party and fueling claims from Sanders supporters that the process was rigged against their candidate.