Bernie Sanders and Trump supporters, who share different opinions on almost every political issue, are bonded by a single concern: they want to be heard by delegates.
As we enter the last months of primaries and get closer to the party conventions in July, people are questioning the way that our electoral system works, particularly when it comes to delegates.
Many voters worry that delegates’ votes will not reflect their vote, or how their state voted. To that effect, we’ve seen many petitions specifically asking that delegates vote for Donald Trump (16 petitions) or Bernie Sanders (39 petitions). (Hillary Clinton also gets a shout out with 7 petitions).
Trump and Sanders supporters have different concerns when it comes to the delegate system depriving voters of their voices.
For Sanders supporters, of course, the issue is superdelegates -- party big wigs who can vote for whoever they want. This petition, started by Elliot Simpson, asking Washington state superdelegates to support Bernie Sanders has the most signatures regarding delegates with more than 8,800.
“Despite the caucus delegates supporting Senator Sanders by a margin of approximately 3:1 over Hillary Clinton, the super-delegates of the state have already committed to support former Secretary-of-State Clinton,” writes Simpson. “...It is your civic duty to represent your constituents according to how we have cast our votes, and we support Senator Sanders!”
For Trump supporters, the fear is a contested convention that leads to multiple rounds of delegate voting. A contested convention means that the candidate with the most delegates walking into the convention (Trump) may not be the one that walks out with the nomination.
With more than 3,300 signatures, Jamie Hart’s petition echoes the concerns of many Trump supporters stating, “If Donald J. Trump receives the majority of delegates he should not be blocked in any way by the RNC or anyone else. The people have spoken. He will be the 2016 Republican Nominee.”
Americans aren’t just upset about delegates. They want to reshape the electoral process in other ways as well.
Citizens in Arizona, Florida, Pennsylvania, New York, and California, for instance, would all like to change their state’s closed primary to an open primary system.
Kate Davey is based in Change.org's New York office.