The Democratic National Committee yesterday tossed out part of the plan that the Maryland Democratic Party was intending to use to elect delegates to the 1984 convention, saying the plan was not democratic enough.
The DNC Compliance Review Commission, which examined the selection processes of most of the states during the last two days, said the Maryland proposal to have the party central committee select all 25 alternates was not acceptable.
Instead, the commission said, Maryland must rewrite that section of the selection plan to allow voters in the May 8, 1984, Democratic primary to elect 14 alternates directly.
Maryland will have 74 delegates and 25 alternates attending the 1984 Democratic National Convention in San Francisco, where the Democratic nominee for president will be selected. Of that number, 42 delegates will be elected by Democratic primary voters in each congressional district.
Under the Maryland plan, others sent to the convention would be selected by the state central committee a month later, opening the way for the state party to give friends and allies a spot at the prestigious party event. National party officials said that some alternates had to be elected at the primary.
Maryland Democratic officials said yesterday that the system they proposed for selecting alternates was designed to ensure that women and minorities are adequately represented in the delegation sent to the convention.
"We don't care if they change it as long as they can come up with a way to satisfy all their rules . . . we couldn't," said Barbara Hoffman, executive director of the state party.
Maryland, unlike some other states, allows direct election of delegates. This means that Democratic voters in the primary cast an essentially meaningless "beauty contest" vote for a presidential candidate and a separate vote for delegates committed to the various candidates.
A presidential candidate wins not by locking up the "beauty contest" but by winning the most delegates. According to state party officials, this setup makes it difficult to have direct election at the same time of alternates because party rules require that each presidential candidate get the same percentage of alternates as they do of delegates.