Sen. Nelson Talks Do-over With Obama, Clinton

Despite opposition from Florida lawmakers in the House, Sen. Bill Nelson, (D-Fla.) said Thursday that mail-in balloting would be the most "fair and practical" way to make Florida's vote count in the race for the White House. 

But Nelson said that in order for the plan to work, he wants the state government to help authenticate all the signatures on the ballots. 

"That is essential," the senator said, adding that Gov. Charlie Crist, a Republican, has been "helpful" so far in the on-going discussions.  

Nelson--who supports Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton--said he talked to both Clinton (D-N.Y.) and Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) Thursday when the two presidential candidates appeared in the chamber to cast votes on a hefty budget package.

"I expressed very firmly that at the end of the day, Floridians must have their ballot count," Nelson said. But, the senator added, "the Obama and Clinton campaigns can't agree" on a plan.  

Asked if he talked about the mail-in ballot option with the candidates, Nelson said, "We didn't discuss that."

In the meantime, Nelson urged skeptical Florida lawmakers in the House to review the mail-in ballot plan proposed late Wednesday by the Florida Democratic Party. "There's going to be plenty of time for people to register their opinions," he said, before the plan goes back to the Democratic state committee for a vote.  

And even though Nelson supports mail-in balloting, "my preference is that the January 29th vote stand," he said.