Aug. 25 (UPI) -- The Democratic National Committee on Saturday voted to significantly reduce the power of superdelegates by limiting their ability to vote on the first ballot for the party's presidential nominee.
Two years ago, the party created the Unity Reform Commission to propose changes, which led discussions in the DNC's Rules and Bylaws Committee and a vote by the Executive Committee before approval by the full DNC.
Despite an intensely contested debate, the party came together in Chicago to clear the way for the overhaul, which will begin in 2020.
The move will prohibit almost 700 unpledged party leaders, elected officials and activists from voting for presidential nominee during the DNC's 2020 convention, unless the candidate already has a secured majority.
Sanders said the move will make the party "more open, democratic and responsive to the input of ordinary Americans."
"This has been a long and arduous process, and I want to thank @TomPerez and all of those who made it happen," Sanders tweeted.
DNC Chair Tom Perez said the reform is historical and will not only put the party's next presidential nominee in the strongest position possible, "but will help us elect Democrats up and down the ballot, across the country."
"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," Perez said.
The overhaul also requires state parties to accept absentee votes, which addresses concerns that the caucuses are less democratic than primaries because they require people to physically attend in order to participate.