Dems work on vir­tual con­ven­tion ex­pe­ri­ence

Orlando Sentinel - - People & Arts - By Bill Bar­row and Stephen Oh­lemacher

Democrats are mak­ing new moves to­ward a vir­tual pres­i­den­tial nom­i­nat­ing con­ven­tion in Au­gust, with party of­fi­cials pre­par­ing to grant con­ven­tion or­ga­niz­ers in Mil­wau­kee the au­thor­ity to de­sign an event that won’t re­quire del­e­gates to at­tend in per­son amid the coro­n­avirus pan­demic.

A top party of­fi­cial dis­cussed the plans ahead of Tues­day’s vir­tual meet­ing of the Demo­cratic Na­tional Com­mit­tee’s Rules and By­laws Com­mit­tee. The of­fi­cial spoke on con­di­tion of anonymity to dis­cuss moves that still re­quire ap­proval by the com­mit­tee and the DNC’s 447 mem­bers.

The in­flu­en­tial panel will start the process with a res­o­lu­tion that grants “max­i­mum flex­i­bil­ity” to the con­ven­tion or­ga­niz­ing com­mit­tee to set up a gath­er­ing that “guar­an­tees every del­e­gate can ac­com­plish their of­fi­cial busi­ness with­out put­ting their own health at risk.” That will in­clude fi­nal­iz­ing con­ven­tion dates — which now are set only as “the week of Aug. 17” — and deter­min­ing “for­mat, vot­ing mech­a­nisms, struc­ture and other lo­gis­ti­cal as­pects of the con­ven­tion.”

The ex­pected ac­tion un­der­scores how deeply COVID-19 has up­ended the 2020 pres­i­den­tial elec­tion, po­ten­tially forc­ing one or both major par­ties to dra­mat­i­cally al­ter their con­ven­tions in ways that not even the Civil War re­quired. And it raises the pos­si­bil­ity fur­ther that Joe Bi­den will be nom­i­nated with­out the tra­di­tional roll call vote from thou­sands of del­e­gates across 57 states and ter­ri­to­ries.

The res­o­lu­tion also would al­low two of the most high-pro­file con­ven­tion com­mit­tees — the Rules Com­mit­tee and the Cre­den­tials Com­mit­tee — to con­duct busi­ness with­out hav­ing to have their fi­nal re­ports ap­proved by the full con­ven­tion, a ma­neu­ver that could min­i­mize some floor fight.


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