DNC Seeks to Allow Remote Participation at Summer Convention

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(Bloomberg) -- The Democratic National Committee is considering allowing delegates to the nominating convention to participate remotely while giving organizers free rein to make whatever changes are necessary to “protect the public safety” amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The new rules, which will first be voted on Tuesday by the Rules and Bylaws Committee before going to all DNC members for a vote, could dramatically change the scale of the party’s convention, scheduled to begin on Aug. 17. Officials said the convention planners were exploring a range of options to ensure all delegates would be able to cast ballots, regardless of their ability to participate in person.

The resolution would also confirm that the convention committee’s “authority to plan, arrange, manage and conduct the convention includes the ability to alter the date and other aspects of the convention in order to protect the public safety and ensure compliance with applicable laws.”

The roughly 447 DNC members would vote by mail if the resolution passes the committee.

The Milwaukee convention was initially planned for July before being bumped to August because of the coronavirus. The DNC is still planning on holding an in-person event, but the resolution would give the organizing committee flexibility to adapt programming and the schedule to ensure maximum participation, DNC officials said.

The Rules and Bylaws Committee on Tuesday will also discuss waivers submitted by five state parties that are having their primaries after the June 9 deadline or electing delegates after the June 20 deadline. The allocation of delegates for these states would not change.

New York is one of the states requesting a waiver to hold its primary on June 23, a change of course after the state’s Board of Elections canceled its presidential primary amid coronavirus fears. A judge ruled against that decision after former presidential candidate Andrew Yang filed a lawsuit.

At least 16 states have postponed their primaries in response to the conronavirus pandemic.

The Republican National Committee is scheduled to hold its convention from Aug. 24 to Aug. 27 in Charlotte, North Carolina.

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