DNC Committee Approves Rules Change To Allow Virtual Voting At Convention

DNC Chairman Tom Perez (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
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May 12, 2020 4:39 p.m.
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The Democratic National Committee’s Rules and Bylaws Committee voted Tuesday to allow for “maximum flexibility” when it comes to conducting the August nominating convention in Milwaukee. 

The motion was approved unanimously and will now go to the full DNC for consideration.

“Contingency plans are being developed so Democrats can nominate their next candidate without risking their health,” Rules and Bylaws Committee co-chair Jim Roosevelt said during a phone meeting. “Options include everything from adjusting convention format to dealing with crowd size and schedules.” 

DNC Secretary Jason Rae added that it is still “unknown” how bad the pandemic will be in late August when the convention will be held.

“Decisions are yet to be made about what the convention will ultimately look like,” he said.

DNC Chairman Tom Perez bashed the Republicans’ handling of their convention, saying that both President Donald Trump and RNC chairwoman Ronna McDaniel “scoffed at” serious health risks associated with coronavirus.

“Our number one priority is the health and safety of the American people,” he said. “That stands in stark contrast to how the RNC is handling their convention.” 

In late April, McDaniel said that the party’s Charlotte, North Carolina convention is “full steam ahead,” though the party may reconsider later in the summer. 

“We don’t build out our convention until July. So I think we have at least until the end of June or early July to make a decision if we have to switch from a traditional convention to something scaled back,” she told reporters on a briefing call, per CNN. “But we will have to have an in-person convention. Those are the bylaws of the RNC and so currently, going forward, we’re planning on a full-scale convention.”

During the same Tuesday phone meeting, the DNC committee unanimously granted waivers to five states — Kentucky, New York, Delaware, New Jersey and Louisiana — that delayed their primaries past June 9, the previous cutoff date when states would incur delegate-loss penalties.

Before the pandemic escalated, the DNC warned that states that blew the deadline could risk losing as many as half of their delegates to the convention.

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