Not a decisive step, but also not the first signal that the traditional convention format may be toast in the Year of COVID-19. Democrats moved their four-day party from mid-July to later August in order to outlast the pandemic restrictions on public gatherings, but so far there seems to be no end in sight to the bans on large-scale events, especially indoors. If the state of Wisconsin won’t relax those restrictions before August, or if too many of the DNC’s constituents and delegates refuse to participate in what could very well turn into a mass-spread event, then the DNC had better have a Plan B in place.
Thus, the New York Times reports, members will vote on a rule change today that will allow the DNC to change the nomination process from in-person to remote, if necessary:
The Democratic National Committee on Tuesday will take its first formal step toward allowing a virtual convention, a last-resort measure that party officials have tried to avoid but that appears increasingly likely as the coronavirus’s threat persists.
The party’s rules committee will vote Tuesday on whether to give convention officials the authority to alter the event’s key processes — like switching to remote voting for delegates. …
Tuesday’s vote, which is widely expected to pass the party’s Rules and Bylaws Committee, would shift authority to make decisions on issues like remote voting to officials in charge of producing the quadrennial convention. D.N.C. officials emphasized Monday that no decisions had been made about canceling any in-person elements of the convention.