Democratic delegate selection goes virtual during pandemic

Political Connection

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) — California is the biggest delegate prize in the country with 494.

But getting to be a delegate in the Democratic Party involves some campaigning in person, which can be fast and furious in its own right — just not this year.

This year, the process has gone virtual to limit everyone’s exposure to COVID-19.

“Typically, this has been left to party insiders. They’re the only ones who know about this very intimate system of how delegates are elected,” Democratic political consultant Steve Maviglio said. “The opportunity, by going virtual, is that more people can find out about it and literally can vote. Typically, if you didn’t have that one hour of time on a Saturday in the middle of the summer, you couldn’t vote.”

“A lot of phone calls, a lot of text messages and, frankly, I’m hoping I’m helping people learn to engage in the process who wouldn’t normally show up on a weekend to stand in a room and listen to people talk. Instead, you’re reaching out to people and they say, ‘What does a caucus do? What is the importance of this?’” delegate candidate Aaron Skaggs said.

You have just a few more hours to vote for the Democratic delegate you’d like to vote for your choice at the national party convention. Some delegates will still go to Bernie Sanders.

You have to go to the state party website Thursday night and this year select either the Sanders or Joe Biden campaign to send you a ballot.

You’ll get that ballot via email on June 5 and then have a few days to return it.

For decades, state Republicans have chosen their delegates through an application process, not any kind of caucus, which remains undisturbed by the coronavirus.

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