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A new type of convention

Hamilton County Democrats plan absentee event

The Hamilton County Democrats will host an absentee county convention over several days in April.

The Convention Committees were called into action to meet the challenge of holding a county convention while respecting the social distancing due to COVID-19.

“I’m proud of the way the state and local leaders overcame the obstacles so that we can safely participate in this critical part of our democracy,” said Kathy Getting, chair of the Hamilton County Democrats.

Since postponing the March 21 Democratic County Conventions, the Iowa Democratic State Central Committee, with input from county chairs, devised an absentee ballot county convention that will take place over a number of days in April. The convention rules were revised by local convention committee members. In the coming days, convention delegates and alternates will be contacted by county party leaders to share information, register and vote.

The absentee process will begin with registration over five days via email on April 13 and end at 5 p.m. on April 17. Those without known emails will be contacted by phone. Then the Credential Committee will examine the list of registered voters for a quorum and the need for contacting alternates in the second step.

Finally, the ballots will be sent out on April 22 by Catheryn Dingman, Rules and Nominations Committee member to the seated delegates. The balloting will close at 5 p.m. April 30. Emails will be sent to the those selected to serve as delegates to the district and state conventions and the results posted on www.hamcodems.org.

A change to the state and national Democratic party rules after the 2016 election resulted in limiting the amount of realignments that happen in conventions. Presidential preferences of caucus attendees are maintained if they represent 15 percent of the convention all the way to the first vote of the National Convention, even if the candidate drops out of the race. That means that the four candidates, Buttigieg, Biden, Sanders, and Warren who were viable in Hamilton County, will sent delegates to the district and state conventions. Klobuchar delegates did not reach the viability benchmark and may choose to realign during registration.

Getting said It is anticipated that the district convention will also be an absentee process in May and it is possible that the state convention in June will be too. The Democratic National Convention was rescheduled for the week of Aug. 17.

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