Tom Perez, chair of the Democratic National Committee, address the audience during a speech on Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2019, in Atlanta. Perez spoke about efforts to combat voter suppression at a talk in Atlanta on the week the city was to play host to the Democratic presidential candidates debate. (AP Photo/ Ron Harris)

Tom Perez, left, chair of the Democratic National Committee, and Nikema Williams, chair of the Georgia Democratic Party, speak with reporters on Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2019, in Atlanta. Perez and Williams highlighted their talks with efforts to combat voter suppression. Atlanta plays host to the Democratic presidential candidates debate. (AP Photo/ Ron Harris) (AP Photo/ Ron Harris)

Photo: Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Photo: Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Georgia Democrats rewrite delegate plan for DNC in coronavirus era

Georgia Democrats overhauled the rules to select delegates for the party’s national convention as the coronavirus pandemic makes in-person meetings increasingly impossible. 

The party released rules Wednesday to allow remote voting and virtual meetings ahead of the Democratic National Convention, which was postponed until August 17.

The new policy also gives Democratic activists a one-week window to register to become electors for their district-level elections, with the vote decided online. Previously, in-person registration was required.

Another update might soon be required, however, now that Bernie Sanders has suspended his presidential campaign, making former Vice President Joe Biden the party’s presumptive nominee.

The rules shape how the party metes out the 120 delegates and nine alternates who represent the state at the DNC. 

-- Of those, 68 delegates will be elected from the state’s 14 congressional districts on April 25. 

-- Those 68 delegates will elect 14 “party leaders and elected officials” to add to the delegation on May 30. 

-- On June 13, the Democratic Party of Georgia’s state committee will elect the remaining 23 at-large delegates and nine alternates. 

-- The remaining 15 delegates are “automatic” selections of elected officials – what used to be known as “superdelegates.” 

The rewrite stands in contrast to the Georgia GOP meetings held around the state two weeks ago as the pandemic crisis grew. Party officials said the only way to select delegates was to hold the meetings as scheduled, though they actively encouraged activists to steer clear. 

State party officials might have to revise the rules yet again, if Georgia’s May 19 primary is pushed back again. The DNC rules penalize states that hold their election beyond June 9, although states can apply for a waiver to seek an exemption.  

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About the Author

Greg Bluestein
Greg Bluestein
Greg Bluestein is a political reporter who covers the governor's office and state politics for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
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