Thousands of delegates were set to participate in Nevada’s Democratic county conventions over the weekend. But like nearly every aspect of life over the past month, the novel coronavirus pandemic has forced party leaders to push the process online.
Until Friday, delegates selected during February’s Democratic Presidential Caucus can register to participate in their party’s county conventions. In early May, those delegates will vote to select a county party platform and elect local party leaders. They’ll also decide who will represent the state at the national convention.
NVDems Spokesperson Molly Forgey says it’s essentially the same process as in previous years, but with some key differences.
“So it’ll be a remote process in that you can participate either online or over the phone, and essentially, we’ve broken it up into three steps where we have a registration period, a credentialing period and then a voting period,” she said.
Those aren’t the only changes this election cycle.
Democrats in Nevada made headlines in 2016 when supporters for Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders tried to change party rules and send more of their delegates to the national convention despite former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton winning the caucus earlier that year.
Forgey says the national committee changed the rules in 2018 to prevent that from happening again. So, delegates for Senator Bernie Sanders have to stick with him even though former Vice President Joe Biden is the presumptive nominee.
“Basically, everyone’s delegates are locked in at the first determining step, which was the caucus," she says. "So, there isn’t that room for the negotiation anymore that we saw in previous conventions in 2016 where it’s up to whether your delegates show up for you or not.”
As for Nevada Republicans, the state party has yet to announce how they’ll determine who to send to the national convention, but it may not really matter as GOP officials in the state have already bound their delegates to President Trump.