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Democrats Elect National Convention Delegates Despite Inability To Hold In-Person Conventions

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Democrats Elect National Convention Delegates Despite Inability To Hold In-Person Conventions

June 23, 2020

For Immediate Release: 
June 23, 2020
Contact: Brittni McGuire, Brittni@wvdemocrats.com
 
Democrats Elect National Convention Delegates Despite Inability To Hold In-Person Conventions
The virtual process helped reach Democrats across the state
(Charleston, WV) – The West Virginia Democratic Party held its first virtual state convention due to the outbreak of COVID-19 and emergency restrictions on crowd size. Despite the inability to meet in-person, the West Virginia Democratic Party elected its most diverse slate of National Convention Delegates and the online process may have been the reason.
“Although we would have rather met in person to get down to business and see one another I truly believe the ability to reach Democrats from all across the state without the requirement of travel to Charleston allowed us to elect a diverse slate of Delegates that truly represent Democrats in West Virginia,” said Belinda Biafore, WVDP Chairwoman.
Seeing a larger turnout than 2016, the virtual process seemed to have helped people participate by eliminating the requirement of travel and expenses.
“We were bummed when we couldn’t all be together, but safety was our top priority, and to know that this process enabled people to participate makes us feel really good about it. When you hold in-person events most of the time it’s the same group of people that show up and while those people are certainly valued and appreciated because they are our biggest supporters, we needed to do something to reach further.”
Online registration and participation were talked about before the COVID-19 outbreak, but without the time for proper planning and putting changes in place, it wouldn’t have happened.
West Virginia has always struggled with a lack of infrastructure related to broadband connectivity and to ensure that everyone could participate, Party staff and volunteers stayed on the phones to allow participation from individuals who lacked the ability to access the internet.
“Our staff and representatives worked tirelessly on the phones and even connecting with Democrats on the ground to be sure that everyone could participate and that this process would be upheld. I am very appreciative of all of the work that our committees, staff, and fellow Democrats put in to make this successful.”

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