The 1500 delegates to the Iowa G-O-P’s 2020 state convention will NOT convene in person next month due to concerns about the coronavirus. Iowa Republican Party chairman Jeff Kaufmann said delegates will be mailed paper ballots to make the decisions they’d normally make at a convention site.
“The business of approving the platform, the business of electing a National Committeeman and Committeewoman and the business of choosing our last slate of National Convention Delegates will all be done by mail-in ballot,” he said during a Radio Iowa interview.
The Republican Party conducted its recent district conventions with mail-in ballots and Kaufmann said delegate participation was higher than normal, with at least an 80 percent return rate. In one district, nearly 87 percent of delegates returned their mail in ballots.
“In terms of these conventions being the voice of the grassroots of the party faithful, we certainly achieved that,” Kaufmann told Radio Iowa. “In fact, if you just look at the statistic of people weighing in, we probably had a higher percentage or at the very least an equal percentage of what we would have had, had we been together.”
Kaufmann said it’s simply not feasible to plan to have people from around the state gather in Des Moines on June 13 and then go back home in the midst of a pandemic.
“We had individuals coming from all 99 counties, including the hot spot counties,” Kaufmann said, “and so the decisions that are made is about the location, but also the location of where all the individuals are coming from.”
The national convention for Republicans is currently scheduled for August, in Charlotte, North Carolina. Kaufmann, who is also a member of the Republican NATIONAL Committee, said he just doesn’t know if that event will be held as originally planned.
“The health and safety of the people participating as well as the people running the convention are going to be paramount and I don’t think any of us can predict what the climate is going to be like,” Kaufmann said.
Kaufmann, though, said there’s just something about a crowd of party faithful listening to their presidential nominee speak and that would be lost if the national convention isn’t held in some form.