DENVER (CBS4)– Delegates to the Democratic National Convention began voting Monday on their presidential nominee and party platform, even though the event is two weeks away. It is just one example of how “unconventional” this year’s party conventions will be.
Chair of the Colorado Democratic Party Morgan Carroll is among the state’s 79 delegates to the DNC this year. She will never forget her first convention in 2008 when Barack Obama was nominated in Denver.
“That was pure floating magic,” said Carroll.
She would have been in Milwaukee this month to vote for Obama’s Vice President Joe Biden as the Democratic nominee, if not for COVID-19.
“It’s just an absolutely electric thing to be part of and it is going to have to be quite different,” said Carroll.
While the national parties have not released details, including prime time speakers, both the Democratic and Republican National Conventions will be virtual. Instead of thousands of party faithful packed into a convention hall, only a few hundred will attend in person.
“We’re going to be tested while we’re there, we’re going to be taking temperatures, doing the math, cleaning, washing hands,” said Vera Ortegon, a National Republican Committeewoman and one of six Coloradans who will be in Charlotte for the RNC.
“We have to be extra energized, we have to be motivated to make sure that we carry the message, that we’ve been given that responsibility.”
They also have to be extra creative.
“We’re experimenting with new software, something called Icebreaker.” It’s kind of like a speed round of getting to know other delegates. The upside is when you’re doing it online, you can actually let more people who were not elected delegates participate,” said Carroll.
The virtual venues won’t come with balloons and confetti, but Carroll and Ortegon say they won’t disappoint.
“Don’t worry, you will feel the energy, the happiness,” said Ortegon.
“Some years you need that convention to help pull people together and really build some enthusiasm,” said Carroll. “I think Democrats are there.”
Carroll adds the Colorado Democratic Party will have a virtual grassroots kickoff the first night of its convention Aug. 17 and virtual watch party the last night for Biden’s acceptance speech.