2020 Delegate Selection

2020 Delegate Selection for the VA-8th Congressional District Democratic Convention, Virginia State Democratic Convention, and the Democratic National Convention

DNC Convention
REUTERS/Mark Kauzlarich

UPDATED ON APRIL 10, 2020

Interested in participating in the Democratic convention process? Although COVID-19 is causing changes to the convention process this year (including conducting local county/city caucuses virtually), it is still an exciting way to participate in the presidential election!

Set forth below is a very high-level and simplified explanation of the convention delegate selection process. This web page is provided for informational purposes only. It is no substitute for reading the rules governing the process! If you are serious about becoming a delegate, you are responsible for understanding and complying with those rules in their entirety. Reliance on any errors in this explanation will not be grounds for challenging the delegate selection process.

Step 1: Arlington Delegate Selection Caucus

The first step in the delegate selection process is to become a delegate from your city or county to your Congressional District Democratic Convention and the Virginia State Democratic Convention (both of which may be held virtually). If you live in Arlington, you live in the 8th Congressional District, and your local county/city committee is the Arlington Democrats.

Being an Arlington delegate means that you represent your hometown in the Democratic convention process, which is cool! It also means that you are able to vote for those activists who wish to become national delegates. Even cooler!

Based on a formula set by the Democratic Party of Virginia, Arlington is permitted to elect 75 delegates and 19 alternates (see table below for details). Alternate delegates are needed in case a delegate is unable to attend all or part of the conventions for which they are eligible. Arlington Democrats will elect the Arlington delegates and alternates via a virtual unassembled caucus, which will be held from April 18, 2020 at 12:00 pm ET until April 20th, 2020 at 7:00 pm ET. Please review the rules governing the virtual caucus

Presidential CandidateArlington DelegatesArlington Alternates
Joe Biden4211
Bernie Sanders164
Elizabeth Warren174
Totals7519

You must file to become a candidate for delegate or alternate in advance of the caucus. The filing form for those interested in standing for election to become Arlington delegates is the same form to be used by those interested in becoming Arlington alternates. In all cases, the deadline for submitting your filing form to become an Arlington delegate or alternate is 5:00 pm ET on April 9, 2020. If you submitted your filing form prior to March 25, 2020, you DO NOT need to resubmit it using the new link above (which is updated to reflect logistical changes related to COVID-19). (The filing form is only available online at the link above.)

The filing form requires your contact information and Democratic Party commitment, as well as the identification of your Presidential candidate preference. These requirements are non-negotiable, and your options are limited to the Presidential candidates who received at least 15% of the vote in the Democratic Presidential Primary in Arlington (i.e., Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders, and Elizabeth Warren). State Convention delegates elected from Arlington for Biden and Sanders will stay with that preference throughout the delegate selection process. Warren delegates are committed at the 8th Congressional District Convention, but may join either the Biden or Sanders group at the State Convention. At each stage of the process, you will only be permitted to vote on delegates and alternates who formally designate the same Presidential candidate preference as you.

Please note that the caucus rules permit cancellation of the caucus if the number of delegates and alternate candidates is less than or equal to the number of overall delegates and alternates allocated to Arlington. The caucus usually (but not always) is cancelled for this reason. In other words, it usually is the case that Arlington’s delegates are elected automatically (by acclamation) without appearing on a ballot -- so don’t let the idea of standing for election scare you off! 

If the caucus is not cancelled, individuals who have filed to be delegates and alternates -- as well as any individuals who have filed to be caucus voters by 5:00 pm ET on April 9, 2020 -- will be emailed instructions on how to vote in Arlington’s virtual caucus. (The filing form to be a caucus voter is only available online at the link above.)

If the caucus is cancelled, the individuals who have filed to be delegates and alternates will be notified by email. If there are fewer delegates/candidates than Arlington’s total allocation of delegates and alternates, Arlington Democrats leadership will work with the local representatives of the presidential campaigns to fill the open slots.

If you have any questions concerning the Arlington caucus, please email delegate@arlingtondemocrats.org.

Step 2: Virginia’s Eighth Congressional District Democratic Convention

The next step in the process is for delegates from Arlington and the other jurisdictions in the Eighth Congressional District to come together virtually at the Eighth Congressional District Democratic Convention, which currently is scheduled to convene at 11:00 am ET on May 16, 2020 at Edison High School (5801 Franconia, Alexandria, VA 22310). Please review the rules governing the convention

Seven delegates and one alternate to the Democratic National Convention will be elected at the 8th Congressional District Democratic Convention (4 female delegates, 3 male delegates, 1 male alternate). These delegates and alternate positions will be divided among the Presidential candidates who received at least 15% of the vote in the Democratic Presidential Primary in the 8th Congressional District (i.e., Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders, and Elizabeth Warren). The official division of delegates and alternate positions among the Presidential candidates is as follows: Female Delegates: Biden (2), Sanders (1), Warren (1); Male Delegates: Biden (2), Sanders (1), Warren (0); and Male Alternate: Biden (1), Sanders (0), Warren (0). An elector also will be elected at the 8th Congressional District Democratic Convention.

Virginia’s Congressional District Democratic Conventions are critical opportunities for activists to become national delegates. If you wish to be considered for a national delegate, alternate, or elector position at the 8th Congressional District Democratic Convention, you must complete a second filing form, which must be submitted by 5:00 pm ET on May 1, 2020. (A PDF of the filing form for district-level positions is also available.)

If you are an Arlington delegate who does not wish to be considered for the national delegate, alternate, or elector positions, there is no second filing form. Just plan to show up at the convention to vote and have fun!

The Eighth Congressional District Democratic Convention normally features several interesting speakers, as well as speeches from activists who are seeking to become national delegates, alternates and the elector. Only those Arlington delegates who wish to become national delegates, alternates, and the elector will be allowed to give speeches. All Arlington delegates will vote on national delegate, alternate, and elector candidates at the Eighth Congressional District Democratic Convention.

If you have any questions concerning the 8th Congressional District Democratic Convention, please email chairman@va8thcddems.org.

Step 3: Virginia State Democratic Convention
[Subject to Change Based on COVID-19 Concerns -- Check Back for Updates]

The next step in the delegate selection process is for delegates from Arlington and all other jurisdictions in Virginia to come together at the Virginia State Democratic Convention, which is currently scheduled to be held in Richmond on June 20, 2020. As indicated in the Call to Convention issued by the Democratic Party of Virginia, the convention is currently scheduled to begin at 10:00 am ET at the Greater Richmond Convention Center (403 North Third Street, Richmond, VA 23219) in the Grand Ballroom.

Additional delegates and alternates to the Democratic National Convention will be elected at this convention. These delegates are known as “at-large” delegates, and they have the same rights and responsibilities at the Democratic National Convention as national delegates who are elected at the Congressional District level. If you wish to be considered for an at-large national delegate or alternate position at the State Democratic Convention, you must complete the same second filing form referenced above, which must be submitted by 5:00 pm ET on May 21, 2020. There is no need to submit this second Google form twice -- just be sure to select all of the relevant options in the “Filing For” section of this form when you initially file it. (A PDF of the filing form specific to the at-large positions is also available.)

If you are an Arlington delegate who does not wish to be considered for the at-large national delegate and alternate positions, there is no second filing form. Once again, just plan to show up at the convention to vote and have fun!

The convention will feature multiple distinguished speakers, including senior elected officials from Virginia. Candidates for at-large delegates and alternates typically do not give speeches at the State Democratic Convention. All Arlington delegates will vote on national delegate candidates pledged to their candidate at this convention. It is a great way to get a feel for the national convention without actually traveling to Wisconsin! The State Convention will also choose two electors and five Democratic National Committee members (whose four year terms will start at the end of the National Convention).

If you have any questions concerning the Virginia State Democratic Convention, please email 2020@vademocrats.org.

Other Resources

The Democratic Party of Virginia has made available a lot of information about the delegate selection process. Please visit their web site at vademocrats.org/delegateselection, which includes educational videos, source documents, PDF versions of the district-level and at-large filing forms, and more!

Arlington Democrats also may update this web page periodically with additional information.

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