Monday, May 11, 2020

Libertarians to hold virtual POTUS vote May 22-24

Libertarian Party To Choose Its Presidential Ticket in Virtual Vote Over Memorial Day Weekend
Followed by an in-person convention for other business in Orlando in July | Reason - Brian Doherty:

May 9, 2020 - "The Libertarian Party's National Committee (LNC) decided by a 13–4 vote today, after a tortuous 8-hour Zoom meeting, to divide the party's convention business into two parts. The first will be an online meeting over the same Memorial Day weekend during which the scotched in-person convention was supposed to occur in Austin, Texas. At this online meeting, "nomination and balloting for party candidates for President and Vice-President" will occur. Then a follow-up physical convention will be held in Orlando, Florida, ... July 8–12....

"The [Austin lockdown order in response to the] pandemic led the original convention hotel to cancel the party's reservation. Some expected that last Saturday the LNC would commit to a non-physical option, but instead, they voted to give themselves another 10 days to set up an alternate physical convention to occur before July 15....

"Some worried, during the meeting and in online chatter, that the progress of the law or the pandemic might make the party have to eventually cancel the in-person portion in July later anyway. Many also worry that the combination of the pandemic and the presidential vote having already occurred will encourage lots of would-be delegates to not show up in Orlando even if an in-person event does happen.... Some thought it made the party look criminally irresponsible to encourage 1,000 people to travel across the country to descend on a city, then scatter; some thought it made them look like they were kowtowing to tyrannical fears and supportive of shutting down American business to not do that....

"Daniel Hayes, head of the convention oversight committee, said in a phone interview before the meeting that an in-person convention was vital for media attention; this is likely so, though shifting the presidential vote into the virtual earlier convention likely will drain some media interest from the physical followup. Out of an abundance of caution over whether some entity might later decide the decision of a virtual presidential vote was technically against the rules, the outcome of the Memorial Day online vote will need to be ratified by the July in-person convention.

"LNC Secretary Caryn Ann Harlos was one of the leading voices, at first, for an in-person convention only, but was key in offering a version of the 'presidential vote electronic, rest in person later' compromise.... Harlos thinks, though, that since their very purpose as a party is to run national candidates, a compromise that allows that and only that business to be done electronically was acceptable, as waiting much longer would conflict with certain state's ballot access deadlines.... The matter is important because some state ballot petitioning rules require the actual named candidate, so the later the candidate is named, the harder it will be to meet those requirements.

"Joe Bishop-Henchman, a candidate for LNC chair this year and a leader in the 'online presidential vote' faction said in a phone interview before the convention that he worried if the party didn't settle its presidential candidate question sooner rather than later that some state party affiliates might see it necessary to 'defy [the national party] and go it alone' ... but he thinks the compromise reached today will 'prevent that from happening, the danger of different presidential tickets in different states.'"

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