Politics and Government

DFL moves to online party conventions

Man at podium talking
Minnesota DFL Party Chair Ken Martin at a state Capitol news conference in January. After initially delaying regional conventions because of COVID-19, the state DFL Party has decided to use online balloting instead of in-person gatherings.
Tim Pugmire | MPR News

Members of the Minnesota Democratic Farmer Labor Party won’t meet this spring for local and regional party conventions because of the coronavirus.

In an emergency meeting Monday night, the DFL’s executive committee voted to use online balloting instead of in-person conventions for all local and district-level conventions, part of an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19.

“The cancellation of DFL conventions in favor of an online balloting system was not an easy decision to come to, but it is imperative that we all step up and do our part to protect our communities,” said DFL party chair Ken Martin.

The DFL and Minnesota Republican Party hold local and regional conventions to endorse candidates, pass resolutions, and elect delegates to higher-level conventions later in the year.

The DFL announcement replaces a decision last week to postpone most of its conventions until at least May, while moving conventions without competitive endorsement contests online. Now all in-person local and district conventions will be replaced with online voting, not just ones without competitive endorsement races.

Online voting for digital conventions will take place between April 25 and May 4.

The Republican Party of Minnesota delayed its local and regional conventions last week until mid-April due to COVID-19, and as of Wednesday decided to hold their local party conventions online.

The DFL’s statewide convention, originally scheduled for May 30-31 in Rochester, is still scheduled to take place. However, the party noted that guidance from public officials and health agencies could lead to changes to that event.