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BOONE — A month after the convention was originally scheduled, the Watauga County’s Democratic Party will hold its annual convention on a virtual platform from 9-11 a.m. on Saturday, April 25.

Originally slated for March 28, the virtual convention will be held “via North Carolina Democratic Party telecommunications tools,” the N.C. Democratic Party announced.

Charlie Wallin, N.C. Democratic Party Fifth District chair, said that in a presidential election year, the Democratic National Convention has to approve whatever happens.

“Zoom seems to be the format that’ll be used,” Wallin said. “It’s looking like Google Sheet will be the way you vote.”

Wallin said that N.C. Democratic Party will host all the county meetings in the state, with the western N.C. counties all at the same time in the morning, the central N.C. counties afterward and the eastern N.C. counties last.

“We’re all learning how to handle this as we go along — it’s different times for everyone,” Wallin said. “In a presidential year, it makes it more interesting.”

The agenda could be shortened, Wallin said, as the 9 a.m. conventions have to be completed by 11 a.m.

Wallin said that a call-in number will be sent out to the public and media prior to the convention.

Speakers at the virtual convention will include party officials, county candidates and Jesse Presnell, a Watauga native who is currently a senior analyst at the Democratic National Committee.

As far as resolutions, Wallin said they will be presented at the meeting, noting they have passed at the precinct levels, as all of those meetings were held prior to the COVID-19-related shutdowns.

With the county convention delayed, the ripple effect has delayed the district conventions to May 16, which Wallin said will also be held virtually. The N.C. Democratic Party’s convention will be held June 6, tentatively set for the McKimmon Center in Raleigh, but Wallin is doubtful that an in-person convention will happen that day.

“Logistically, I don’t see how people will be gathering in that large a number,” Wallin said of the June 6 state convention date. “It might be too soon that have that many people gathering together.”

The Democratic National Convention is now scheduled for the week of Aug. 17 in Milwaukee. The convention was originally scheduled for July 13-16 in Milwaukee.

Republican convention dates

The Watauga County Republican Party’s convention took place March 7 at the Watauga County Courthouse, before COVID-19-related shutdowns started.

The NCGOP’s N.C. Fifth District Convention is slated for a virtual district convention at 11 a.m. on April 25.

“You will receive a confirmation email 24 hours prior to the start of the convention with details on how to participate and vote,” a notice on the NCGOP’s website states.

The NCGOP’s state convention, slated for the Greenville Convention Center in Greenville, was moved back to June 4-7, NCGOP Chairman Michael Whatley announced in late March. The state convention was previously scheduled for May 14-17.

The Republican National Convention is currently set for Aug. 24-27 in Charlotte, a week after the rescheduled Democratic National Convention in Milwaukee.

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