From 8th District Republican Chairman Mark Kelly:
I pray this note finds you well. It may seem like an overused phrase at this point, but we are facing unprecedented times. Almost certainly, this virus has directly touched someone you know or a community you are a part of over the past few weeks.
I am writing today to let you know what the 8th District Republican Committee’s plans are for our convention. I apologize for the length of this email, but I encourage you to read through to the end.
When it became clear that Governor Northam’s orders would likely make a traditional convention impossible to hold, the Committee voted to take advantage of a temporary emergency provision in the Republican Party of Virginia’s state party plan.
Under that provision, we will be conducting an unassembled or drive-through convention. That means all delegates who filed to attend our traditional May 30th convention will be able to come that day and cast their votes without leaving their cars.
On Thursday, I met with our contact at the Waterford in Springfield, our original venue site, to walk through the use of their parking lot (which has covering in case of rain). Barring any unforeseen circumstances, our plan is to conduct the voting there from 9 am to 1 pm on May 30th.
In order to prevent traffic backup onto the surrounding streets, and in order to ensure your time on site is as brief as possible, we are asking delegates to arrive by alphabetical groupings.
- 9:00 to 10:00 — A through H
- 10:00 to 11:00 — I through P
- 11:00 to 12:00 — Q through Z
- 12:00 to 1:00 — Anyone who was unable to make it during their voting block
We will not turn any registered delegate away who arrives to vote outside of their recommended time. However, your cooperation would be greatly appreciated to help the process run as smoothly as possible. And, of course, anyone in the parking lot at 1:00 pm will be allowed to vote.
We will also divide the check-in and ballot distribution process into two lanes. One for Fairfax County delegates (who make up more than 50% of the registered delegates) and one for the Alexandria, Arlington and Falls Church delegates. In order to maximize ballot security, you will ONLY be able to get your ballot in the assigned lane. So please follow any signs or volunteer instructions on site to ensure you enter the correct lane.
A small number of volunteers will take safety precautions to conduct the check-in, ballot distribution and ballot collection with the least amount of contact necessary to conduct the voting process.
- Delegates will drive into one of two assigned lanes and show their IDs through closed windows. You MUST have a valid photo ID in order to receive a ballot.
- Ballots will be distributed through a small crack in your window by a volunteer wearing a mask and gloves.
- Single use pens will be available to any delegate who needs one.
- Completed ballots will be dropped by delegates directly in a collection box.
Additionally we are making available to all candidates the opportunity to post videos on our website. All videos provided to us have been posted on our website.
And we will offer all candidates the opportunity to speak to you directly via a video conference prior to the 30th. The details on that call will come out in a separate email.
Thank you for your patience throughout this process. You will receive additional reminders over the next two weeks.
P.S. If you have a chronic health issue related to COVID-19 that would prevent you from attending in person on May 30th, please contact me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org to make your concern known to the Committee. We are working through a POSSIBLE process to accommodate those who would otherwise be able to attend if not for the public health emergency.
*Amended Official Call*