(INDIANAPOLIS) – The coronavirus pandemic has prompted Indiana Democrats to scrap their state convention and meet virtually instead.
Democrats will mail ballots to their delegates to choose the party’s nominee for attorney general and ratify Woody Myers’ eventual choice of running mate in his campaign for governor. On June 13, the original convention date, they’ll meet online instead of in person to announce the vote count and conduct other business.
Indiana Democratic Chairman John Zody says he’s working with the national party on online voting to choose their national convention delegates. That balloting needs to be conducted separately, because unlike the races for the statewide ticket, it’s not completely clear yet who’s running. Although former Vice President Joe Biden has locked up the presidential nomination, eight of his rivals are still on the Indiana ballot, and the vote tally in the June 2 primary determinations how delegates are allocated in each of Indiana’s nine congressional districts.
The party will have a short window to send out ballots and get them returned. Delegates won’t be selected until the primary, which is taking place a month later than usual. Zody says the party may mail ballots to everyone who’s running for delegate to make sure there’s enough time for them to vote, then discard any ballots from voters who end up not being delegates.
The need to get ballots in the mail creates an earlier deadline for Myers to choose a running mate. In 2008, Democratic nominee for governor Jill Long Thompson didn’t select English Rep. Dennie Oxley until five days before the convention. John Gregg, the party’s nominee in 2012 and 2016, announced his running mate both years in late May, about three weeks before the convention.
Ogden Dunes Senator Karen Tallian and former Evansville Mayor Jonathan Weinzapfel are competing for the nomination to face embattled Attorney General Curtis Hill. Hill faces his own renomination challenge at the Republican convention.
Republicans’ convention is scheduled for June 20 in Indianapolis. Republicans face an additional challenge if they decide not to meet in person: there are three candidates so far for attorney general, raising the possibility of a second ballot to settle on a nominee. Former state revenue commissioner Adam Krupp and Zionsville attorney John Westercamp are challenging Hill, who’s awaiting a decision on a possible suspension of his law license over allegations of groping women at a 2018 party celebrating the adjournment of that year’s legislative session.