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More than 35 million Americans voted in Democratic presidential primaries this year. But when it comes to officially nominating former Vice President Joe Biden at the Democratic National Convention Tuesday night, nearly 4,000 delegates have the responsibility. This year, the delegates will be mostly watching from home. Here is what some of them had to say about their role and virtual attendance.
More than 35 million Americans voted in Democratic presidential primaries this year.
But when it comes to officially nominating Joe Biden at the Democratic Convention tonight, it's up to the nearly 4,000 delegates.
Like everyone else, they will be watching from home.
Here is what some of them said to us in the run-up to tonight's roll call.
This is Victor Shi. I'm from Buffalo Grove, Illinois. And this is my first Democratic Convention for Vice President Joe Biden.
I'm Angela. I'm from Salt Lake City, Utah, and I am a Bernie Sanders delegate.
Prince Winbush III.
My name is Rebekah Whilden. I am from Charlotte, North Carolina. And I am a delegate for Joe Biden.
I have been involved in the political space really since I was a child. One of my earliest memories was going to a political office in Asheville, North Carolina, which is where I grew up. And one of the volunteers there literally was like, well, do you want to help?
And they put on Spice Girls. At the time, that was like my jam. And then, from there, that just kind of catapulted.
When it became time for them to ask for people to run for state delegate, which is a very much a part of the nomination process, I decided to throw my hat in the ring.
I didn't see anybody who looked like me, who was young, from my area running, so I decided that I would be the person to do it.
Usually, when you become a delegate here in Illinois and around the country, the process is really confusing. So, you have to go through collecting petition signatures first, and then being slated on the ballot.
And then you basically have to campaign for two to three months afterwards. I got elected as the youngest Biden delegate here in Illinois. When I first started getting involved as a delegate for Joe Biden, my primary focus was really just to represent young people and Asian Americans.
I find the Democratic Party kind of espouses those values that I hold dear, that I feel represent our country best. And so that's kind of why I have been involved, especially this year.
I really believe in Joe Biden, and I really wanted to do whatever I could, so I have been a supporter from day one.
Donald Trump makes it very easy, I think, even in a red, red state like Utah, to campaign for the party, because I think we truly represent the values of the people.
With Joe Biden, I struggle still a little bit, but I also look at who is currently occupying the White House, and it's very frightening.
If this is only four years in, imagine where we will be in eight.
I think that Joe Biden alone has a great message, but it is only amplified by how bad the Republicans and Donald Trump have been these past four years.
The one thing that I think I'm going to miss being at convention in person is the energy you feel in the stadium when you have people you admire on the stage delivering their message and providing that hope.
Feeling that energy, I think, is really special. You know, you have that chance to really get to see and experience other people's life experiences and their passions and what brought them to where you're at in that same venue.
So, I think that's something that might get a little lost. But I think there are creative ways that the party is working on incorporating those stories.
The atmosphere in the room, being around thousands of other delegates who are just as excited as you are about this process, about electing a Democrat in November, that is what I'm definitely going to miss out on.
I was a Bernie Sanders delegate in 2016. And I left that convention ready to elect Hillary Clinton.
I just remember, like, once the red, white and blue balloons dropped from the ceiling, like, after Hillary spoke, it was just such a celebratory and, like, uniting moment for Democrats to come together.
And I was really excited to kind of be a part of that once I got elected. But, obviously, with COVID-19, now, the Democratic Party convention is going to look quite different. All the delegates have already cast their ballots, through an electronic voting system, so that part of
I definitely plan to watch at home and maybe have a handful of little cousins of mine, family members, maybe some close friends, to try to keep it small, of course, but definitely want to have something with me to watch it and watch it all unfold and be a part of that.
I will be going to downtown Houston to celebrate the occasion with the Harris County Democratic Party. We will be having a drive-through — we rented a drive-through theater, and we're going to watch it there.
My husband is also a delegate, so we will probably hook our computers up to the TV, so we have a big screen.
I'm really excited to kind of get to stay at home and, honestly, just be in, like, sweatpants and not have to get all dressed up.
And we will probably be seeing some of them tonight at the convention.
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