Logistics remain to be ironed out, but any Arlington voters who seek to be a delegate to the Republican state convention now know the deadline to register.
The Arlington County Republican Committee on March 24 set an April 12 deadline for its prospective delegates.
Virginia Republicans on May 8 plan to hold a nominating convention at several dozen locations across the commonwealth. The location for voters in Arlington and Alexandria remains a work in progress.
“We’re still working on that – it might depend on how many delegates register,” party chair Andrew Loposser said.
Arlington is entitled to 154 votes to select the Republican nominees for governor, lieutenant governor and attorney general, but there is no limit on the number of people who can register. The value of each individual vote will depend on how many people participate.
The voting will be conducted in a “drive-through” fashion – voters will be checked in, receive a ballot, fill it out, deposit it and depart in one seamless transaction. The process will use “ranked-choice” or “instant-runoff” voting, with voters (if desired) marking the candidates in order of preference.
While any registered voter can participate, those voting in the convention are likely to have to acknowledge that, no matter the outcome, they will not oppose the party’s nominees.
“You are making a commitment to support Republicans in the November elections,” Loposser said.
Virginia Democrats are selecting their statewide nominees in a June primary. State-run primaries are open to all registered voters; anyone who votes in the Republican convention would not be barred from voting in the primary, but would be running afoul of the rules of the GOP convention in so doing.
County Republicans have seen an upsurge in interest since the results of last year’s election, and more than 110 people registered to participate in the March 24 monthly party meeting.
It was “one of the largest turnouts I can ever remember,” said Scott McGeary, a former GOP chair and member of the committee since the early 1970s.
About 35 individuals have become party members in the first three months of the year, party officials said.