2020 DNC Delegate Selection Process
by Mary Morrissey, Executive Director, Democratic Party of Illinois
In little more than a year, our country will face an historic turning point – the 2020 Presidential Election. For Democrats, the election will finally be an opportunity to unseat a President whose policies and principles are so antithetical to our own.
Already the 2020 election is growing into a history-making election. Currently, there are 22 Democrats who have declared their candidacy for the Presidency. The sheer number of candidates running to become president has its place in history, but it is underscored by the candidates’ diversity and experience.
That diversity and inclusivity is a hallmark of the Democratic Party and our top priority as we work to nominate a candidate to win back the White House.
Our work begins in earnest in a few short months as we prepare to help elect an Illinois delegation to represent us at the Democratic National Convention in Milwaukee next July. With nearly two dozen presidential candidates, there will be many opportunities for Illinois residents to engage in the Democratic Party’s process of nominating a presidential candidate.
The Democratic Party of Illinois will be engaging with communities and activists across the state to help ensure that the Illinois delegation both represents a diverse set of backgrounds and beliefs and shares in our common goal of supporting the hard-working families of our state.
At the convention, not only will delegates from Illinois vote to nominate the Democratic candidate for president, but they will have an opportunity to have a voice in the Democratic Party’s platform.
Illinois Democrats will send 184 delegates to the Democratic National Convention. These delegates are divided into four categories: district-level delegates, pledged party leaders and elected officials (PLEOs), at-large delegates and alternates, and automatic party leader and elected official delegates.
Illinois will have 101 district-level delegates with each congressional district allotted a percentage of those delegates based on the 2016 and 2018 Democratic performance in that district. The district-level delegates are elected at the March 2020 primary election and must collect signatures on a petition and file the petition, a statement of candidacy designating their singular presidential or uncommitted preference and a signed pledge of support for the presidential candidate or uncommitted with the Illinois State Board of Elections. Presidential campaigns have the right to remove delegates who have filed as committed to their candidate.
There will be 20 PLEO delegates, who are made up of statewide elected officials, legislative leaders and state legislators, mayors of large cities and other state, county and local elected officials and party leaders.
In addition, there will be 34 at-large delegates, 13 at-large alternates and 29 automatic party leader and elected official delegates. The PLEO, at-large and alternate delegates are selected by the elected district-level delegates at a meeting held in April 2020.
Illinois delegates are equally split between men and women, and to encourage robust participation in the delegate process, the Democratic Party of Illinois has established a set of goals for diversity and inclusivity for underrepresented groups. Only with a diverse delegate slate can we truly represent our shared beliefs and principles of inclusivity.
We invite you to join the Democratic Party of Illinois and the members of the Democratic State Central Committee to host Delegate Informational Sessions this fall. These sessions will provide information on becoming a party delegate and serve as a stepping stone for interested Illinois residents to run and become elected delegates representing Illinois in Milwaukee.
Our mission as the Democratic Party of Illinois is to represent and lift up the many communities and voices that makes our state thrive. The 2020 presidential election is a critical time when our party must unite together behind our shared values to win back the White House and get back to business of supporting the middle class and the many more who are striving to get there.
We hope you will encourage your Democratic, progressive, grassroots and labor activists in your counties to be part of this process. Sign up for updates at https://democraticpartyofillinois.com/2020info/.