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Arizona GOP Hosts Successful, Groundbreaking Virtual Convention

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Unprecedented times call for unprecedented measures. In response to the chaotic coronavirus pandemic, the Republican Party of Arizona was able to pull off an incredible task on Saturday by holding the first-ever virtual state convention.

With the help of Voatz, a mobile election platform, the Arizona GOP was able to hold an online convention with over 1,100 Republicans in attendance on their phones and tablets.

The convention turned out not only to be a win for Arizona Republicans hoping to uphold their democratic processes during the ongoing shutdown, but it was also a win for President Donald Trump.

All 108 delegates and alternatives that were elected during the convention pledged to support President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence in the upcoming election.



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“Never before has a political party attempted to plan and carry out a convention of this scale and magnitude — amid a global pandemic — in a similar virtual manner,” Republican Party of Arizona Chairwoman Kelli Ward said in a news release provided to The Western Journal.

“Yet not only did we succeed in what was previously uncharted territory; we trailblazed the way for others to follow.”

Voatz was chosen as the platform for the convention after the party was convinced it would be successful.

“After a careful vetting process, we were confident in Voatz’s ability to support secure and private voting with the added benefit of an immediate confirmation that each delegate’s vote counted,” Republican Party of Arizona Executive Director Greg Safsten said, according to a Voatz news release.

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“In developing the plan for this convention, we knew that we needed to provide the most reliable connection to it for all participants, and we were able to do this by ensuring everyone who wanted to vote could do so easily and from the safety of their home.”

The state GOP also worked with two Arizona-based companies; Visual Impulse, a video production company, and Compass Strategies, a political communications firm that helped operate a telephonic town hall-style component of the event.

“Due to the COVID-19 crisis, political campaigns and organizations have had to quickly adapt and come up with new ways to service their constituents,” Compass Strategies Partner Sean Noble said, according to the Republican Party of Arizona news release.

“We were glad to play a role in making sure every delegate and alternate — especially those without a computer or smartphone — had the ability to tune in and participate in this important event.”

The Arizona GOP’s success stands in stark contrast to previous failed attempts to integrate virtual technology into democratic processes.

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On Feb. 3, before coronavirus-related lockdowns began, the Democrats attempted to use a virtual app to report caucus results.

After several malfunctions with the app kept them from reporting the results of the Iowa Caucus, the night was declared a disaster for the DNC.

“If the Democrats can’t run a #caucus that they had four years to prepare for, how the hell can anyone think they could actually run the country?” Donald Trump Jr. tweeted at the time.

Thanks to Voatz, Visual Impulse, and Compass Strategies, the Arizona GOP proved it is prepared to face the challenges ahead, both political and otherwise.

Through smart partnerships and sharp planning, the GOP was able to adapt to social-distancing guidelines and implement groundbreaking new procedures for a highly successful convention.

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Michael Austin joined The Western Journal as a staff reporter in 2020. Since then, he has authored hundreds of stories, including numerous original reports. He also co-hosts the outlet's video podcast, "WJ Live."
Michael Austin graduated from Iowa State University in 2019. During his time in college, Michael volunteered as a social media influencer for both PragerU and Live Action. After graduation, he went on to work as a freelance journalist for various entertainment news sites before joining The Western Journal in 2020 as a staff reporter.

Since then, Michael has been promoted to the role of supervising staff reporter. His responsibilities now include directing the reporting team.
Birthplace
Ames, Iowa
Nationality
American
Education
Iowa State University
Topics of Expertise
Culture, Faith, Politics, Education, Entertainment




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