The GOP has announced a change in this year’s nomination process.
The vote to re-nominate President Trump will be conducted in private later this month, and without any members of the news media present.
A spokeswoman for the Republican National Convention cites the coronavirus pandemic for restricting press coverage from the Aug. 24 vote in Charlotte, North Carolina.
“Given the health restrictions and limitations in place within the state of North Carolina, we are planning for the Charlotte activities to be closed press Friday, August 21 — Monday, August 24,” the RNC convention spokesperson said in a statement Saturday.
“We are happy to let you know if this changes, but we are working within the parameters set before us by state and local guidelines regarding the number of people who can attend events,” the spokesperson added.
The pandemic has prompted numerous changes to the nominating process. Last month, the president cancelled convention activities that were set to take place in Jacksonville, Florida.
Formal proceedings of the Republican National Convention, including the vote to formally nominate Trump as the 2020 GOP nominee, are still expected to take place in Charlotte.
The proceedings on the Monday of the convention, including the re-nomination vote, will be live-streamed.
Space restrictions mean that not all delegates will attend either. Instead, 336 delegates will there, or one for every six delegates.
Associated Press reporter Zeke Miller, the president of the White House Correspondents’ Association, has called the decision to close convention activities to the press an “an ill-advised decision” and is asking the GOP to “reconsider.” He tweeted:
An RNC official now says that the decision is not final and that they are still working through press coverage options. Hopefully they'll give the American people the access they deserve.
— Zeke Miller (@ZekeJMiller) August 2, 2020
Nominating conventions are typically major media events, as political parties try to gain coverage of the events to spread their message to as many voters as possible.
If the GOP’s decision stands, it will mark the first time in modern history that a party nominating convention would be closed to reporters.