U.S. President Donald Trump delivers a speech during a tour of the Double Eagle Energy Oil Rig in Midland, Texas, July 29.
U.S. President Donald Trump delivers a speech during a tour of the Double Eagle Energy Oil Rig in Midland, Texas, July 29, 2020.

WASHINGTON - The vote to renominate President Donald Trump is set to be conducted in private later this month, without members of the media present, a spokesperson for the Republican National Convention said, citing the coronavirus.

While Trump called off the public components of the convention in Florida last month, citing spiking cases of the virus across the country, 336 delegates are scheduled to gather in Charlotte, North Carolina, on August 24 to formally vote to make Trump the GOP standard-bearer once more.

Nominating conventions are traditionally meant to be media bonanzas, as political parties seek to leverage the attention the events draw to spread their message to as many voters as possible. If the GOP decision stands, it will mark the first party nominating convention in modern history to be closed to reporters.

"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," a convention spokesperson said. "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."

Privately some GOP delegations have raised logistical issues with traveling to either city, citing the increasing number of jurisdictions imposing mandatory quarantine orders on travelers returning from states experiencing surges in the virus.

The subset of delegates in Charlotte will be casting proxy votes on behalf of the more than 2,500 official delegates to the convention. Alternate delegates and guests have already been prohibited. 

What Happens Next?

What It Means to Become President-Elect in the US

In the United States, Democrat Joe Biden is being called the president-elect.

President-elect is a descriptive term not an official office. As such, Biden has no power in the government, and he would not until he is inaugurated at noon on January 20, 2021.

American news networks, which track all of the vote counting, determined on November 7 that Biden’s lead had become insurmountable in Pennsylvania, putting him over the 270 electoral votes needed to be president. Within minutes of determining his lead was mathematically assured, they projected him as the winner.

That is why news organizations, including VOA, are calling Biden the "projected winner."

Sometimes, in the case of particularly close elections, when news networks make this call, the other candidate does not concede victory. President Donald Trump has not done so, alleging voter fraud without substantial evidence and vowing to fight on. The president’s position has left Washington lawmakers divided, with Republicans backing a legal inquiry into allegations of vote fraud, even as they celebrate other congressional lawmakers who won their races.

When will the dispute be resolved?

The U.S. election won’t be officially certified for weeks. In the meantime, court challenges and state recounts could occur.

So far, the Trump administration has not provided evidence for any fraud that could overturn the result, but there is still time for more legal challenges.

Once states have certified the vote, pledged electors then cast their votes in the Electoral College in mid-December. Congress then certifies the overall Electoral College result in early January, about two weeks before Inauguration Day.