You Can Technically Attend The RNC Convention

by Karen Yuan

As summer and the presidential race heat up, you may be wondering: can I attend the Republican National Convention in Cleveland this July? It's one of the biggest events of the season, where GOP candidates typically brawl to be chosen as nominee—since it's just Donald Trump now, the big draw for attendees is the chance to see him strut around like an orange peacock. You may receive this privilege under a few conditions, but no tickets are available and the event is generally closed to the public.

If you're not a party official, there are still few ways you can wrangle an invite. The first is to become a delegate: The process for this takes several steps, beginning with registering as a Republican and having voted previously as one. Then you'll need to file for candidacy as a delegate in your congressional district, the criteria for which varies by state. Some states allow a candidate's campaign to hand-pick who it wants to its delegate slots. Corey Lewandowski, Trump's infamous campaign manager, became a delegate this way.

If you're not chummy enough with Trump's campaign, you can get elected as a delegate via a number of ways: On primary ballots, by a state party committee, or even at the scene of state- or district-wide gatherings (usually conventions). If none of these work, your last hope is to get appointed as an alternate, which means you're like an understudy to real delegates—if they get sick or something before showtime, you get to go in their stead.

You can also try to attend the event as a member of the media by applying for media credentials. The Congressional Press Galleries, which handles these applications, even works with college newspapers and unaffiliated bloggers. Another option is to be a celebrity or entertainer and get invited to speak or perform at the convention, but if this honestly applies to you, then why are you even reading this article...?

Spencer Platt/Getty Images News/Getty Images

Finally, for the less ambitious, you can become a volunteer at the Republican National Convention and hope that you're assigned to exciting, in-the-building duties instead of, say, parking duty.

These processes may sound exhausting. If an invite to the RNC feels nigh impossible, don't fret. You won't be alone in staying at home — on the contrary, you'll be joining the ranks of Mitt Romney, Lindsay Graham, the Bush family, John McCain and numerous other high-profile Republicans skipping out on the convention. So don't feel too much FOMO.