Free and fair elections are the cornerstone of a well functioning democracy. What we witnessed on June 9th put that goal at risk in Dekalb County and eroded voter’s confidence in the process. Our poll monitors and members reported wide ranging issues throughout the primary process including issues with timely processing of absentee ballot requests, receipt of actual ballots, submission acknowledgement and the actual counting of ballots. We also saw many problems on Election Day starting with last minute polling place changes, lack of voter notification of those changes, equipment issues, and long lines at polling locations. These issues all served to disenfranchise voters and are unacceptable. We must and can do better in Dekalb County. I am writing to demand that immediate improvements be made to ensure future elections support the right of every voter in Dekalb County to cast their ballot without barriers.
With historic turn out anticipated in the November general election, it is imperative that significant actions be taken now. Dekalb Dems stand ready to support this process including advocating for required funding investments. Specifically, we ask that you as the officials responsible for elections in this county to:
Fully adopt and implement the recommendations and action plan laid out in the May 29th consultant report by The Elections Group. We appreciate the investment in this consultant engagement and strongly support their recommendations. The comprehensive report focuses on filling identified critical gaps and positioning Dekalb County as a leader in administering elections. As they advocated, these improvements are ONLY possible with increased investment in executive level staffing, space, systems and equipment.
Prioritize actions to improve the vote by mail process. This includes immediate improvements in the current process while planning strategically to implement future changes made possible by the Secretary of State request portal. While we saw record numbers of voters choosing to vote by mail for the June 9th primary, we also heard significant voter frustration with the process—and our monitors witnessed the laborious manual process of processing of these ballots. Improvements are needed for this to be viable in November, both to address anticipated volume and for a potentially serious COVID environment.
Proactively plan for Election Day in November when record turn out is expected. First by encouraging voters to use vote by mail and early voting options and second with a robust plan for accessible polling locations that can accommodate the new voting system and equipment, and recruitment and training of poll workers to adequately staff. We are aware of numerous community organizations that are well positioned to assist with poll worker recruitment and encourage your collaboration to enlist this support.
Communicate, communicate, communicate with voters and stakeholders. Transparency is essential to regain voter confidence and collaboration with many stakeholders will also support this goal. From a user friendly web site to active social media, all means need to be taken to encourage and educate regarding vote by mail and early voting options to lessen the burden on Election Day. An intentional comprehensive communication plan with dedicated staffing is required to advance these strategies.
I know you share the goal of providing accessible, efficient and fair elections in Dekalb County and we look forward to working with you as actions are taken to reach these goals.
John Jackson Chair Dekalb County Democratic Committee
The Democratic Party of Georgia State Committee will convene remotely via video conference call on Saturday, June 27, at 12 noon. The main item of business will be electing Georgia’s DNC Members for the 2020-24 term. These DNC members will officially take office immediately following the closing gavel of the 2020 National Convention. Georgia is allotted 5 DNC members.
Elections and duties of DNC Members are governed by DPG Bylaws Section 2.6 and Section 8. If you’re interested in running for one of Georgia’s 5 DNC member posts, you must file an Intent to Run statement with the State Party office no later than June 17 at 12 noon by emailing that statement to email@example.com. (BL8.1.4)
Non-State Committee Members may run by submitting their Intent to Run statement with the endorsement of no fewer than 30 State Committee Members and submit no later than June 17 at 12 noon. (BL8.1.4)
DeKalb Dems reluctantly accepted the resignation of our chair, Jennifer Young, at our November monthly meeting. Jennifer was a fierce advocate of GOTV efforts and was instrumental in making DeKalb Dems more visible in DeKalb County. We wish Jennifer the best, and we will continue to execute on her vision.
Tonight, we held elections for the State Committee. Congratulations to everyone who will be representing DeKalb County!
CD 1 Larry Lowe and Karen Mixon CD 2 Andrew Heaton andAnn Abramowitz CD 3 Karli Swift and Tommy Travis CD 4 Jennifer Young and Kenneth Royal CD 5 Billy Mitchell and Dorothy Wiley CD 6 Aliya Bahtia, Don Richards, and Amy Swygert CD 7 Erin Parks, George Chidi, and Josephine Handy-Sewell
Help turn Georgia blue by donating to the DeKalb Dems!
On August 25th, the Georgia Democrats will hold their State Convention in Atlanta. We recently held an election to see who will represent DeKalb County.
DeKalb Democrats State Committee Members (delegates by default)
1. L. Donald Richard
3. Josephine Handy-Sewell
4. George Chidi
5. John Sawyer
6. Billy Mitchell
7. Howard Mosby
8. Ann Ambramowitz
9. Barbara Campbell
10. Raymond Christie
11. Tedra Eberhart Lee
12. Edith Fusillo
13. Leona Perry
14. Dorothy Wiley
15. Jon Gerson
16. Amy Swygert
Post Seat Holder Delegate Election
Public Delegate Election
Please join the DPG next Thursday, July 20 at 7pm to learn more about their #ResistanceSummer organizing program.
Join us by dialing 712-457-0200 Pin 6775.
It is a program centered around capacity building at the local level, that will enable each of your committees to:
Activate your existing volunteer base
Recruit new members
Engage new members
Reach out to low-turnout voters
The DPG is officially launching the program this week along with a digital ‘Commit to Vote’ card. The digital CTV cards will allow you to collect voter data like emails, cell phones, address, etc while also allowing you to recruit volunteers.
In order to take part in this organizing effort we ask that committees follow these simple steps.
Collect Commit to votes (Digitally or using actual cards)
Host volunteer phone-banks centered around calling low-turnout Democrats
Follow-up with card signers to recruit them for volunteer activities/opportunities
Follow-up with volunteers recruited over the phone to invite them for volunteer activities/opportunities
If we follow this approach over the next few months we will have used valuable time establishing trust and engaging base voters who are our most valuable resource. For the past few years Georgia has consistently lost statewide elections with a vote deficit of 190,000 – 200,000 votes in state with a population of over 10,000,000 people.
Through doing our part and engaging with voters early on we are certain to increase the amount of voters who show-up during our November municipal elections and our Gubernatorial election next year.