First of all, THANK YOU to everyone who helped in the election – getting out the vote, putting up signs, phone banking, driving voters to the polls, directing traffic, cutting radio ads, recording robocalls, and serving as poll watchers, poll observers, monitors and adjudicators. Thank you all! We turned GEORGIA BLUE!
At this time, President-Elect Biden is ahead in Georgia by 10,600 votes. Lowndes County Democrats provided 20,117 votes for Biden. Without Lowndes County Democrats, Biden would not be ahead in Georgia!
But our work is not yet done. As it stands now, there will be a Runoff for Public Service Commission (PSC) District 4. The PSC sets the rates for gas, electricity, etc. The Democratic candidate is Daniel Blackman. Daniel Blackman was the keynote speaker at the 2019 LCDP BBQ. He came through for LCDP, on very short notice. We need to come through for him!
The Runoff for State and Local Offices, like the PSC, is on Tuesday, December 1. Early Voting will start as soon as possible. (I’ll share the schedule as soon as I receive it.) The deadline to register to vote was October 5.
The Runoff for Federal Offices, like the US Senate, is on Tuesday, January 5. Early Voting will run Monday, December 14 – Friday, January 1, except holidays. The deadline to register to vote will be Monday, December 7.
One can vote in the Runoff for Federal Offices even if one did not vote in the General Election. We need to register everyone who isn’t registered now! The easiest way for someone to register to vote is by smartphone: go to mvp.sos.ga.gov
Ask everyone in your network to go to mvp.sos.ga.gov on their smartphone or computer, to check their voter registration, to register to vote if not already registered, and to request an absentee ballot if not already requested. It’s all at MVP.
Turning 18 by January 5? Register by December 7 to vote for Jon Ossoff and Reverend Raphael Warnock for U.S. Senate! Go to mvp.sos.ga.gov. Anyone who has completed probation and fines can register to vote! Anyone who is a citizen can register to vote!
The Democratic candidates are Jon Ossoff and Reverend Raphael Warnock. VOTE for BOTH! If both win, the U.S. Senate will be tied 50-50. Vice President Kamala Harris would then cast the tie-breaking vote, giving control of the U.S. Senate to the Democrats!
Not a moment to waste, Democrats! Get the word out now about voter registration and absentee ballots: mvp.sos.ga.gov
PLEASE SHARE THIS ON SOCIAL MEDIA, WE NEED YOUR HELP TO SPREAD THE WORD!!
LCDP County Committee Members Present: Chairwoman Vivian Miller-Cody, Dr. Dennis Marks, Ronnie Pierce, Constalina James, William Lamb, Pam Hubbard, Carol Mikkelson, Sandra Tooley, Jeremiah Lawton, Stan Tullos, J.D. Rice, Willie Rayford, Kathryn Grant, Gretchen Quarterman, Dr. Debra Tann.
LCDP County Committee Members Absent: Eric Bell, George Bennett, Janie McGhin, Tyler Tucker, George Burns, David Henry, Angela Greene, Randy Brown, Debra Rutland.
Chairwoman Miller-Cody called the meeting to order. She then called upon J.D. Rice to give the invocation. Mr. Rice then led the members in prayer.
Secretary William Lamb then led the members in the Pledge of Allegiance.
Chairwoman Miller-Cody then turned the members’ attention to the minutes for our last meeting held on September 14, 2020, which have been posted onto our website. A motion was proposed to approve the minutes for September 14, 2020, the motion was seconded, and the motion was approved.
Treasurer Ronnie Pierce was then called upon to give his report through October 01, 2020. He stated that the party ended up with a balance of $5,771.84. He stated that our balance in September, in our Ozark account, was $3,558.83. There were some transactions that came through September 3 through October 4, which included payment for the phone, printing, and yard signs. Total debits equaled $1,059.99. Total credits which included sales from yard signs and donations were in the amount of $5,262.00. We have a current Paypal balance of $204.00. In actuality, we had a Paypal balance of $1,100.00. Treasurer Pierce and Assistant Treasurer Constalina James decided to take out $870.00 from the Paypal account and put that amount into our primary bank account. $870.00 was the amount we collected for the selling of yard signs. He concluded by stating that the party has a grand total of $6,248.92 in our account.
Chairwoman Miller-Cody then called upon Constalina James to give the Budget Committee’s report to the present members. Mrs. James stated she will be making a few changes to the budget because she needs to add slots for robo calls and radio advertisements. She will then send the updated report to the Budget Committee for approval. Once they are done looking it over, she will then submit the budget to the Executive Committee.
Secretary William Lamb then called the roll of all present Lowndes County Democratic County Committee Members.
Chairwoman Miller-Cody then called upon Dr. Dennis Marks to give his report on the upcoming Elections. Dr. Marks stated we have a few vacancies on the LCDP County Committee for District 2 and Super District 5. He requested members to spread the word because we need to find volunteers to fill those positions. Dr. Marks told members to be aware that October 12 is the start of early voting. He stated we needed to get out the vote, making sure everybody votes all the way down the ballot. Dr. Marks informed members that if people were wanting to vote by Absentee ballot, that the Secretary of State has set up a website where one can apply for their absentee ballot at www.ballotrequest.sos.ga.gov. You can also look at www.georgia.ballottrax.net to track your absentee ballot. Dr. Marks also took time to thank both Kathryn Grant and Pam Hubbard for their leadership in serving as moderators for the paper ballot processing. He stated the Elections Office is still looking for poll workers, so he asked members if they know anyone to volunteer. He stated it is a paid position that requires training. He asked members to be patient with the process and he wanted them to know that we have people scrutinizing the process in Lowndes County, but it will take a while for the votes to be counted. He reminded members about the special U.S. Senate race featuring over 20 candidates, and if one of the candidates does not secure more than 50% of the vote, then there will be a run-off required that will occur on January 05, 2021. We will then be responsible for getting out the vote for the run-off because it could tip the balance of power in the U.S. Senate. He stated that the LCDP’s emphasis now is getting out the vote and do everything we can such as robo calls and ride to polls.
Pam Hubbard then added that in the special Senate race there are 20 candidates running. She stated the Secretary of State office was preloading the ballots onto the computers and they discovered a small issue with not all of the 20 candidates’ names being on one page of the ballot and instead are filling onto a second page. She wanted members to know that there is a possibility that you will have to keep scrolling all the way down to the bottom of the page or onto the second page in order to find your candidate’s name on the ballot. Dr. Marks added that the issue was in the process of being resolved but we were one week from the start of the election.
Dr. Marks reminded members that he asked for someone to step up and become the Volunteer Co-ordinator who would be in charge of co-ordinating rides to the polls. Chairwoman Miller-Cody suggested Ronnie Pierce to co-ordinate the rides to the polls and he stated that would not be a problem. Chairwoman Miller-Cody instructed Mr. Pierce to put down her number because she would like to help.
J.D. Rice then asked Dr. Marks if there were any amendments being proposed and were there any that we needed to pay particular attention to. Dr. Marks stated there were two constitutional amendments being proposed, one dealing with mandating that the legislature utilize fees for the purpose for which they were enacted and the second one deals with sovereign immunity, meaning you cannot sue the state or counties without their permission. He stated this amendment would give a person that permission, if the suit has to do with a constitutionally protected right. He then added that there will be a state wide referendum that has to do with waiving property taxes for non-profit organizations who build houses and provide those houses to their inhabitants with an interest free loan, i.e., Habitat for Humanity.
Chairwoman Miller-Cody then opened the floor for members wishing to be heard. Mrs. Miller Cody stated she wanted to speak first about an issue she had been discussing with Gretchen Quarterman. The issue involved that according to our guidelines, the Democratic Party could not give money out to individuals running on the Democratic ballot, but we can do things such as robo calls and radio advertisement. To continue, she also brought up the issue that 10,523 people in Lowndes County requested absentee ballots and only 1,100 people have turned in their ballots. Mrs. Miller-Cody stated she supports doing robo calls as well as radio advertisements in order to encourage people to turn in their absentee ballots. Gretchen Quarterman then added that she suggests recording a robo call in order to encourage Democratic voters to turn in their absentee ballots and to encourage Democratic voters, who did not request an absentee ballot, to vote early. Mrs. Quarterman stated the robo call should cost less than $500.00 to reach several thousand people. Secretary William Lamb seconded the motion to approve proceeding with the robo calls. Ronnie Pierce then stated that he has prepared a script for a 30 second commercial to run on the radio. Mr. Pierce also researched the top stations that Democrats and African-Americans listen to and they are 105.3, 107.9, and 102.7. Each commercial will cost around $18.00 or $20.00, depending on the time slot the commercial runs. Mr. Pierce suggested not doing less than 3 commercials per day for a week, which would cost around $420.00 or $450.00. Chairwoman Vivian Miller-Cody added that during the Executive Committee Meeting a decision was made to approve the radio station 105.3 to run the commercials. Dr. Marks suggested waiting until the start of early voting to start running the advertisements on the radio. Mr. Pierce stated that Pam Hubbard and he will write an amended advertisement and have the text approved by the FCC, which will take a few days. He suggested starting the radio advertisements on October 19. Mr. Lamb suggested starting the process as early as possible because we cannot wait until October 19, 2020 to get the advertisement on the air, we need it up as soon as possible. J.D. Rice stated that he did not hear the station 97.5 called out. Willie Rayford made a motion to include radio station 97.5 in our advertisement. Ronnie Pierce stated the following three stations have the most listeners and they include WVI Star 105.3, WWRQ 107.9, WAXHI 102.7. Chairwoman Mill-Cody asked the body whether we wanted to use all three of these stations or remove one. Gretchen Quarterman suggested that if we have the money to do all four then we should do all four. Mr. Pierce stated that the Executive Committee met before the general party meeting and allocated $500.00 to him for the radio advertisements. He stated we cannot do four stations for a week with $500.00. Dr. Marks then proposed a motion to allocate $500.00 for robo calls and $500.00 for radio advertisements. Also, he proposed a motion to delegate to Mr. Pierce and Ms. Hubbard to be the ones who ascertain which radio stations would be the most effective and bring the text of the radio ad to the Executive Committee for its approval before submitting it to the FCC. Mr. Lamb seconded both of those motions. The majority of the members present were in favor of both motions to proceed with the robo calls and radio advertisements.
Willie Rayford then added that he has a problem that we as a party cannot help Democratic candidates running for office according to our by-laws. Gretchen Quarterman stated the party’s mission is to turn out our base and not to convince voters to pick a particular candidate. She added that the party does not advocate for individual candidates, but instead for all of the Democratic candidates running. Sandra Tooley added that she did find a part in the Georgia Democratic Party’s by-laws that state that a party can contribute to an individual candidate as long as a cover letter accompanies the contribution stating that candidate must remain a Democratic candidate after the election and by their acceptance they are entering into a contract that states if they change their party affiliation before the next election then they will reimburse the party for expenses related to the contribution. She stated she reviewed the Lowndes County Democratic Party’s by-laws and there was no mention of financial contributions. She stated that we need to look at this issue in the future and potentially add something specific to our by-laws. Jeremiah Lawton stated that once the COVID-19 virus is suppressed the By-Laws Committee can meet and discuss revisions to our by-laws. Mr. Rayford added that he has been a Democrat for around 50 years and the party has given financial contributions to individual candidates in the past. He stated that we as a party should be helping local Democratic candidates with giving them a few hundred dollars such as Dr. Treva Gear. Dr. Marks stated our purpose is to support all Democratic candidates. He added that if we were to make a financial contributions to one or more candidates, say we seed $1,000.00 to a candidate, then we would be subject to the requirement of the State Ethics Commission to report all of our donors and file quarterly as well as monthly reports of all our income and expenses. Dr. Marks also stated that this would become a matter of public record. He also believed that this was an onerous undertaking with all of the reporting requirements and would expose all of our contributors to public inspection. He added that we are better off supporting the Democratic candidates by getting out the vote, rides to the polls, robo calls, and radio advertisements. Chairwoman Miller-Cody added that we have to go forward with the by-laws that we have now and in the future the new officers can review our by-laws for future changes.