The election is over, at least in Ohio. This election deserves some careful thought over the next few weeks. I’m sure that we will all have conclusions which we want to share once we have thought about this election. I look forward to debriefing with our candidates. However, there are a few things that can be said right now.
THANK YOU CANDIDATES!
We all owe a debt of gratitude to our local candidates Acacia Uible, Alicia Gee, Alan Darnowsky, Jeff Richards, and Ryan Ottney. From the start of early voting, I got calls and e-mail from voters asking why their ballot showed only a Republican candidate for so many offices. The answer to that question is quite simple: no one would step up to run as a Democrat for those offices. Acacia, Alicia, Alan, Jeff, and Ryan did step up. That took courage. It took them out of their normal lives and away from their families. Unless you’ve run for office, you don’t know how all-consuming it becomes. Acacia, Alicia, Alan, Jeff, and Ryan made that sacrifice. They knew they faced long odds. They did not run for personal gain. They ran to give Clermont County voters a choice and to offer a better way forward. They ran clean and honest campaigns. When you see them, please say “thank you.”
THANK YOU VOLUNTEERS!
The level of effort which we Democrats put into the 2020 election far exceeded anything we’ve done in Clermont County in decades. So many people dropped literature, made calls, put up signs, staffed headquarters, stood outside voting locations, posted on social media, and organized so that others could volunteer effectively. Thank you to everyone who participated in that effort. You have laid a foundation on which we can build as we move forward. We didn’t achieve all our goals this year but, if you stay active, we will.
THANK YOU POLL WORKERS!
Just under half of Clermont County voters voted at polling places on Election Day. That simply is not possible without the precinct election officials who gave the time to be trained and then spent very long days at the polls Tuesday, despite the risks posed by Covid 19. This work was essential to having an election and doing it in 2020 showed tremendous courage. I applaud everyone who served as a precinct election official.
THANK YOU DONORS!
It takes money to run an election campaign and to maintain a political party. We all know that we are in difficult economic times. Money is tight. Thank you to everyone who gave money to our candidates and our Party.
In the elections since Ohio adopted “no fault” absentee voting, about a third of Clermont County voters voted before Election Day. In 2020, the majority of voters voted early, either by mail, using the drop box, or standing in line in Batavia. This may have been an anomaly due to the Covid19 pandemic. However, I think it is a trend. If I’m correct, we need to improve the early voting process by making it easier and less confusing for people to get and return absentee ballots. We need to improve the early in-person voting facilities and rules, so voters do not have to stand in line for hours. This is not just a Clermont County issue. There were long lines for early in-person voting in many places around Ohio. I’m told that voters in northern Ohio stood in sleet and freezing rain the weekend before the election.
Improving the early voting system will require changes to Ohio law such as allowing counties to have more than one early voting location. It will also require money to hire and train staff and improve physical facilities. One favorite Republican cliché is that government should be run like a business. However, when it comes to voting, Republicans want government to turn customers away. It will not be easy, but we need, in my opinion, to improve early voting.
Obviously, we still have work to do in Clermont County and in Ohio. That starts in 2021. We need more Democrats, especially younger Democrats, to step up and run for township trustee, city or village council, an
d school board. Getting Democrats into these offices and helping them do a good job is how we improve the perception of our “brand” and how we develop candidates for higher offices in later election
Our next chance to make change on a state and national level comes in 2022. Among many other important things on the 2022 ballot, we will see Rob Portman asking to be re-elected to the U.S. Senate. Need I say more? The work to send Rob back to Terrace Park and send Democrats to Washington and Columbus starts now.
Get some rest. Stay safe. Thank you for all you did and all you are going to do.