The 2020 Primary Election
Approximately 27% of Clermont’s registered voters voted in the 2020 primary. Given how the corona virus interfered with the election, that could be considered good turnout. However, it is down from 2016, when approximately 40% of the County’s registered voters voted in the primary. I am not sure whether this says anything about the November election. When Ohio voted in March 2016, both major parties had contested presidential primaries. By the time primary voting concluded last month, both parties’ presidential candidates were known.
We do not yet know how the November general election will be conducted. That is likely to depend on whether there is a significant increase in Covid-19 cases after Ohio “reopens.” Even if there is in-person voting in November, everyone expects there will be substantial voting by mail. Hopefully, that process will be improved based on lessons learned in the primary. One change which I urge everyone to support is to send every registered voter in Ohio an absentee ballot together with a postage paid return envelope. Requiring voters to apply to receive an absentee ballot is an unnecessary additional step that burdens voters and county boards of elections and creates additional risk of errors such as mis-delivered or late mail.
Changes In Party Reorganization
The Clermont County Democratic Party (CCDP) is required to reorganize in every even numbered year. We elect a new Central Committee and the new Central Committee meets to elect Party officers and the Executive Committee to lead the Party over the next two years. Like every other aspect of life, reorganization is complicated this year by the corona virus. To comply with the Governor’s orders and to keep our activists safe, the reorganization meeting will be conducted virtually on Zoom and hosted by the Ohio Democratic Party (ODP). Our meeting will start at 6:00 p.m. on Wednesday, May 27, 2020. Central Committee members will be able to participate via their computers or via telephone.
Our rules require our meetings to be public so the reorganization meeting will be live-streamed, probably on Facebook. Only the 55 elected Central Committee members are entitled to vote and speak at the meeting. I need the phone number, e-mail address, and mailing address for each elected Central Committee member. I will then submit those names, phone numbers, and e-mail addresses to ODP before May 27 so that each Central Committee member is identified in the system as someone who is entitled to vote. Once this is done I will e-mail everyone a link which must be used to pre-register for the meeting. After Central Committee members have pre-registered, they will be e-mailed the login and password information needed to join the meeting. Central Committee members must pre-register or they will not be able to participate in the reorganization.
Changes Require New Rules
Another change from our usual reorganization procedure is that ODP’s Zoom cannot accommodate the individual township caucuses. The caucuses historically follow the election of Central Committee officers to select each township’s representative on the Executive Committee. Instead, each township with more than one Central Committee member (Batavia, Goshen, Miami, Pierce, Stonelick, Tate, Union, and Wayne) and Milford City must submit nominees for Executive Committee in advance of the meeting. Those nominees will be voted on during the reorganization, one township at a time, by the Central Committee members from that township or Milford. Some townships have already caucused to select their Executive Committee nominee. Those nominees will be ratified by a vote during the reorganization meeting. Although not required, this process is encouraged because it will save time on May 27. The names of Executive Committee nominees should be given to me to send to ODP before Memorial Day.
Villages are considered part of the surrounding township and will caucus with that township for purposes of electing the Executive Committee, e.g., Batavia Village caucuses with Batavia Township, Bethel caucuses with Tate Township. No Central Committee members were elected from Loveland, so Milford is the only municipality with its own seat on the Executive Committee. Each of our five clubs, Quin-T, West Clermont Dems, Loveland Action Team, Goshen Dems, and Young Dems, is entitled to have a representative to vote for Executive Committee officers at reorganization. Each club must determine who will represent them on the Executive Committee.
ODP is hosting about 50 virtual county reorganization meetings. Almost all of the meetings, by law, must happen this month. ODP’s schedule is tight, therefore ODP asks that no other Party business be conducted during the reorganization meeting.
Finally, I am running for re-election as Executive Committee Chair. If you are on the Executive Committee at reorganization, I ask for your support and thank you in advance. Stay safe.
Raymond Lembke, Chair of Clermont County Democratic Party