ACDP News June 15, 2020

URGENT!

In this unprecedented moment in time we should not expect our Commissioners to financially destabilize access to safe, efficient, and effective voting.

Please Contact the County Commissioners Today

…and tell them that we Support the Board of Elections and want the Board of Elections to have full and secure funding.

Commissioner’s contact information:

  • amy.galey@alamance-nc.com –
  • eddie.boswell@alamance-nc.com
  • steve.carter@alamance-nc.com
  • tim.sutton@alamance-nc.com
  • bill.lashley@alamance-nc.com

Messaging to the Commissioners

Reduced early voting hours, too few voting sites, and not enough trained poll workers and provisional ballots will result in voter suppression due to insufficient access to the voting booth — whether it is the intent of the county commissioners to suppress the vote or not. The blame for any disruption will fall solely on those who chose not to adequately fund the BoE.

The real debate:

We support the full funding of the BoE.

We expect the Alamance County Commissioners to uphold our Constitutional right to a vote; the health of our county, our state, and our country depend on it.

We support the BoE’s full, bipartisan support for BoE Director Kathy Holland’s budget. Her concerns are over many new uncertainties, compounded by longstanding austerity policies and the accumulated effects of those fiscal policies on our elections and our election workers and staff.

By contrasts, we have the County Commissioners and their support for the County Manager budget proposals. Along with recent challenges posed by the corona virus, their budget crisis is the result of their longstanding fiscal policies and they want to use this budget crisis as an excuse to continue their underfunding of our elections. This is not acceptable. 

  1. We support the BoE’s unanimous request to put essential election fund in the actual BoE budget, not in a contingency fund.
  2. We support funding for expanding voter services during a Presidential Election year and the accompanying surge in voter participation
  3. We support spending existing, pre-COVID grant money to make up for ongoing BOE budget shortfalls, as has been necessary in past elections cycles
  4. We support spending COVID grant funding on new challenges posed by the coronavirus
  5. We support the BoE long-standing request to fund safe, secure and adequate facilities for election staff and voting equipment, including a BoE office not challenged by undrinkable water, unsanitary plumbing and over crowed office and storage space
  6. We support elections staffing through adequate compensation for BoE staff and part-time poll workers, who under a long-standing insistence from the County on a flat BoE budget, have lost experienced employees and face hiring challenges due to stagnating salaries a variety of new challenges to elections work.

Commissioner’s responses:

A lot of people are telling us that they are receiving responses from the Commissioners saying that we shouldn’t worry and citing the “actively being applied for” grant money. They are also citing information from a County they consider comparable: Davidson County.

Here are side by side photos of the BoE offices in Davidson and Alamance

Regardless of what the annual budgets of these two counties are it’s pretty clear that Davidson has invested far more seriously in their efforts to protect every American’s most important Constitutional right: The Right to Vote

We want the designated fund balance to be put IN the budget.
The BoE budget was written based on needs from past presidential elections and we know we are going to need every penny.

Here’s what we think that new COVID grant money should be used for if the County gets it:

  • securing larger facilities for voting
  • expanding early voting sites and hours to reduce lines and crowding on Election Day
  • on steps to handle a large increase in absentee ballot processing
  • for pay increases to give incentive for experienced poll workers to come back and to help in the hiring of new poll workers to replace the many older poll workers who may understandably choose to prioritize their health over working the polls
  • for public education to ensure Alamance voters are aware of changes to voting procedures being made to make voting safe, secure accessible. 
  • extra postage, staff and equipment to handle a large increase in absentee ballot processing

Asking the BoE to adapt to the uncertainty of contingency funding and to be required to come begging for that money every two weeks at Alamance County Board of Commissioners meeting, while trying to administer an election in a health crisis is only an invitation for election dysfunction.  

ACDP Acts in Support of the Board of Elections

ACDP Press release:

The Alamance County Democratic Party (ACDP) will hold a press conference at 6 Pm on June 15, 2020 in Sesquicentennial Park, Graham prior to the Alamance County Commissioners’ Meeting scheduled for 7 PM. The timing of the press conference demonstrates ACDP’s support of the Alamance Board of Elections (BOE) and its effort to ensure complete and essential funding within the County budget.

“We must fully fund Alamance County elections!” This was the message on Tuesday, June 9 from more than 60 residents of Alamance who submitted public comments decrying proposed drastic funding cuts to the Alamance County BOE budget. These cuts were presented at the June 1 st County Commissioners meeting by the County Manager who proposed a $715,357 (54%) cut to the BOE budget request. This is a complicated series of cuts and differences between requested funds and proposed cuts. Another way to view the cuts is to consider money promised but not provided and they include the $248,790 withheld in the County’s “designated fund balance,” so that the recommendations for cuts amounted to a $466,567 (35%). The remaining shortfall totaling $457,765.00 would then be contingent
on pending, unconfirmed grant money.

In this unprecedented moment, in which members of our community feel under threat by a pandemic, its associated challenges, and a government that does not fully represent them, we would not expect our County Commissioners to promote and prioritize financially destabilizing access to safe, efficient, and effective voting. We all saw what happened in an underfunded election in Georgia. The Alamance County Democratic Party stands for fair and equitable elections. Regardless of political affiliation, we must protect the rights of every citizen to be heard and to vote. This is how we move forward to a more equitable and just place.

Here is a BoE letter in response to the County’s Recommended Budget HERE

In Case You Missed It:

Here is an excellent essay explaining the issues Now is Not the Time to Cut Funding for an Election


Our Candidates for Alamance County Board of Education

The Board of Education is in charge of the public schools within our school district. The Board sets the school system budget and decides who runs your schools, where kids go to school, how big classes are, and even what textbooks are used. They also set the disciplinary policy for the district.

This year there are 4 open seats on the Alamance Board of Education and we have 8 great candidates.


NC Supreme Court Candidate Town Hall

Tuesday June 16, 2020 at 6:30 pm

For more details about this virtual meeting click HERE

NC Democratic Convention

The minutes from the June 6 NC State Democratic Party Convention have arrived.

Read them HERE


NC DMV Online Voter Registration Form: Register to Vote Here


Are you a Proud Alamance Democrat?

Stand up and stand out as a Proud Alamance County Democrat. We’re working for a better more inclusive Alamance for everyone.

Order your sign Here

Guidelines for political signs HERE


Vote Absentee

Here is a link to request an absentee ballot form in North Carolina.  It is not too early to do this.

You can also call our local Board of Elections at (336)570-6755 and request that they send you an absentee ballot request form.  Do it today!

If you’d like to check you registration status or register to vote the TimesNews has this nifty little page. HERE


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