MonDems News – April 2020 Social Distancing Edition #1

“Speak the truth. Speak it clearly. Speak it with compassion. Speak it with empathy for what folks are going through. The biggest mistake any of us can make in these situations is to misinform, particularly when we’re requiring people to make sacrifices and take actions that might not be their natural inclination.” President Barack Obama, April 9, 2020

So much has happened since our last newsletter in February, when few could have imagined where we are today – in a global pandemic, with everything that means for us as individuals and as a society.

But, even in this difficult time, there is much to appreciate. People in all walks of life, in Mon County and across the state and nation, are giving of themselves, risking their own health to help and serve those in need, and we are more than grateful. And, we are thankful for each of you.

In this newsletter, we mostly wanted to reach out to you, to let you know we are thinking of you, and that we hope you are OK.

Also – and this is important, even though it might be hard to focus on it – we must not forget that the 2020 election is still happening, and it is, if anything, even more critical than it ever was that we work to elect good candidates up and down the ballot. If the current crisis has taught us anything, it is that without honest and trustworthy leaders who truly care about people, we are lost. We must work harder than ever to elect strong leaders for our state and nation. In the coming months, we will be doing everything we can to work toward that end, and we very much hope that you will join us. 

For now, we want to update you on the West Virginia primary, which has been postponed until June. The main thing to know is that – because of the pandemic – any registered voter will be allowed to vote absentee, but this requires filling out and sending in an application. Please see the details below. 

We also want to invite you to participate in our monthly meetings, which are – for the time being – being held online via Zoom. The details on that are also below, and we would love to have you join us.

Finally, please take care of yourselves and let us know how you’re doing – either by emailing us at moncountydems@gmail.com or getting in touch on social media. We’d love to hear from you. And stay well.

Calendar of Events (and important primary deadlines)

Monday, May 11 – Mon County Democrats monthly meeting, 6:30 p.m. This meeting will be held online via Zoom. All county Democrats and supporters are welcome. Watch your email and check our social media accounts for details.
Tuesday, May 19 – Last day to register to vote or update your registration
Wednesday, May 27 to Saturday, June 7 – In-person early voting
Wednesday, June 3 – Last day to request an absentee ballot
Tuesday, June 9 – Election Day (absentee ballot must be postmarked by this date)

Legislators’ Weekly Covid-19 Updates

Every Sunday at 4 p.m., our five 51st District House of Delegates members – Barbara Fleischauer, Evan Hansen, Rodney Pyles, Danielle Walker, and John Williams – are going live on Facebook to us all on important information about Covid-19 and related issues in West Virginia. 

You can join each Sunday by connecting with any of the delegates on Facebook. Topics include unemployment compensation, aid for small businesses, food insecurity, health concerns, and more. The delegates are also leaving time for questions. Connect every Sunday at 4 p.m. on any of these Facebook pages: @HansenforWV, @Barbara.Fleischauer, @Williams4house, @DelegateDanielleWalker, or @DelegateRodneyPyles.


The West Virginia Primary – what you need to know

Because of Covid-19, the state has postponed the West Virginia primary election to Tuesday, June 9. Early voting (in person) will take place from May 17 to June 6. Also – because of the pandemic, any registered West Virginian may vote by absentee ballot. 

Register to vote or check your registration

The deadline to register to vote or update your registration is May 19. Information and forms for that are here – https://ovr.sos.wv.gov/Register/Landing. Even if you think you’re registered, double-check, as some have recently been removed from the polls. Make sure that didn’t happen to you – https://services.sos.wv.gov/Elections/Voter/FindMyPollingPlace. This page will also tell you what precinct you’re in and where your polling place is.  

To vote absentee

County clerks recently mailed an application for an absentee ballot to every registered voter in the state. If you received this application and wish to vote absentee, simply fill it out, check “illness” as the reason, and return the application to your county clerk. If you did not receive an application for absentee voting, you can find one on the WV Secretary of State’s website – https://sos.wv.gov/FormSearch/Elections/Voter/Absentee%20Ballot%20Application.pdf. Complete and return to your county clerk – find any county clerk’s address here – https://sos.wv.gov/elections/Pages/CountyClerkDirectory.aspx. The clerk must receive your application by June 3.

The clerk will then mail you a postage-paid absentee ballot with instructions. After marking your ballot, return it by mail. It must be postmarked by Election Day, June 9, 2020.

To vote in person

The state still plans to hold in-person voting – including early voting from May 27 to June 6, and at regular polling places on Election Day, June 9. 

Questions about voter registration, absentee voting, or other election issues? Contact:

West Virginia Secretary of State
Web – https://sos.wv.gov/elections
Email – Elections@wvsos.gov
Phone – 866-767-8683

Monongalia County Clerk
Web – www.monongaliacountyclerk.org
Email – clerk@monongaliacountyclerk.com
Phone – 304-291-7230

Our thanks go out to Monongalia County Clerk, Carye Blaney, and her staff, who are working hard (during the pandemic) to prepare for a primary election in Mon County. Voters can choose to vote in person or by absentee ballot. Be sure to understand your choices and the deadlines and procedures. And, if you want to vote absentee, send in your application ASAP.

Any voter who wants to can vote by absentee ballot in the upcoming primary. Have you returned your absentee ballot application? See details above

Your Primary Ballot

As the Democratic Executive Committee, we don’t endorse candidates for office in primary elections. But, please take the time to inform yourself on candidates and levies. 

First, to find your primary ballot, you must know your precinct, which you can find on this page – https://services.sos.wv.gov/Elections/Voter/FindMyPollingPlace. It will also tell you your polling place. 

Once you know your precinct, you can find your ballot on the county clerk’s site at the bottom of this page – https://www.monongaliacountyclerk.org/election-archives-electionmenu-20/96?task=view.  

The ballot includes: 

  • Primary candidates for the Democratic nomination for national, state, and county offices, the winners of which will run in the general election in November. 
  • Candidates for several nonpartisan offices – including judges, magistrates, and Board of Education. This election is final for those candidates. 
  • Four excess levies that are up for renewal. Here’s some info on the levies: 

Excess Levies on the Mon County Primary Ballot

Transit: If renewed by voters, this levy will generate approximately $2 million a year for the Mountain Line Transit Authority, the county bus system. For information on what continued levy funding means to public transportation in Mon County, see https://wajr.com/mountain-line-asks-for-levy-support/ or https://www.facebook.com/VoteYesMtLineLevy/

Parks/Trails: If renewed, this levy will generate approximately $1 million a year for parks, trails, and recreation facilities throughout Mon County. For more information, visit https://www.facebook.com/moncountyparklevy

Volunteer Fire: If renewed, this levy will generate approximately $700,000 in the first year and a four-year total of $2.9 million to support county volunteer fire departments. For more information, visit https://www.facebook.com/MonCoFireLevy

Library: If renewed, this levy would raise close to $500,000 per year to support our county’s libraries. For more information, visit https://www.facebook.com/VoteForMPLSLevy/

These are all continuations of current levies, which will expire in June 2021 unless voters renew them in this election. Their passage will not raise anyone’s taxes, as they are simply continuing current funding.  But, unless they pass, these agencies will undoubtedly be forced to cut services. When it’s time to vote, be sure to make it all the way to the bottom of the ballot, and vote on these important measures.

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