Voter Protection

Democratic Women’s Club of Marco Island

General Meeting May 21, 2020

Via Zoom

7-8 pm

This was the first virtual Zoom meeting since our last regular meeting in March at Mackle Park before the Coronavirus pandemic shut down any in person meetings. There was no April meeting. We had 37 people on the Zoom call which began at 7 pm, but was interrupted at 7:30 by someone hacking the call. Karen Tessel-Blum who was managing the technical aspects of the Zoom call, was able to end the call quickly and sent out a new link so the call resumed after about 10 minutes. The following are the minutes for the first and second halves of the call.

· Stephanie Ballo opened the meeting, thanking Karen for organizing the call and also thanked our members who addressed Vote By Mail postcards.

· She also recognized Sara McFadden who was on the call for getting enough petitions to be on the ballot for District 1 this fall thanks to volunteer efforts in getting petitions signed.

· People interested in volunteering should contact Lisa Furlong at 603-387-5808 or email lisa.b.furlong@dartmouth.edu

· Looking for people to help with a volunteer pool who would be willing to help people pick up groceries, etc. Contact Dawn at dwcmarco@gmail.com.

Evening Speakers:

1st half of meeting we welcomed Annisa Karim, chair of the Collier Dem party and Jeff Spencer, vice chair of Collier Dems. They highlighted the following:

· The Dem party’s goals are to work with all the clubs and caucuses increase voter turnout, particularly focused on Vote by Mail. Registered Dems outnumber Republicans by 100,000. Every vote counts. Needs to pick up 1,600 voters in Collier County. Encourage turnout by women; women favor Dems. Trump won by 112,000 votes in FL.

· Policy focus is on Health care, environment, public education (especially for our immigrant communities and accountability.

· Blue Gater initiative – is a forum featuring Dave Holden and Cindi Banyai on May 28. They are running for District 19 US congressional seat

· Laura Novosad is running in District 80 Hendry County for Florida House.

· Reminded people to fill out the census online. Post on Facebook and other social media that you did so to encourage others to fill it out.

· New CC Dem podcast – updates on what Dems are doing. Please subscribe and rate it. There are three episodes so far, on global aides program, on Covid 19, and with Jennifer Edwards on preparation for voting in a pandemic. They hope to get local officials in Collier County and have a virtual town hall for District 19 on other podcasts.

· VBM – very safe, can check to see if your ballot has been received; increases turnout for every eligible voter. Dem party gets notified if you have turned yours in, so they can concentrate their efforts on getting other voters to the polls.

· They are running social media campaigns in three languages to encourage VBM.

· Recurring donations are needed to support Collier Dems efforts. They are a completely volunteer organization. Get no money from FL Dems. Collier Dems had to postpone their annual gala – a big source of income.

· Go to collierdems.org to donate. Please consider recurring donations.

Second half of meeting resumed after hacking with Anne Daily and Marvin Diamond of Voter Protections for Collier County. This can be viewed here:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1rSoLYbzkFceCBbLmLxkG44a2sExBsug8/view?usp=drive_web

Promoting VBM because of razor thin margins that Republicans in Florida won by.

· Threats to suppressing the vote include Trump’s threat to close post office, Covid 19.

· VBM is an insurance policy not knowing if we can get to the polls. You don’t have to use it. You can still go and vote in person if you wish.

· Request ballots for 1 or 2 general election cycles. Recommend 2 cycles.

· Ballots will not be forwarded, however you can go online to check if you received one and request another if you are out of town. Anne and Marvin have a good relationship with SOE, Jennifer Edwards.

· They need at least 100 volunteers – poll watchers and poll greeters– 15 precincts and 9 locations – to combat voter suppression and intimidation at the polls.

o Primary Early voting has 4 hr shifts over 7 days August 8-15

o Primary Election day has 6 hour shifts, on one day. August 18

· Encouraging people to take the poll watching training. Believe Republicans will try to scare people away from the polls. Training takes 2-3 hours total. Recruiting people May – June. Doing virtual training mid-June to July. Sept and Oct they regroup for November general election.

· Need people who speak Spanish and Haitian Creole.

· Other support is needed to at Canvassing Board Meetings, checking VBM, provisional meetings, curing of ballots (have 48 hours to cure) and recounts (if necessary) if you don’t want to be at the polls.

· Contact info

o Anne Daley adaley01@gmail.com

o Marvin Diamond marvlaw@comcast.net 239-331-1470

Meeting adjourned around 8 pm

Respectfully submitted, Linda Brown, Recording Secretary 5.23.20


The next Zoom meeting of the DWCM will be on June 16th. It will be a Zoom Meeting/Social to keep us up to date on what's happening and to socialize with fellow Democrats. Please RSVP to dwcmarco@gmail.com. You will receive details and a Zoom meeting number and passcode in an email closer to the date of the meeting.

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