From The Vaults

In Montgomery County 21.3% Of Registered Voters NEVER Vote; 43% of Registered Youth NEVER VOTE

Amazing the number of citizens who never vote. Only 70% of eligible voters are registered to vote. But surprisingly, many citizens who are registered to vote NEVER do so. In Montgomery County, of those who are registered, 21.3% NEVER turn out to vote — NEVER — not in non-presidential years and not in presidential years, either.

In Montgomery County 43% of the youth ages 18-30 who are registered to vote, NEVER vote.

The percentage of registered citizens not voting, particular the high percentage of registered youth in both Republican and Democratic precincts who never vote, is shocking.

Meanwhile the percentage of citizens ages 65 and older who are registered to vote, but who NEVER vote, is only 6.3%


The MCDP Should Target These Forty Precincts For An Intense GOTV Effort

To generate the list of Top forty precincts for a proposed Montgomery County Democratic Get Out The Vote effort, I manipulated a matrix that contains a lot of voting data for each of Montgomery County’s 360 precincts. I loaded this data by hand from the Board of Elections webpage some time ago.

First, I sorted the 360 precincts to find all of those precincts that voted for Hillary Clinton by a rate of 65% or more. This produced a list of 77 precincts. On this list of 77 strong Democratic precincts, the highest percentage that a Montgomery Count precincts voted for Hillary is an amazing 98.4% voting, and the lowest is 67.5%. The average for the group is 90.6%

Next, of these 77 strongly Democratic precincts, I found the 40 that had the lowest voting rates in 2014 — the election that parallel’s this year’s election. The turn-out for these 40 precincts in 2014 was a measly 25.2%. Think of it, only one-fourth of registered voters in these heavily Democratic precincts exercised their right to vote. This was even worse, much worse, than the anemic turn-out for the whole county which was 39.9%. (The lowest percentage of turn-out in this list is a shocking 16.7% !)

These 40 precincts with their 36,000 registered voters have the potential of producing a lot of Democratic votes. But, the problem is, if these precincts vote as the same rate as they did in 2014, about three-fourths of the registered voters — 27,000 — will not vote. If all of these 27,000 missing voters actually voted, however, about 10% or 2700 would go Republican and about 90%, or 24,300, would go Democratic — a net gain for Democrats of a whopping 24,300 votes !

Using data not shown in this graph, it looks like about 67% of registered Democrats in these 40 precincts voted in 2014 — a big improvement overall turn-out rate of 25.2%, but this means that in 2014, about one-third of registered Democrats stayed home !  This failure of Dems to vote meant that in just these 40 precincts, the Dems lost 2468 votes.

The challenge is to create a strong GOTV plan.

This shows the last few lines of the graph with the summation. :

The headings to the columns are: Precinct Name, Ohio House District, Precinct Leader, Roll in 2012, Vote in 2012, % in 2012, Roll in 2016, Vote in 2016, % in 2016, Dems registered in precinct in 2016, % of vote for Hillary 2016, Roll in 2014, Vote in 2014, % vote in 2014, % of voters who are Dems, % vote for Obama in 2012


Democrats Should Challenge Republicans To A Get Out The Vote Contest

I’d like to see the Montgomery County Democratic Party challenge the Montgomery County Republican Party to a Get Out The Vote contest. I’m working on drafting a proposal for the Central Committee to consider that outlines a contest between the 75 precincts in Montgomery County with the highest percentage votes for Hillary vs the 75 precincts with the highest percentage votes for Trump.

The competition would focus on increasing voter turnout as compared to the 2014 rates.

  • The 75 Hillary precincts had a turnout in 2014 of 31.7%. Amazingly, there were 50,301 registered voters in these 75 precincts who failed to exercise their right and responsibility as a citizen to vote.
  • The 75 Trump precincts had a turnout in 2014 of 43.3%. There were 43,610 registered voters in these precincts who failed to vote.

Think of it, in these 150 precincts there were 93,911 citizens who failed to honor their duty as a citizen to vote. Wouldn’t it be great if all of those citizens voted in 2018?

Of course a effective system of representative democracy requires more than simply voting. It requires for citizens to take seriously the office that they hold — the office of citizen — and to work to be well informed and meaningfully connected with other citizens. Rather than a GOTV, what would be better is a GOTICV — Get Out The Informed Citizen Voter. I’m trying to think through a contest design that rewards participants for efforts to inform and engage citizens.


At The MCDP Reorganization Meeting, The Central Committee Votes To Make No Change In Endorsement Policies

Last evening was the quadrennial MCDP Reorganization Meeting. My five proposed changes to the MCDP Constitution (see below) received strong support by some members, but in the end all proposed changes were all handily defeated.

The most revealing part of the evening happened when a long-time member of the Central Committee said that she was insulted that anyone would dare to take away her right to a secret ballot. She had quite a head of steam expressing her indignation. She said that she was totally opposed to requiring her to sign a ballot. In the discussion that followed, several members reminded her that the Central Committee is a representative body and the Democrats in her precinct who elected her to the Committee have a right to know how she votes.

This member is mistaken, because the Central Committee must abide by the rules stated in the Ohio Revised Code. But it is understandable, however, why she feels she had a right to a secret vote. That’s the way the MCDP operates. I made a motion to make a roll-call vote for proposed changes to the constitution. I had prepared a handy ballot that required a signature — a roll-call ballot — and my motion was to use this ballot.  (The ballot the Chairman Owens approved whited out the “Reasons.”) My motion to have a roll call vote was defeated, but a good number, I’d say a least one-third, of those voting supported the motion.  Voting to not make the Reorganization Meeting transparent meant that the constitution amendment to require transparency concerning endorsements also would surely fail.

These proposals to change the MCDP Constitution stem from the disastrous decision of the party to make an endorsement in the Rev Ward vs Rev Fairchild contest. This endorsement needlessly divided Democrats, needlessly divided the party, needless spent money.  This audacious decision on the part of the Screening Committee and the rubber stamping of this decision on part of Central Committee follows an established history of unwise and unproductive endorsements. I believe if transparency concerning endorsements was required by the MCDP Constitution, many unwise endorsements would be avoided. Secrecy empowers bad decisions. In practical terms, the Ward / Fairchild endorsement decision was a secret vote — there was no record kept of who voted for endorsement, who voted against and who didn’t vote — and, as the indignant Central Committee member pointed out, some members of the Central Committee feel pretty entitled to secrecy.

PREAMBLE: “We the Representatives of the Democrats living in Montgomery County — in order to form a strong party organization that empowers representative democracy within our party and throughout the county — do establish the Montgomery County Democratic Party Constitution.”

If I could have a do-over for the evening, I would ask for a separate vote on this preamble. I wrote this preamble as a proposal for discussion — I circulated it in a letter to Central Committee members, but there was never any discussion. These words were approved as written at the short meeting of the “Constitution Committee.” The words were highlighted in the xerox of the revised Constitution that everyone at Reorganization received, indicating that it was new text, but nobody at the Reorganization Meeting suggested the preamble should be discussed. I should have pressed the point. This preamble advances a point of view that contradicts the POV of a Central Committee that would reject a motion for roll-call vote. A debate likely would have resulted in tabling the preamble or referring it to a committee, so I said nothing. That was a mistake. The preamble should have been debated.

The underlying premise of the Preamble is that when the party empowers representative democracy and when it holds itself to the high standards of transparency expected of a representative body, it is a stronger party. This premise is the crux of what the Democratic Party should be debating. I don’t think that the Democratic Party can become the strong party it must become — unless it changes its ways and commits to operating as a small-d democratic organization that is responsible to its constituents. The place for the transformation needed in the Democratic Party to begin is at the county level. The Reorganization Meeting demonstrated how difficult it is to start the process.

The outcome of quadrennial Reorganization Meetings depends on who shows up. First of all, over 60% of the precincts in Montgomery County failed to elect a member on the Committee, so if everyone elected showed up at this Meeting, the Central Committee would not come close to representing the county’s 60,000 Democrats. As a representative body, it is a failure from the get-go because of this lack of numbers. Of the 93 people at the meeting (26% of the total precincts in the county), a big part were old-timers but there were a lot of new people. I’m guessing at least one-half of the group was new.

The argument for voting “No” that prevailed was that the proposed changes to the constitution dealing with endorsements are not needed — after all, the MCDP operates according to Roberts’ Rules — and that a constitution should not needlessly constrict the options available to the organization.  I argued that history shows that the MCDP needs a constitution that will establish guardrails to prevent big endorsement mistakes. Requiring transparency on endorsement votes would provide the needed guardrails. I was glad that a number of members rose to emphasize the same or similar points. By big majorities — there is no record of how each member voted, of course — the Reorganization Meeting agreed to give the MCDP the option of continuing these past bad practices:

  • Central Committee members may be expected to ratify or reject endorsement recommendations the same evening they are made. (No time to consult with constituents.)
  • The Central Committee may continue to make endorsements for the Democratic Primary contests two months before the deadline for candidates to file with the Board of Elections. (Deliberately suppressing primary participation)
  • The Central Committee may choose to not keep a record of how members vote on endorsement motions  (making endorsement in practice a secret vote).


Republican National Committee Letter Seeking New Donors Says Democrats Are Focused On Vicious Personal Attacks

A friend, who has never voted in a Republican Primary, is baffled why the Republican National Committee would send him a letter asking for money. I ventured a guess that maybe it’s just the fact of his financial status. I’m wondering if, maybe, this is a fishing letter that everyone in the top 5% of incomes received.

The RNC is looking for new donors and it is interesting who they are appealing to and what they are pitching.  They are looking for people who agree with Trump that Democrats are engaging in “vicious personal attacks, insults, fabrications and accusations.” They are looking for people who like to think that the Republicans are driven by the core principles of, “small government, individual freedom and strong national security.”


… We sent this to you because the Trump Administration’s historic effort to reverse the liberal tide of expanding government, high taxes, weak borders and socialized medicine has triggered one of the most aggressive attacks on our Party in memory. The Democrats campaign of vicious personal attacks, insults, fabrications and accusations is unprecedented.

And they’re now focusing 100% on the fast-approaching 2018 midterm elections. With the help of the so-called “mainstream media” and the Hollywood liberal elite, Democrats are raising huge sums to find and register record numbers of new voters for one purpose: TO STOP PRESIDENT TRUMP COLD by electing a Democrat Congressional Majority to derail everything we’ve been fighting for to Make American Great Again — from dismantling Obamacare to slashing taxes and red tape to protecting jobs to safeguarding our borders.

We CANNOT let them win. So we MUST match them voter for voter, dollar for dollar. And with the election season just months away, NOW IS THE TIME TO ACT … As a freedom-loving American who shares our core Republican principles of small government, individual freedom and strong national security, you are our Party’s foundation. So please tear off and return the attached Republican Affiliation Confirmation Card today. And include your 2018 contribution …

Ronna McDaniel

Chairwoman, Republican National Committee