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Montgomery County Democrats Vote To Eliminate Petition Requirement For Central Committee Candidates

Last night, I attended the December meeting Christmas Party of the Montgomery County Central Committee at Democratic HQ on Wilknson Street.

During the business meeting, the Central Committee voted to implement a provision of Ohio Revised Code that allows the party to simplify the requirements for Central Committee candidacy.  Previously, in order to qualify as a candidate for the Central Committee, prospective candidates were required to file a petition with the signature of five registered Democrats living in the candidates precinct.  Because of last night’s vote, this signature requirement has been nullified.

For the May, 2010 Democratic Primary, Central Committee candidates will simply need to fill out a simple application with their signature only.  No additional signatures of other Democrats will be required.  Each precinct may elect one member of the Central Committee.

Central Committee elections happen every four years.  Immediately following the election is the key Reorganization Meeting, where a County Party Chairperson is elected to a four year term.

Nan Whaley spoke in favor of changing the Central Committee requirements, and seemed to be its biggest endorser. Nan’s point was that the change would make it easier to solicit candidates. In the voice vote, there were only a few lone voices in opposition.

Deadline for filing the application, in order for one’s name to appear on the May Democratic Primary ballot, is mid-February. I will post the exact date later.

The Montgomery County Board of Elections has consolidated precincts.  Ohio Revised Code says precincts may not exceed 1400 register voters.  Previously there were 548 precincts in the country,  in this next election there will be only 360 precincts.

I spoke up suggesting that the County Party spend some money on advertisement — in order to alert Democrats of this opportunity to become active in the party. My motion that an advertising committee be empowered to spend up to $500 to promote finding new candidates for the Central Committee went nowhere.

My motion, in fact, failed to get a second, and so there was not even a discussion. Wow, do I feel unpopular. And most disturbing, the one person who earlier in the day had promised to second my motion, when it came down to doing so, pooped out.  Instead, Chair Mark Owens instructed the Membership Committee to suggest a plan for increasing the number of candidates.  As it stands now, most of the 548 precincts are not represented.  At the last Reorganization Meeting, in 2006, only about 100 Central Committee members were certified to vote.

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