RCDC Gets Out the Vote!

ABSENTEE VOTING IN 2020 

NOTE: This letter didn’t reproduce well for the website. To view the original letter in its proper format, click here.

Due to the COVID19 outbreak in the country, it’s imperative that we protect every Democrat’s right to vote in the June 9 Congressional Primary and the November 3 Election

Kim McKiernan, Rappahannock County Registrar, says: In an effort to protect our voters, our election officials, and our staff, we are encouraging voters to submit an application to vote absentee by mail (your ballot is mailed to you) and to conduct all other business with the voter registration office via telephone 540-675-5380 or email vote@rappahannockcountyva.gov 

NOTE: There are absentee ballot application forms and voter registration forms hanging on the Registrar of Voters’ office door along with in-depth instructions. 

Please proceed to: https://vote.elections.virginia.gov/VoterInformation  

  1. Complete the information for ‘registered voter’. (Note: if you are registering to vote, simply select ‘apply to register to vote’ on the left and follow those prompts. You are not required to re-register if you are already registered.) 
  2. On the next screen, select “I want to apply for absentee voting.” Answer the questions on the next two screens. 
  3. The screen following those two provides instructions for you to vote absentee due to social distancing. Select “I have a reason or condition that prevents me from going to the polls on Election Day”.
     
  4. Proceed to the next screen. Select the election for which you would like a ballot. (Note: We do not know yet whether the June Primary will be in-person or if it will be conducted virtually.) If you have no desire to vote in a June Primary, simply select November 2020. Then, as the instructions state, select ‘my disability or illness.’  

    a. BE SURE to provide your MAILING ADDRESS if it is different than your physical address!  
    b. If you want your ballot mailed to a different address, select “I would like my ballot delivered to a different address than my residence.” This includes post office boxes. If you do not provide a valid mailing address, your ballot will be returned to our office and you may miss the deadline to vote your ballot and return it to us. 
    c. BE SURE TO PROVIDE A PHONE NUMBER OR EMAIL ADDRESS in the ‘contact’ screen in the event we need to clarify anything about your application. 

  5. At the Electronic Signature page, please (if you have a Virginia Driver’s License) provide the information requested, because that is how your application is signed electronically. If your application is not signed, we cannot process it.  

    a. IF YOU DO NOT HAVE A VIRGINIA DRIVER’S LICENSE: Please print this form (you only need to submit page number 3). Write ‘2A’ in the required reason code area.  
    b. Be sure to sign your form and provide the mailing address.  
    c. Select the 5th Congressional District Congressional Primary on June 9 or select the November General on November 3, 2020.  
    d. Provide contact information.  
    e. You can mail, scan and email, or fax your completed form to us at:  

P.O. Box 236, Washington, VA 22740 

vote@rappahannockcountyva.gov  

Fax: 540-675-5381 

IMPORTANT DEADLINES 

Monday, May 18Deadline to register to vote in the Congressional Primary. 

Tuesday, June 2Deadline to request an absentee ballot to be mailed to you by 5 pm 

Tuesday June 95TH DISTRICT CONGRESSIONAL PRIMARY 

Tuesday October 13Deadline to register to vote in the November General Election. 

Tuesday October 27Deadline to request an absentee ballot to be mailed to you by 5pm.  

NOTE: in the 2020 General Election, you don’t have to give a reason to vote absentee.  

Tuesday November 3GENERAL ELECTION 

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Delegate Selection in the time of Covid-19

In the altered reality of COVID-19, the Democratic election picture is coming into focus! To get either Joe Biden or Bernie Sanders to the White House, Democrats have to nominate one or the other. Here are the steps ahead for us in Virginia:

First, we Rapp Dems have to our select delegates to represent either Bernie Sanders or Joe Biden to ultimately go to the National Democratic Convention. Rapp has been allocated one Biden delegate and one Biden alternate delegate (to fill in if needed), and one Bernie delegate. Now we have to pick those delegates.

In normal times, Rapp Dems step up to become delegates and we’d hold a caucus at the Library to elect them them. Because of restrictions brought on by COVID-19, this year we’ll hold a virtual caucus.

Here’s what you need to do:

If you want to be a delegate or alternate for Bernie or Biden, submit this pre-filing form to the Democratic Committee of Virginia by April 9. You’ll need to pledge to one candidate.

To participate in picking the delegates (and we hope EVERYONE will!), submit this form to the Democratic Committee by April 9.

After April 9, the DPVA will let us know who has applied to be a delegate and who wants to participate in selecting delegates.

Then on April 20 we will hold our virtual caucus. All registered participants will receive an emailed ballot, which they will email back to us. We then notify the winners and send our results back to the DPVA.

On May 9 is the 5th Congressional District Convention to whittle down the local delegates to those who will go to the State Convention. This will also be held virtually. (Details to come.)

June 9 is the State Convention, where delegates will be picked to go to the National Convention. Chances are good that we’ll have to find a way to hold a virtual convention.

July 13-16 is the National Convention.

The DPVA and DNC are working hard to make the nominating process safe, inclusive, and transparent. The situation is still fluid, but now is the time to get involved! 

It’s never been easier!

Questions? Email chair@RappDems.org or call 540/987-8912

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What’s Next? Important RCDC info

To all Rappahannock Democrats:  

After Super Tuesday, there is still work to do to nominate a Democratic Presidential candidate to rid us of Donald Trump and his entire incompetent apparatus.  

In spite of the chaos and upheavals of the past week, we are charting our course (with guidance from the Democratic Party of Virginia) to safely select delegates to send to the 5th District Nominating Convention on May 9, then on to the State Convention on June 20. From there, VA delegates will go to the National Convention in Milwaukee on July 13 to 16.  

It’s still unclear what form these conventions will take, given the cancellations due to the coronavirus outbreak across the country.    What we do know is that:

  • Rappahannock County has been allotted 2 delegates and one alternate delegate to represent us on May 9.
  • Each delegate may only pledge to either Bernie Sanders or Joe Biden.
  • We will be holding an unassembled caucus to pick those delegates on Monday April 20 from 7:30 to 9:30 pm at the Rappahannock Library. This is like a typical voting experience: you’ll come to the library, present an ID, complete a form certifying that you are a Democrat registered to vote in the county, and fill out a ballot for one of a list of potential delegates. (Click here to open the call for caucus form)
  • To run for delegate, fill out the pre-filing form (Click here to open and download the pre-filing form). You’ll be asked 
    • whether you want to be a delegate or an alternate (to fill in for a delegate unable to go to the convention), and
    • to which candidate you’re pledging. 
  • You must submit the form to the committee by April 13 at 5 pm
    • by mail at: RCDC, PO Box 277, Washington VA 22747
    • by email to chair@RappDems.com
    • in person to an officer of the RCDC.

Delegates will take part in one of the most important Democratic conventions in our history. IT COULD BE YOU!  

Until then, enjoy the spring season in our beautiful county, and look for updates from us as they come along.  

In solidarity,  

Mary-Sherman Willis  and the Rappahannock Democratic Committee

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Governor Northam Declares State of Emergency, Outlines Additional Measures to Combat COVID-19

Governor issues guidance on large events and state workforce, activates long-term economic plan

For Immediate Release: March 12, 2020
Contacts: Office of the Governor: Alena Yarmosky, Alena.Yarmosky@governor.virginia.gov

RICHMOND—Governor Ralph Northam today declared a state of emergency in the Commonwealth of Virginia in response to the continued spread of novel coronavirus, or COVID-19.

While Virginia has been thoroughly preparing for weeks and has adequate funding to address the situation, this declaration will allow the Commonwealth increased flexibility to ease regulatory requirements and procurement rules, continue federal and multi-state coordination, and ensure continued access to critical services for the most vulnerable Virginians. In addition, it has become increasingly clear that states must take a primary leadership role in the national response to COVID-19. The full text of the Governor’s emergency declaration is available here.

“Our top priority is to make sure Virginians stay safe and healthy, and that our response to this situation leaves no one behind,” said Governor Northam. “From our health department, to our schools, to our hospitals, to our transit systems, Virginia’s agencies and institutions have been thoroughly planning for every scenario. This emergency declaration will ensure we can continue to prepare for and appropriately respond to Virginians’ needs during this time.”

Governor Northam also announced additional steps to ensure the health and safety of all Virginians, including:

Ban on State Employee Travel and Implementation of Telework Policies

Virginia has over 100,000 state employees stationed throughout the Commonwealth. Governor Northam has halted all official travel outside of Virginia by state employees, with increased flexibility for inter-state commuters and essential personnel. Specific guidance will be released to agency heads and state employees, and Virginia will revisit these guidelines after 30 days.

Governor Northam has also directed his Secretary of Administration to implement a phased transition to teleworking for state employees. The Department of Human Resources Management will work with the Virginia Department of Health’s Equity Workgroup to prioritize support for impacted state employees that may be unable to perform their duties from home, including janitorial, food, and grounds staff.

The Department of Human Resources Management has worked to ensure all agencies have updated emergency operations and leave policies. State employees, including part-time employees, can access paid Public Health Emergency Leave in the event of exposure to COVID-19 or high-risk travel.

Public Gatherings and Large Events

In accordance with advice from state public health experts, the Commonwealth of Virginia will cancel all specially-scheduled state conferences and large events for a minimum of 30 days.

Governor Northam is directing state agencies, through the Department of Human Resource Management, to limit in-person meetings and non-essential, work-related gatherings.

Governor Northam is also urging localities and non-profits to limit large public events, effective immediately. Localities should make these decisions in coordination with their local health departments and the Virginia Department of Health. Highly populated localities and those with close proximity to positive cases are strongly encouraged to announce updated event guidance by Friday, March 13, at 5:00 PM, in advance of the weekend.

Long-Term Economic Planning

Governor Northam is also assessing the potential long-term economic impacts of COVID-19. While containing the spread of the public health threat remains a top priority, Governor Northam is working with state and local partners to ensure Virginia are prepared for any continued economic disruption.

Virginia’s Secretary of Commerce and Trade will coordinate regularly with representatives from the Virginia Employment Commission, the Virginia Economic Development Partnership, the Department of Housing and Community Development, the Department of Small Business and Supplier Diversity, the Department of Labor and Industry, the Virginia Tourism Corporation, the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, and other relevant stakeholders.

Throughout his administration, Governor Northam has worked closely with state legislators to protect Virginia’s strong economy and prepare for unexpected economic shocks. The General Assembly will vote today on a budget that boosts Virginia’s reserve funds more than at any other time in the Commonwealth’s history, an essential mechanism to ensure continued state services regardless of economic uncertainty.

Ongoing State Response Efforts

The Commonwealth of Virginia is continuing to execute a multi-agency response plan across all levels of government. Efforts include the following:

Schools

  • The Department of Education has advised all school districts to update their pandemic guidelines, in consultation with their local health departments.
  • The Northam administration continues to be in regular communication with superintendents, university and community college presidents, to provide guidance on the unique situations they are facing on the ground.

Nursing Homes

  • The Virginia Department of Health has expanded its testing criteria to ensure that anyone who has symptoms and is in a nursing home is top priority and gets immediate testing.
  • Nursing homes and senior care facilities have updated their policies to provide additional visitor screening and increased monitoring of patients.

Vulnerable Virginians

  • Virginia’s social services agencies are preparing options to ensure the most vulnerable populations have continued access to critical services, including the potential for in-home care and food supports.
  • In the event of extended school closures, the Virginia Department of Social Services is working with local partners, such as food pantries, to ensure no one goes hungry.

Addressing Barriers to Care

  • Virginia is working with insurers to waive co-pays and diagnostic testing related to COVID-19.
  • Governor Northam continues to encourage private businesses to explore telework and paid time off options, including those with hourly workers.

Transportation

  • Across the Commonwealth’s transportation network, which includes airports, Metro, buses, and rail, Virginia is adjusting cleaning schedules according to CDC protocol.
  • Virginia is also working with transportation partners to help reduce the potential spread of disease. 
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Super Tuesday Information

Pick your Democratic nominee for President on Super Tuesday, March 3! 

Just go to your regular polling station (see below if you need help finding it). Doors open at 6 AM and close promptly at 7 PM (though if you’re in line at 7 PM, you can still vote). Bring your photo ID.

If you have questions or problems on Tuesday, the Virginia Hotline Number is (844) 4VA-VOTE or (844) 482-8683.

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