Are you amped up for Democratic victories in November?
The promising results of the June 12 primary election give us reason to be more optimistic than we have been in a while. Locally, the blue wave in Greenville County doesn’t have to be a complete bomb (“massive” in surfer-ese) to make a significant difference to the statewide races and we have real chances of helping tip the scale for progressive change in Congress, in the State House, and on Greenville County Council.
To create epic results, the GCDP needs to build on the voter turnout momentum we saw on June 12. If we can motivate more of our neighbors and fellow constituents to vote their interests on November 6, then we’ll fuel the juice of the wave and allow our candidates to pop up and ride to victory.
Thank you to everyone who voted on June 12 to select our nominees for the November slate of Democratic candidates. You’ve set a firm foundation from which to start. The 19,792 Democratic ballots cast then represent a 45 percent increase over the number of ballots cast in the 2010 primary (the most similar recent election in which a primary for the governor’s seat was held) and an 82 percent increase over the number cast in 2014. We jumped to 28 percent of the total ballots cast in Greenville County this year versus 16.6 percent in 2010.
But this number represents only 5.9 percent of registered voters in our community (only 20% of registered voters voted at all). There is no doubt that many more voters than that will vote a Democratic ticket, especially with Donald Trump’s, Henry McMasters’s, and the Republican held state legislature’s agendas on the line. Those voters are the build-up of the wave that we need. We must convince them that their opinions and values will resonate and that the effort involved in voting does indeed reap benefits by impacting outcome. We share a common goal of wanting leaders who will champion progressive policy designed to create equal access and opportunity. The decision to not vote is, in reality, a vote for those opposed to inclusive, fair, efficient, and effective solutions for all.
In addition, there are many Republicans who are appalled by the current administrations and looking for viable options. They can play a part in restoring the promise of democracy by voting for Democrats. We will probably have to initiate the invitation, though. And that will require us probably to first assess our own willingness to express pride in being a Democrat and share the vision we have for our county, state, and nation. Talking one-to-one is still the best means for influencing personal belief systems.
Once the June 26 runoff election has solidified the 2018 Democratic slate, then our work revs up in earnest. How can you help? More specifics will be shared as campaigns coalesce into a coalition for November, but commit to any, or all, of the following strategies as first steps:
Engage in the campaign processes of voter motivation and persuasion by volunteering your time and talents to the GCDP or a candidate. Can you give an hour a week or four hours a month to phone bank, canvass, or work on general duties in campaign headquarters? All of those activities require operational funds so a contribution, no matter the size, will keep the wheels rolling. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 864-232-5531 to sign up.
Make a donation to the party and help to fund a strong and vibrant two-party system here in the Upstate. From identifying and training candidates, informing the electorate about issues and legislation, providing the necessary background processes to support candidates, developing an infrastructure that enables data-driven action to fight injustices and building local political units to motivate and activate Democrats, fulfilling the party’s mission requires funding. You can help. www.greenvilledemocrats.com/contribute.
Talk about local issues and electoral options with your family, friends, co-workers, and neighbors. If we want success at the ballot box, we must be willing to discuss what’s holding our community back and challenge the default political viewpoint. Attend any of the many opportunities to learn more about issues and community needs (GCDP breakfasts, Democratic Women luncheon/dinner, Coffee meet-ups, County Council meetings, etc.) – check the GCDP web calendar or Facebook page for events ( greenvilledemocrats.com/events ) and candidates’ websites for platforms (greenvilledemocrats.com/links-and-resources/democratic-candidates-for-2018/ ).
Attend forums, meet and greets, fundraisers, etc. to support our candidates on the campaign trail. Each is a photo opportunity to show the commitment of local Democrats to participating in the electoral process and a chance for you to let the candidates and others in attendance know about your concerns.
Don’t forget to vote in the Democratic Primary on Tuesday June 26 to choose between Brandon Brown and Lee Turner as nominee for the US House District 4 seat:
- The runoff is a continuation of the primary. If you voted in a party’s primary, you can vote
only in the runoff of the same party.
- If you didn’t vote in either party’s primary on June 12, you may vote in either party’s runoff on the 26th.
- Vote at the same location as June 12. Eleven polling places were changed for the primary. One additional polling place has been moved for June 26 – Greenville 07 will vote at West End Community Center, 404 Vardry Street, Greenville 29601. (greenvillecounty.org/VoterRegistration/pdf/PrimaryPollSitechgs18 )
- Polling places will be open 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. So long as you are in line by 7:00 p.m., you will be allowed to vote.
- In-person absentee voting for the runoff is tentatively scheduled to begin Tuesday, June 19 in Conference Room H at County Square (follow the signs). Hours are Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and extended hours on Friday, June 22 until 6:00 p.m. and on Saturday, June 23 from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
- If you or someone you know needs a ride, please call the GCDP office to arrange – 864-232-5531.
I hope you’re feeling a renewed sense of optimism that we will elect more Democrats this fall. I know that sometimes two roadblocks seem to replace the one we’re able to overcome at each turn on the path to change, but the momentum is real. Let’s steadily and steadfastly keep our focus clear and our motivation high, welcome others to the quest, and continue to have fun together. We can do this!