Out of an abundance of caution for public health, the Muscogee County Democratic Committee has postponed and suspended all in-person party events for the foreseeable, including our monthly meetings, and the Democratic Party of Georgia has decided to postpone all statewide party events for the foreseeable future, including DPG’s State Celebration for March 21st as well as the May meeting of the State Committee. Our party takes the concerns of public health professionals extremely seriously, and we are putting the health and safety of Georgians first.
With this in mind, we strongly urge our fellow county committees to consider postponing or cancelling public events for the foreseeable future, or significantly adjust events to minimize public risk (some suggestions here).
We are also observing how this outbreak is affecting our elections:
- Most campaigns for the May 19 primary have suspended their in-person events.
- The presidential primary, which was slated for March 24, has been postponed to the May 19 primary, and we would not be surprised if the Secretary of State were to postpone the May 19 primary even further to a later date as we seek to flatten the viral curve worldwide.
- In addition, the Secretary of State has become a bit more helpful to our elections by announcing that his office will mail absentee ballot request forms to all Georgia voters.
The DPG as a whole will push the SoS to allow prepaid postage stamps for absentee ballots and request forms, as well as to use other best practices for extending absentee ballots to all Georgians without critically overwhelming the U.S. Postal Service.
The DPG’s voter protection program and hotline will continue to operate throughout this period – please continue to urge voters to call our hotline at 888-730-5816 with any questions or concerns before Election Day on May 19. The MCDC is planning for more virtual events in April, in which we will hold public livestreamed forums for candidates via videoconference. Other virtual collaboration tools may likely be used by the MCDC and the DPG leading up to not only the primary, but also the national convention.
In the meantime, we encourage you to take steps to protect yourself and others:
- Wash your hands often with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds, especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing.
- Avoid touching your face with unwashed hands.
- Check in with vulnerable people in your community who might need help during this crisis.
- Where possible, avoid close contact with people who are sick. Stay home if you are sick.
- Call your doctor before visiting and follow their protocols. Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily.
- Observe the daily updates from the Center for Disease Control, the Georgia Department of Public Health, and the Columbus Consolidated Government
- Demand that the City Council approve a citywide stay-in-place/shelter-in-place order
- Register to vote or check your voter registration status
- Fill out, save and email your absentee ballot request form as an email attachment to firstname.lastname@example.org
- Fill out the 2020 Census online
- CANDIDATES AND ACTIVISTS: Please shift ALL in-person events to online formats, including through email, Facebook Live, YouTube, freeconferencecall.com, Zoom, Slack and Google Forms.
The MCDC and the DPG will continue to monitor the guidance of public health officials closely, and we will be in touch with further updates as this issue continues. Thank you for your help as we face this crisis together, and please stay safe.