Virtual MCDC March 2022 Endorsement Convention Announced

Pre-registration is REQUIRED to attend the County Convention.

Only Qualified Delegates will be able to vote.  

From the Chair’s Message on February 2, 2022

Dear Fellow Democrats,

While we all are eagerly hoping for the opportunity to come back together in person – I want to share with you the unanimous decision of the extended MCDC Executive Board that the MCDC March Endorsement Convention will be held virtually.  The convention will take place on Wednesday, March 16, commencing around 5:30 pm.
 
At the outset, please understand that we do not have the luxury of waiting until March to make this decision, and we do not have a crystal ball to know the exact conditions at that time.  In order to prepare for an orderly convention, we need to begin plans now and the preparation for in-person and for virtual meetings take very different paths.
 
There are many considerations that factored into this decision.

Number One was our responsibility to consider and safeguard the health of our members.  Covid remains a significant concern and uncertainty for the conduct of public events, and we did not wish to place at risk the health of our members.
 
The importance of being as inclusive as possible in the convening of the convention was another prime factor. Some people who are seniors or have underlying health conditions will choose not to attend an in-person convention and we do want to exclude them, or anyone.
 
The size of our gathering presents a particular concern.  Due to the robust and open convention process, we have to plan to accommodate over 400 people in a safe environment, as well as provide space and inter-active processes for delegate registration and voting.  Most other NJ counties do not confront this challenge as most do not even hold conventions to endorse candidates, much less the broad participatory nature of the MCDC event. 
 
Many Party organizations currently are virtual.  A check of other counties which hold conventions find that Middlesex and Monmouth are not in-person, Bergen remains undecided, Hunterdon is likely to change to virtual, Ocean and Somerset remain in-person “at this time”.  We also note that all Mercer County municipal Democratic organization meetings have remained or returned to virtual meetings.
 
No ability exists to enforce any public health precautions, as the right to vote at the MCDC convention is specified in the MCDC bylaws, and we have no authority to disallow attendance and voting by any person based on any requirements, be they vaccination, negative tests, masking.
 
MCDC has prior experience in conducting conventions and voting virtually, with high attendance, so this process will not be unfamiliar to voting members.



Running of Convention
We will roll out further information and details about the process, registration and voting, but below are a few upfront basics about the MCDC virtual convention:
   The convention meeting will be convened via zoom.

   Voting will be by secret ballot and administered independently by third-party experienced company Election Buddy which directly receives and tallies all votes, and which is housed in its own offices, not at the MCDC meeting control center.

    A County Technology Group will be identified to assist, along with municipal leadership, any delegate who has challenges or concerns about the voting process and availability of a device to use.

   Candidates running for contested offices will be entitled to have a representative present at the control center where the meeting will be run and where the company Election Buddy will forward by email their calculation of results.
 
Convention Reminders 
In 2022, there are races for all Congressional seats, which in Mercer County are Congressional Districts 3 and 12, plus two Mercer County Commissioner positions.

I would request that anyone wishing to be considered for endorsement for office, please send me a letter via email by Sunday, February 20, at 
demchairperson@mercerdemocrats.com, expressing your interest, all of your contact information (name, home address, email, phone numbers) and relevant information about yourself and your candidacy.
 
Note that the MCDC Bylaws contains a list of Democratic Organizations which can have a delegate, as well as a process set forth for currently non-represented organizations.  The MCDC Bylaws can be accessed at https://mercerdemocrats.com/our_party/.

Questions or suggestions, always feel welcome to contact me at demchairperson@mercerdemocrats.com.

In Unity for Victory