Dear DNC Member, Please find below an update from the DNC's Political & Organizing Director, Muthoni Wambu Kraal.
As always, if you have any questions, please reach out to my office.
Democratic National Committee
Polls are now open in Florida and Illinois, they will open later this morning east coast time in Arizona. Polls have not opened in Ohio. As reported in the AP, “Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine initially asked a court to delay the vote, and when a judge refused to do so the state’s health director declared a health emergency that would prevent the polls from opening.” This is obviously a developing situation and we continue to work closely with the Ohio Democratic Party as we all figure out the next set of actions to protect our voters.
Information on our other contests is below. And, as you would imagine given the news around COVID-19, we have been working closely with state parties, who are in regular contact with their local health and elected officials on the ground.
Today’s elections are all state-run primaries and will include three of the five most delegate-rich states to date: Florida, Illinois, and Ohio are behind only California and Texas in total pledged delegates among these first 31 contests.
By the time these states allocate their delegates, the over 30 contests will have collectively allocated roughly 60 percent of total pledged delegates.
These March 17 states continue to offer geographic and demographic diversity, occupying three time zones and having large populations of African American, Latinx, AAPI, and Native American voters.
And states are taking serious precautions. As Illinois prepared for its elections, Governor Pritzker took precautions to ensure voter safety. After every voting machine is utilized, it will be sanitized before another voter uses the booth. Also, hand sanitizer will be readily available at each polling station. In an effort to reduce contact, election authorities have urged citizens to vote by mail; ballots must be postmarked by Tuesday to count.
Over the weekend, Arizona took precautionary measures to mitigate the spread of coronavirus. Arizona closed 80 polling places in Maricopa, and made the remaining 151 locations “vote centers” where voters can cast their ballots anywhere in the county. Over 60% of the electorate usually votes by mail in Arizona.
COVID-19--Staying Safe While The Work Continues
The DNC is now working from home and I’m hoping that all of you are as well. As our teams settled into our first remote work week, our thoughtful tech team put together some best practices for working from home. And we loved it. They are a team of 55 dedicated people across 19 states, so they have a lot of collective experience to guide us as we figure out our own routines. Since caring is sharing, please take a read!
Our political and mobilization teams have also put together a set of recommendations on how to continue to organize during this time. They are hosting a Digital Organizing 101 Training this Thursday, March 19 at 1 PM ET and Friday, March 20 at 1 PM ET. I encourage you or someone on your staff to sign up for one of the slots here: https://events.democrats.org/event/262710/
Finally, this Thursday, March 19 at 3 PM ET the CDC is sharing guidance from Dr. Nancy Messonnier on what the CDC knows at this point and how they are responding. You can register here: https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_v1NsR-W0TqaqmPgkbPqx9g and submit questions in advance to: email@example.com
Resources for Voters Today
Today, please lift up the DNC Voter Assistance Hotline 1-833-336-8683 (1-833-DEM-VOTE). Voters can text QUESTION to 43367 too. A social media graphic for the hotline is below.
Please also share IWillVote.com to help ensure that every Democratic voter you touch knows that they can visit IWillVote.com to look up their polling place or caucus site.
Today, March 17 Contests
Arizona polls will open from 6 AM to 7 PM MT. The Arizona primary is only open to voters registered as a Democrat. 409,013 voters cast their ballots in the 2016 Democratic primary election in Arizona.
AZ Pledged Delegate Allocations
- Statewide: 14 At-Large, 9 PLEO; Proportional by Statewide Results
- District Level: 44 Proportional by Congressional District Results
Voters in Florida will cast votes from 7 AM to 7 PM. Over 2 million voters have already cast their ballot via mail. The Florida primary is closed and you need to be registered as a Democrat to vote. In 2016, 1,702,878 voters cast ballots in the Democratic primary.
FL Pledged Delegate Allocations
- Statewide: 47 At-Large, 29 PLEO; Proportional by Statewide Results
- District Level: 143 Proportional by Congressional District Results
Voters in Illinois will cast votes in the Democratic primary today. Polls are open from 6:00 AM to 7:00 PM CT. The Illinois primary is open, meaning registered voters of any political affiliation may cast votes. Past Democratic primary turnout reached 2,056,047 in 2016 and 2,038,614 in 2008. Again, Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker and election officials plan to take extra hygiene precautions at polling centers. Illinois had early voting and extended early voting hours on Sunday and Monday, March 15 and 16.
IL Pledged Delegate Allocations
- Statewide: 34 At-Large; 20 PLEO; Proportional by Statewide Results
- District Level: 101 Proportional by Congressional District Results
You can check to see if you’re registered here and find a sample ballot here.