Cheatham County Democratic Party
Regular Monthly Meeting
November 5, 2009
Pinnacle Bank, Ashland City, TN (2nd Floor)
The meeting was preceded by a social time to welcome guests, discuss current events, etc. as required by a motion at a previous meeting.
Call to Order and Pledge of Allegiance: Chair L. Newcomb called the meeting to order at 6:18 p.m., followed by the Pledge of Allegiance.
Attendance: A quorum was present.
Present: Lynn Newcomb (P), John Patrick (VP), Jane Crisp (VP), Martha Wettemann (S), Roger Marriott (T), Rebecca Brooks, Jim Brooks, Randy Fiedler, Tony Gross, Rick Johnson, Michael Lottman, Elena Roser.
Absent and excused: Aric Storck, Karen Stell, Kathryn Mitchem
Absent: Gerald Dooley, Nicole DeBaun-Phillips, Crissy Scott.
Guests: Rebecca Selove, Scott Hoffman, Matthew Binkley, Gerald Greer (candidate for Ward 2, Ashland City Council) and Pam Frejosky (Cheatham County Administrator of Elections).
Committee Sign-ups (committees are not limited to the Executive Committee):
Advocacy Committee: Mike Lottman, Karen Stell, Martha Wettemann
Elections Committee: Kathryn Mitchem, Elena Roser, Martha Wettemann
Events Committee (including Forums): Nicole DeBaun-Phillips, Randy Fiedler, Roger Marriott, Mike Lottmann, Elena Roser
Social/Print Media: Karen Stell, Mike Lottmanm, Aric Storck
A motion was made by J. Patrick/R. Fiedler to approve the agenda and the minutes of the last meeting. Motion carried.
Speaker: Ms. Frejosky gave a very interesting report on current issues and practices in Cheatham County Elections (see attachment).
Treasurer’s Report: Mr. Marriott reported that $1,751.09 is our current balance. The collection jar was passed.
Media: J. Brooks reported that a statement re our party had been drafted and critiqued by K. Stell and M. Lottman. It will be available at a future meeting.
Events: Music on Main was successful and we collected quite a few names for our mailing list.
Elections: T. Gross urged all eligible to come and vote in the election for the Ashland City Mayor and Council on December 7. We need to support our good candidates. Democrats include Steve Allen, Mayor; Lisa Walker, District 1; Gerald Greer, District 2.
Chair’s Report: Chair Newcomb reported that we received very favorable publicity for our Food Solutions Forum, with a long front page article in the Ashland City Times and another in the Leaf Chronicle (Clarksville).
Training took place on Nov. 1 for the County Convention which will be held at noon on March 7, 2020, after the March 3 primary. Any candidates with 15% or more of the votes in the primary can have a caucus on March 7 in Cheatham County. Those elected at our county convention in the caucuses will go on to the 5th congressional district convention on March 21 to elect our delegates to the Democratic National Convention on July 13-16, 2020.
Consensus was to sign up for the Ashland City Christmas Parade “Traditional Christmas” on December 7. The parade starts at 6 pm.
By consensus a potluck holiday party is planned for the Braxton Party room on December 8 at 2 pm if it is available.
Speaker for next month’s meeting on December 3 at Pinnacle Bank at 6 pm will be Linda McFadden-Ketchem discussing reducing gun violence.
The meeting adjourned by consensus on 8:25 p.m.
Submitted by Martha Wettemann, secretary
Attachment – Remarks by Pam Frejosky, Cheatham County Administrator of Elections
Ms. Frejosky was welcomed to the meeting by Chair L. Newcomb. Main points from Ms. Frejosky:
Cheatham County is fortunate that Federal HAVA grant money was unspent and was used to buy new voting machines (with a paper trail. After the December 7 election, the Election Office will take the machines around so people can try them before the 2020 primary. They have also purchased electronic poll books.
Unlike the previous voting machines, these are not linked at a polling place. You use a ballot marking device with no personal info on it (a touch pad), then it prints your ballot. Then the ballot is deposited in an optical scan device which creates two images. The ballot is not tied to a name. You have 3 chances to get your ballot correct.
None of the machines are connected to the internet. There is a VPN connection to the state computer. The server is in a private room at the Election Commission which has new locks and there are cameras in the room.
The Election Office is required to visit the schools twice a year, both public and private.
Some counties have vote centers, which allow you to vote anywhere on Election Day. That is being looked into. New policy in 2020 is that all 3 polling places will be open all the time during early voting. School workers will be working the polls for state elections since schools are closed. Pay is $110 per day. With regard to registration, a majority of voters register online.
Nursing home residents automatically get sent a ballot if in a facility registered with the state. At times ballots may be picked up at individuals’ homes if needed.
The previous Ashland city election had 463 people voting; there are 2,848 registered voters there.