2020 Primary Update / 2020 Reorganization Meeting Update

1. 2020 Primary Update
The Ohio Legislature has extended the 2020 Primary until April 28, 2020.  Voting will take place by mail only.  The Ohio Secretary of State will be sending a postcard to every registered voter in Ohio to inform them of this change, explain how voting will work, and provide them with relevant deadlines.
Here’s the good news: Voters who have already voted by mail or voted early in person at the Board of Elections will have their votes counted.  You will NOT need to recast your ballot.  
For anyone who has not yet voted, here’s how the process will work:
1.  Voters will first need to request an absentee ballot from the Board of Elections.  You can make the request by printing off this form or, if you are unable to print your own form, by calling the Board of Elections (513/632-7000) and asking them to mail you a request form.  Once you receive the form, fill out the form in its entirety and make sure you mark that you are asking for a Democratic Party ballot. Upon completion of the application, return to the Hamilton County Board of Elections by either mail or by dropping it off in the marked receptacle on site at the Hamilton County Board of Elections (4700 Smith Road, Cincinnati, OH 45212).  All requests for absentee ballots must be received by the Board of Elections by noon on April 25, 2020.
2. Once your request is in, the Board of Elections will mail you a ballot.  The ballot will have instructions on how to complete it, and ballots will have return postage paid to the Board of Elections.  Once you fill out your ballot, you simply mail it back in to the Board in the envelope provided. Ballots can also be returned by placing the sealed envelope in a marked receptacle on site at the Board of Elections.  The deadline to postmark your ballot is April 27, 2020. Ballots being dropped off on site in the receptacle at the Board of Elections must be received by 3:00 PM on April 28, 2020.
To mail your absentee request or drop off your ballot, the Hamilton County Board of Elections address is 4700 Smith Road, Cincinnati, OH 45212.
Finally, voters who (1) have a disability and wish to use an in-person voting machine or (2) are unable to receive mail may vote early in person at the Board of Elections.  If you believe you fall into one of these two categories, call the Board of Elections at 513/632-7000.
If you have further questions, or seek clarification on any of these points, please contact Eddie Davenport at eddie@hamiltoncountydems.org.
2. Update from ODP Secretary Bill DeMora on County Party Organizational Meetings
Below, please find correspondence from Ohio Democratic Party Secretary Bill DeMora providing direction to County Chairs regarding County Party reorganization meetings considering our County Central Committees will be reformed by Central Committee elections in the primary as well as the fact that State order limits large gatherings. We have received questions from a few Hamilton County members on these matters and here is what we are being advised.

Dear County Chairs,

I hope this finds you safe and healthy. PLEASE do everything you can to follow social distancing guidelines and the recommendations of the State Health Director.

Several of you have asked about what will happen to county reorganization meetings and county parties with the postponement of the March 17th Primary Election. Here is what we know as of this minute:

PLEASE NOTE: All current party officers and current members of county central and executive committees ARE still in place.

Until the General Assembly and/or the Supreme Court acts to extend the primary and/or sets another date for the primary election, your current committee(s) stays in place.

When the General Assembly and/or the Supreme Court does set another date, ODP will send out another memo with detailed instructions on what will need to be done and dates by which it will need to be done.

HOWEVER, even if/when a new election date is set, and the primary election is finally certified, if the Governor’s order prohibiting all meetings of more than 10 individuals is still in place, the timeline for reorganization meetings will continue to be extended until such time that the order is lifted by the State Health Director. ODP does NOT want any county party to hold a reorganization meeting (or any party meeting) while the prohibition of meetings is still in place.

Yours Democratically,

Bill DeMora

Secretary, Ohio Democratic Party


Hamilton County Democratic Party will provide more instruction on these matters as they become more clear following certification of the 2020 Primary election and direction from the Ohio Democratic Party on the appropriate timeline and plan to proceed with HCDP reorganization meeting.

Primary update; no 3/21 meeting

Members of Hamilton County Democratic Party,


There will be no Executive Committee Meeting on this upcoming Saturday. There is currently to meeting scheduled to occur beyond this weekend – notification of the next meeting will come once the Primary results are finalized and the Party’s next organizational meeting occurs. With no finality the current election, HCDP will be unable to schedule its organizational meeting with our Central Committee as well. We will provide more information to our new Central Committee members once this election is finished and certified.


We have received many messages regarding the status of the Primary election and what is happening next. While much is still up in the air and there is no finality to what is going to happen, the Ohio Democratic Party took legal action on Tuesday to ensure that a primary will still occur and voters who didn’t vote prior to 3/17/2020 will have a chance to cast a ballot. While Secretary of State Frank LaRose is still pushing a potential June 2nd Election Day date out to the public, there are still legal actions happening that push for other outcomes. This situation has not yet resolved itself and we cannot speak with certainty about how the election will proceed from here.


The Ohio Democratic Party, in its suit, is asking for the election to proceed mainly by vote-by-mail ballots and wrap up on April 23rd. This gives every Ohioan the chance to request and cast a ballot in the 2020 Primary Election while protecting the health of high-risk populations and limiting any potential spread of COVID-19 that may occur.


Learn more about ODP’s actions in the statement that they released below, or by following their Twitter thread about this matter here. Below, please also find a statement from HCDP Chairwoman Gwen McFarlin. We will provide more information as it becomes final and available.


We urge all members to follow the guidelines being set forward by Gov. DeWine, Commissioner Driehaus, Mayor Cranley, and public health organizations to ensure not only their health and safety, but that of the community at large.


Take care and be well,


-HCDP Leadership







Ohio Democratic Party Chairman David Pepper is be commended for his quick response to this matter, filing a legal writ with the Ohio Supreme Court to ensure our right to vote, and that of hundreds of thousands of others across the state of Ohio, will not be jeopardized.


Just a reminder to our Central Committee members — until the ligation is completed, we are unable to schedule our organizational meeting as well.  I am asking you to call your elected Ohio Statehouse legislators and urge them to support a primary election that ends prior to June 2, and is run mainly by vote-by-mail ballots. This will ensure a timely conclusion to this suspended election while ensuring the safety of all those individuals involved.


Gwen McFarlin


Hamilton County Democratic Party




COLUMBUS — The Ohio Democratic Party today filed a writ of prohibition with the Ohio Supreme Court to ensure the primary election will take place and protect Ohioans’ right to vote, after polling places were barred from opening by the state Department of Health.

“This primary election must move forward,” said Ohio Democratic Party Chairman David Pepper. “Earlier today we said that we would litigate to defend voters’ right to fully participate in the state’s Democratic primary election, and in the absence of action by the General Assembly and with other actors moving to shut down the primary, we have filed with the Ohio Supreme Court to ensure that all eligible Ohio voters are able to exercise their right to vote in this primary.

“Yesterday’s actions did not create unchecked authority with the governor or secretary of state to run a new election. So authority for a new election must come from the legislature or from a court. Today’s action seeks that court order, preserving the primary while also proposing a more workable window for the election to take place, along with multiple opportunities and a reasonable amount of time for voters to vote.

“We hope the court, governor, secretary of state, legislative leaders and other parties see the necessity of this order to preserve the right to vote and complete a fair and timely election in Ohio.”

Click here to view the Ohio Democratic Party’s complaint in original action for writ of prohibition.