Forsyth Democrats ready for big election Nov. 8

Forsyth Democrats ready for big election Nov. 8
October 13
09:30 2016



The big Nov. 8 general election of 2016 is now less than 30 days away. And both the Democratic and Republican parties are marshaling all of their forces statewide, and locally to “GOTV” (get out their vote), especially with absentee balloting under way, the deadline for voter registration Oct. 14 (this Friday), and One Stop/Early Voting commencing next Thursday, Oct. 20.

Here in Winston-Salem, Eric Ellison, chairman of the Forsyth County Democratic Party, says his party members have been working hard to deliver the vote for their local, statewide and national candidates since January, and he feels confident that Forsyth County Dems will deliver.

For a bit of extra incentive, Ellison says Forsyth County Dems were taken to Greensboro on Tuesday to see President Barack Obama, perhaps in his last visit to the Triad in his official capacity, campaigning for Hillary Clinton.

Even with that “extra incentive” from the very top, the plans of the Forsyth Dems are ambitious. Ellison promises that the party will be “competitive in all areas of the county, in Winston-Salem and outside of Winston-Salem.”

Every Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday until the election, Forsyth Democrats are manning phone banks to GOTV in their 25 “top priority” precincts. In addition, the party is executing its “101 Precinct Plan,” where each of those precincts will be responsible for its own GOTV effort.

“They’ll be responsible for getting the Democratic slate into every unaffiliated and Democratic voter in their precinct, plus, calling them twice,” Ellison told The Chronicle. “In addition to that, we’re canvassing [neighborhoods] on every Wednesday and Saturday. We’re going out on Saturday at 10 a.m., 12 noon and 2 p.m. “

Ellison adds that because voters will be dealing with “the longest ballot in the history of voting, and there’s no straight-party ticket voting,” poll greeters are being recruited to ensure that all voters get the Democratic slate “of our excellent candidates.”

“We’re ready, man. We are ready,” Ellison exclaimed. “We are so ready. The whole state is taking notice that Forsyth County is about to put it on the map.”

“We’re going to fight for those votes in Clemmons. We’re going to fight for those votes in Kernersville, in Lewisville, and everywhere.”

There is controversy, however. Chairman Ellison accused Republicans running the local board of election of having “such an aggressive method of scrubbing the voting logs” that about 150 new voter registration applications for new Democrats will be handed in per week, “[but] we’ll only see an increase of 70,” he charged, further labeling it “an aggressive campaign” to keep the number of new Democratic voters at a minimum in the county.

Ellison says thanks to the recent U.S. Fourth Circuit Court of Appeal’s ruling striking down parts of North Carolina 2013 voter suppression law, disenfranchised new voters can fall back on same-day voter registration starting next Thursday, when early voting begins.

Regarding absentee balloting, the Forsyth County Democratic chair says there “has been an explosion” of it on the Democratic side, something that was cultivated when it was assumed that voter ID laws would still be in force for the Nov. 8 election.

Again, early voting/same-day registration begins Thursday, Oct. 20.

Note – Friday, Oct. 14th is the dead-line for voter registration in North Carolina. To check online to make sure that you’re properly registered, go to If there are any problems, contact the Forsyth County Board of Elections at 336-703-2800.

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Cash Michaels

Cash Michaels

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