Thursday, December 24th, 2020
I hereby certify that Ms. Valerie Duhl has won the election to be the Volusia County Democratic Executive Committee’s State Committeewoman to the Florida Democratic Party at our party’s December 8th, 2020 reorganizational meeting, which was conducted via Zoom teleconference.
Due to the unprecedented and tragic COVID-19 pandemic, our party’s reorganizational meeting was held virtually. Two practice sessions were held to prepare our 156 electors to participate. At
our reorganizational meeting, there were 71 votes recorded for Ms. Valerie Duhl and 62* recorded for Ms. Susanne Raines. Allegedly, some voting members could not sign on to the actual meeting. In an attempt to enfranchise these individuals, provisional balloting was suggested and sent out. There is no provisional ballot process defined in either the bylaws or by the previous leadership. Additionally, it was discovered there was a campaign to solicit and collect “provisional ballots” continuing into the next day for people who may or may not have had technological issues accessing the meeting at Candidate Raines’ direction.
In my review of the Volusia County Democratic Executive Committee’s bylaws, the Florida Democratic Party, and Florida Statutes, there is no mention of provisional ballots. Additionally, the aforementioned campaign after the election is not consistent with any election process. Therefore, I am compelled to only count votes properly cast recorded during our reorganizational meeting. Additionally, during my exhaustive review, the Supervisor of Elections, Lisa Lewis, informed me that there are only three valid precinct committeemen for Precinct 602 (Daytona Beach). This revelation means one individual was allowed by the former chair to cast a vote in error. The votes cast by this individual are stricken from the final vote tallies.
Congratulations, Ms. Valerie Duhl! This timely decision ensures that the Volusia County Democratic Party will receive full representation in the Florida Democratic Party.
Dr. Richard Thripp
Chair of the Volusia County Democratic Party
* With the removal of an invalid vote explained in paragraph 3.