OVM Cosponsors Successful East County Candidate Forum

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Choose the candidate who will best represent your interests and early vote. These are the calls to action that gave rise to the Montgomery County Executive Candidate Forum on October 20th.  It promoted Early Voting--which allows voters to cast their ballots at any one of 11 locations over an eight-day period, and it gave prospective voters the chance to learn more about County Executive candidates. The event, which was held at the East County Recreation Center, was put on by Our Voices Matter (OVM) in coalition with the local alumni chapters of two Black fraternities and one Black sorority, and an African Methodist Episcopal Church.

Providing Information and Increasing Voter Turnout

Since election-related events can feel intimidating or impersonal, organizers were intent on creating an inviting environment. Attendees were greeted at the door by volunteers who passed out programs that included non-partisan voter information. From the information table, attendees could pick up a voter guide prepared by The League of Women Voters or just enjoy coffee and conversation while waiting for the forum to start. Some attendees pledged to early vote in photos for social media taken by OVM interns. By urging them to take advantage of early voting, the ad hoc coalition of sponsoring organizations hoped to increase voter turnout in East County in the November general election.

So Many Questions

Saturday’s forum opened at 12:15pm with an introduction of the 2018 candidates for Montgomery County Executive: Marc Elrich, Robin Ficker, and Nancy Floreen. After listening to brief opening statements, East County residents had the chance to ask about the candidates’ vision for education, housing, transportation, and other important issues. For each question, candidates had just one minute to respond. Even so, there were so many questions submitted by the audience that candidates agreed to forego closing statements in order to answer as many as possible. The forum could have easily gone on for at least another hour as attendees longed for the opportunity to ask follow-up questions. But due to their tight schedules, candidates had to leave promptly at 1:30.

Thanks to Our Cosponsors and Supporters

With over 130 people attending, the East County Candidate Forum was a resounding success. For those who were able to join us, thank you for coming! This event would not have been possible without the help of our cosponsors: Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Montgomery County Chapter; Montgomery County Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority; Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Mu Nu Chapter; and the Commission on Social Action at Reid Temple AME Church. Thanks also to the representatives from each organization who took part in asking questions and moderating the event. Last but not least, special thanks go out to OVM interns and volunteers from the sponsoring organizations who provided staff support for this event.

Learn All You Can and Early Vote

Even if you were unable to attend this illuminating event, you can visit our Election Center for nonpartisan information about candidates, ballot questions, voter eligibility and deadlines. Learn all you can and then cast your early vote!