June 18, 2020
Your Weekly News from the Collin County Democratic Party
A Tribute to Bill Baumbach
Obituary and Remembrance
Deborah Angell Smith, County Chair 2003-2007
Friends, I am incredibly sad to report that we’ve lost a true leader in the Collin County Democratic Party and the progressive community in North Texas. Our dear friend, Bill Baumbach, died suddenly of natural causes (unrelated to COVID19) Wednesday night, June 10, 2020, in Dallas.

An evening of remembrance is scheduled for Thursday, June 18 th from 5 - 7 pm at Allen Family Funeral Options, 2112 W. Spring Creek Parkway, Unit E in Plano, 75023, next to the Spring Creek Church of Christ. Family and friends are welcome to come by to pay their respects and go as needed. Those who wish to share some remarks may do so. Please wear a mask and respect social distancing.

To read the obituary and remembrance, click here.
United We Stand
Sam Johnson and Penny Robe
Sam Johnson is the Democratic Nominee for the 366 th  District Court of Collin County.
Penny Robe is the Democratic Nominee for the 380 th  District Court of Collin County.
There are Looney Tunes cartoons featuring Sam Sheepdog and Ralph Wolf, where the two battle ferociously after they punch in to start their workday, and when the five o’clock whistle blows, the two work adversaries are friends again.

In the heated argument of a hearing or trial, barbs are thrown, arguments are made, and a victor is ultimately declared. Lawyers spend our careers honing the fine art of battling in the courtroom only to collaborate with our opponent mere minutes or hours later. The Texas Lawyer’s Creed affirms our obligation to “disagree without being disagreeable” and to refrain from “allusion to personal peculiarities or idiosyncrasies of” an opposing attorney. These guidelines are meant to provide balance in an adversarial profession, but really, they serve to provide professionalism in a profession that can sometimes feel out of balance.

Candidates on the ballot, and all of our courageous volunteers and supporters, know very well the passion and vehemence surrounding political campaigns. Offices and living rooms fill with activists trained and ready to make the case for their chosen candidate. Talking points and push cards lay atop passionate belief in the person, and their platform. But all campaigns come to an end sooner or later. Voters (hopefully) abound and cast their ballots until finally (you guessed it) a victor is again declared. Though we may disagree with the outcome, we can do so without being disagreeable.

Every primary has its ups and downs in an area with signs of a healthy democracy. The good news is that in March 2020, Collin County Democrats had the fullest primary ballot, with more contested primaries than we’ve seen in decades, and our work of selecting our candidates isn’t done until the Runoff in July. Our fight – the true fun and the campaigning that matters most – is just getting started. This November, voters across the county, state, and nation will decide what many believe to be the least predictable election in a generation. For all of us who are working to make sure Collin County voters choose candidates who really hear them and care about their wellbeing, this may be the most consequential election of our lives.

We cannot let this moment be burdened by division and dissent within our own party.

Following every primary, as Democrats, we have an obligation to our voters and the public at large to find a way to bridge the divides that were forged in heated primary races. Once our primaries and runoffs are completed, our county chair in place, and our Democratic slate on the ballot is set, we are a unified party. We are on the same team.

As we head toward November in this election year, our energy must be directed only at getting our voters out to the polls, and engaging with nonvoters, moderates, and even right-leaning voters to make the case for our platform of compassion, empathy, and equity. This is the powerful message we offer as the Collin County Democratic Party. This is why a combined campaign is so powerful.

This editorial comes from the viewpoint of the slate of Democratic attorneys running for District Court Judge in Collin County, the first in nearly forty years, and for our slate, the value and importance of finding a way to unify right now cannot be overemphasized.

We must set aside the disappointment if our candidate is not the nominee. We must set aside the hurts from the primary battle, and unite as one team to win in November, and put Democrats in office in Collin County, Texas.

Comment here
Received Mail Ballot Applications Have Been Processed.
Who Can Apply Now?

by David M. Smith
Collin County Democratic Primary Administrator
During the past couple of months, the question of who can apply to vote by mail was changing almost daily. As of this writing, there have been six court decisions on this.

Three different courts issued rulings expanding vote by mail eligibility to virtually everyone. However, the most recent decisions by the Texas Supreme Court and a federal appeals court have us back to where we were before the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

If you submitted an application to vote my mail which may or may not have hit the Collin County Elections Department on a day an “everyone can apply” order was in effect, don’t worry. The department has processed all applications received on all days and is now mailing ballots to all.

Before and during all the legal action the Collin County Elections Department has been following long-established procedure, in compliance with the law. They simply accept all completed applications from registered voters. If someone checks the disability box, they do no investigation. Per law, they accept the declaration of the voter and process the application, no questions asked. Thus, they have not been concerned about what legal interpretation of disability may have been in effect on a given day. Every registered voter who applied is getting a ballot.

And if you are 65 or better or have another pre-COVID-19 reason for voting by mail and have not yet applied, there is still time to do so. For how to vote by mail, please see our guide below.
How to Vote by Mail
in July Primary Runoff
[Photo of sample ballot envelope]

Step 1: Obtain, fill out, and return an application to vote by mail.
Received by Thursday July 2

An application to vote by mail can be obtained on the Texas Democratic Party website txdp.cc/vbmapp . You can print the application yourself or have it mailed to you.

Because the signature on the application and on the ballot envelope (Step 2) must match, sign the application the same way you will later sign the ballot envelope.

Mail the signed application to:
Collin County Elections Department
2010 Redbud Blvd., Suite 102
McKinney, TX 75069

Step 2: Receive, fill out, and return the mail ballot.
Postmarked by Tuesday July 14 7:00 p.m.
and received by Wednesday July 15 5:00 p.m.

The Collin County Elections Department will mail you a ballot. Fill out the ballot and place in the ballot envelope. You must sign the ballot envelope. Mail back the ballot envelope to the Collin County Elections Department.

NOTE: Different deadlines apply for Military and Overseas Voters, and special procedures apply for those who become hospitalized or suffer a death in the family after July 2.

For assistance please call our voter hotline at 469-609-0539 or email us at elections@collindemocrats.org.

More information at the Collin County Elections Department website .
Safety at Polling Places
by Mike Rawlins, County Chair
Since lack of immunity to the COVID-19 virus is not currently considered a disability in regard to applying to vote by mail, voters and election workers have expressed concerns about measures being taken to ensure safety at the Vote Centers. In discussing this with Bruce Sherbet, our County Election Administrator, we have learned that the following measures are being taken.
  • Election workers will be issued KN-95 masks. These are only slightly less effective than N-95 masks, and the county felt that N-95 masks should be reserved for health care workers. Workers may wear their own higher grade masks if desired.
  • Face shields will be available to election workers who wish to wear them.
  • Plexiglass shields will be provided at check-in stations, similar to check-out at retail stores.
  • Social distancing will be enforced at vote centers and while in line to vote. Floor markings will be provided for distancing and traffic control, and machines will be placed at least six feet apart.
  • Pens will be disinfected after each use, or voters may bring their own pen to sign the register.
  • Where possible, card readers for Drivers Licenses will be placed where voters may scan their own licenses rather than hand them to an election worker to scan.
  • Cotton swabs will be provided for use on the touch screen voting machines.
  • Hand sanitizer will be provided for voters and election workers.
  • Sanitizing fluid and wipes will be provided for use everywhere appropriate.
  • Additional machines will be provided for curbside voting for those who don’t wish to enter the vote center.
  • Workers will be trained on sanitation procedures.

Please note: Early voting starts Monday June 29.
Your Donations Matter – Now More Than Ever!
During these difficult times there are those who need our help more than ever. A few local organizations you can support who do this work include:
Minnie’s Food Pantry
Donate money by texting MINNIES to 41444

Drive & Drop items
Where: 661 18 th St., Plano TX 75074
When: Monday, Wednesday - Saturday
Time: 7:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
  • Canned Meat
  • Spaghetti
  • Spaghetti Sauce
  • Bagged Beans
  • Jelly
Allen Community Outreach

Drive & Drop items
Where: 801 E. Main Street in Allen
  • Canned Soups- Chicken Noodle, Tomato, Alphabet
  • Canned Pastas- Ravioli, SpaghettiOs, Lasagna
  • Canned Meats- Chicken, Tuna; Jellies- Grape, Strawberry
  • Fruit Cups/ Snack Packs
  • Fast Food Restaurant Gift Cards
  • Paper Towels/ Toilet Tissue
  • Toothbrushes/ Toothpaste
  • Kids Soaps and Shampoos
  • Hand Sanitizer/ Wipes 
Community Lifeline Center

Drive & Drop items
Where: 1601 N Waddill St #102, McKinney

  • Cereal boxes of any size; spaghetti sauce 24 oz bottle or can
  • Pears, Peaches, Mixed Fruit, and Applesauce, 15 oz can
  • Ravioli, 15 oz. can
  • Oatmeal cylinder
  • Mac & Cheese 7.5 oz box
  • Cornbread mix
  • Rice 1 lb bag

As Democrats, we understand that we are stronger as a community that shares the load and lifts each other over our rough moments. You can do that right now.
Thank you,
John Shanks
Executive Director
Collin County Democratic Party

PS: Know of other ways to help? Reply and send me a note at exec@collindemocrats.org
Volunteers Needed for Events Committee and Communications
The Events committee is looking to add two additional voting members on our committee. You should be able to attend regular standing meetings which are held on the first Tuesday of the month at 7:00 pm, be creative, interested in planning events, taking on special projects to support events and willing to attend events.

We currently have four voting members and one ex-officio member. We look forward to growing our team and enhancing the overall events experience for our membership as well as those we are trying to reach in the Collin County community. Some of the types of events we work on are decorating floats and marching in the July 4 th and Christmas holiday parades, having Democratic booths at local festivals such as the North Texas Pride Festival, Plano Balloon Festival and McKinney Oktoberfest. Please contact the Events Co-Chairs by email at events@collindemocrats.org so we can explore your interests.

Communications Team
In addition, the Communications team is looking for 1-2 additional volunteers to help with social media and the website. Graphics, social media, and Wordpress skill would be helpful but not required. We will train. Contact communicationsdirector@collindemocrats.org