Hanover County Democratic Committee

Moving Hanover Forward

My Two Cents: Protecting the Ballot

by Steven Johnson

I’m tired. You’re tired. Were all tired. We’ve been through a ceaseless stream of elections that would have been emotionally draining even in non-pandemic times.

But there’s no rest for the weary. Not this year. Not when the right to vote is involved.

We have some terrific candidates for the General Assembly this year. Rachel Levy will represent our party proudly on the ballot this year and we need to make sure we do everything we can do to support her, and possibly flip a seat in the House of Delegates.

We cannot lose control of the House of Delegates this year. Right now, Democrats hold a 55-45 advantage, but that is tenuous at best.

Just look to our north in House District, which encompasses parts of Stafford and Prince William counties. Democrat Candi King just won a special election by 263 votes to fill Jennifer Carrol Foy’s vacated seat. Jennifer won that by more than 4,000 votes in 2019.

Little wonder, then, that elections analyst Chaz Nuttycombe sees the House as “a pure toss-up.”

What’s at stake? Education, the environment, health care … all issues that we care about. We will work hard to keep the governor’s mansion so those issues remain a priority (no Senate this year).

But if Republicans gain control of the Virginia House of Delegates, we know they will have a different to-do list — measures to control ballot access.

Many of us watched as Republican lawmakers in Georgia fast-tracked a 95-page bill to change voting procedures in the Peach State; most importantly, giving the GOP-controlled legislature the ability to override county election boards. President Biden called the actions a new form of Jim Crow even as Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp said the bill would better secure a vote than was never proven to be unsecure.

That’s just one battleground. As of February, the nonprofit Brennan Center reported state lawmakers have carried over, prefiled or introduced 253 bills with provisions that restrict voting access in 43 states, including five bills in Virginia. 

For instance, HB 2205 would repeal a provision that enables any person who is qualified to register to vote to do so up to and including on the day of the election, regardless of the close of the registration records provided elsewhere in law.

Its author is House Minority Leader Todd Gilbert, and it’s a sure bet that the bill would gain traction should Gilbert become majority leader or speaker. It’s just as certain the GOP would look to undo Virginia legislation to open up absentee voting and provide a strict review of local election changes that discriminate against minorities.

We have to be vigilant about ballot access. The GOP is trying to set the stage for sweeping changes later with reasonable-sounding proposals today, like Gilbert’s bid to require the state Department of Elections to purge voter rolls of deceased people every week, instead of every month. We know what will follow. Georgia is proof. Sen. Jen McClellan says Virginia is the first state in the South to proactively protect the right to vote. Let’s mobilize to make sure we keep control of the House of Delegates this year and safeguard that right.


All Democratic and Like-Minded Women are Welcome to our monthly coffees!

We'll be holding this month's Coffee in late April. Please stay tuned for the date.

Our monthly Women's Coffees are meant for bringing Democratic women from all parts of Hanover together in an informal way for energizing fellowship with each other. They're great for socializing, but also for forming strong relationships to better help elect Democratic candidates and promote our Democratic ideals locally and nationally.

New friends are always welcome.

For more information contact Diane Neergaard at daneergaard@comcast.net or 804-304-1951.

Our Coffee Caucus is a group of Democratic women of all ages who, in non-Covid times, meet monthly, sometimes in the day and sometimes in the evening, at the homes of volunteer hostesses at different locations around the county. We have no formal memberships or fees.

During this pandemic, we are grateful to continue to meet by Zoom, but eagerly look forward to meeting again in person soon.


Terry McAuliffe, who is seeking to be only the second popularly elected, two-term governor of Virginia in modern times, will be the featured speaker at our April meeting. The meeting will again be virtual, starting at 10 a.m. on Saturday, April 10. Please be on time as we have confirmed McAuliffe for 10:00-10:15 a.m.

McAuliffe was elected in 2013, and served as Virginia's 72nd governor from 2014 to 2018. He is running on a campaign to fight for civil and voting rights, attract businesses, provide affordable and quality health care, build a clean energy economy and improve the housing crisis. As governor, brought in many new jobs to Virginia, invested heavily in education and pushed hard for the restoration of voting rights to disenfranchised Virginians.

Here are the credentials to join the meeting:

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 856 9904 0716
Passcode: 890597

By Phone
+1 301 715 8592 US


Log into our next Men's Forum at 7 p.m., Wednesday, April 28, to hear from several state Democratic primary candidates. We have a crowded field this year; five Democratic candidates have filed to run for governor, eight have filed for lieutenant governor, two have filed for attorney general, one has filed for 55th District delegate and one for the 97th District delegate. All have been extended invitations to our virtual forums. We want to provide everyone the opportunity to learn as much as possible in preparation for the primary being held June 8, so lined up to speak at our next convening we have:

Gubernatorial Candidates
Lee Carter
Justin Fairfax

Lieutenant Governorship Candidates
Hala Ayala
Elizabeth Guzman
Mark Levine
Sean Perryman
Sam Rasoul

Our monthly Men's Forum provides a candid way for Hanover's Democratic community to hear expert speakers and stay informed, invigorated and connected, with opportunities to talk politics in our slowly bluing county. We are grateful, in spite of the ongoing pandemic, for the continual support of our members. Thank you.

Join the ZOOM Meeting


pwd=cGtvK 0lwbkpZcjFmUUVSSONPZ 0FXdz09

Meeting ID: 856 9904 0716

Passcode: 890597

By Phone

+ 1 301 715 8592 US

RSVP to Don Barth at donna.don@comcast.net, or call his cellphone or text 856.889.5905, or leave a message on his landline 804.299.3160.


Dr. Rachel Levy is running for the House of Delegates in the 55th District. The 55th covers Hanover west of U.S. 301, almost all of Caroline County and a slice of Spotsylvania County. 

Rachel is a long-time member of the HDC, a teacher, a community activist and a leader with a Ph.D. in educational leadership and policy. She lives in Ashland with her husband and 3 children. She wants to strengthen public education, increase access to health care (she believes this is a human right), preserve our environment, ensure that working people are paid fairly and enact tax reforms

How can you help? Glad you asked. Check out Rachel's website (a work in progress), her Facebook page, her Twitter feed and her Instagram.
Please (please!) donate to her campaign here. Finally, please sign the digital petition to get Rachel or Sarah and the Democratic statewide candidates on the ballot (Thanks to Rachel and the campaigns of six other Democratic House of Delegates candidates, delegate candidates can gather signatures electronically).

Have questions? Contact Rachel's campaign manager (another HDC member!) Ashley Hall at info@rachelfordelegate.org. Help Rachel put Buddy Fowler into the retirement that he already practices as a member of the House!


The Hanover Democratic Committee will be awarding scholarships of approximately $500 or more to graduating seniors from each of our county high schools. 

The Melissa J. Dopp/Bobby Ostergren Scholarship is awarded yearly by the Hanover Democratic Committee to graduating Hanover County seniors with the highest level of participation and involvement in Democratic campaigns and activities. The scholarship was established to honor the late Bobby Ostergren, the former Hanover County registrar for many years, and the late Melissa Dopp, a longtime activist in the Hanover Democratic Committee. 

The scholarship is not needs-based or for academic merit; it is for students who have participated in Democratic campaigns, supported Democratic candidates, helped the Hanover Democratic Committee or participated in/started a Young Democrats Club. 

More details about the scholarship along with the application form can be found on the Hanover County Public Schools scholarship website

Applications are due on April 10th. We were so happy to award 13 scholarships in the past three years and look forward to awarding more this year. We encourage you to share this information widely, especially with families of Senior students. In addition, if you would like to donate funds for the scholarship fund for this year, please contact Andrea Ferment at aferment@comcast.net.


You can sign up for a vaccine at the new vaccinate.virginia.gov link. All individuals who have previously filled out a survey or form or signed up for a waitlist to be vaccinated through their local health district will be automatically imported into the new statewide system.

If you prefer to speak to someone, you can call the Hanover County COVID-19 call center to sign up by phone: 804-365-3240 or Virginia Department of Health’s statewide vaccination hotline at 1-877-VAX-IN-VA (1-877-829-4682).  Someone from the health department will contact you to set up your vaccination appointment once it is your turn (based on the phase and vaccine supply).

For more, go to www.hanovercounty.gov/1104/COVID-19-Hanover-Information

Team shop open again

Round two of our Democratic Team Shop is open. Order your shirts, hats, hoodies and more for yourself and for family/friends. They make great gifts and they are a great way to spread the Democratic spirit. Order your gear here: https://www.bsnteamsports.com/shop/vadems

COVID-19 RespoNse

Hanover County has set up a call center to answer questions related to COVID-19. The number is 804-365-3240, and it will be open Monday through Friday, excluding holidays, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Voice messages left in the mailbox after hours will be returned the next business day. (REMINDER: Be sure to leave your phone number at the beginning and end of message so we can call you back.) This is being done in coordination with the Chickahominy Health District, which includes Goochland, New Kent and Charles City. 

The Women's coffee and Men's forum had great discussions about the state of the Commonwealth. Many people still want to know where to access information about the response to the pandemic. You can access the links to the Chickahominy Health district here: https://www.vdh.virginia.gov/chickahominy/

Information from Caitlyn Hodge, director of the VA Chickahominy Health district

Vaccine information:

Become a volunteer for your friendly Chickahominy Health District: https://www.vdh.virginia.gov/mrc/apply-to-volunteer/

support our candidates

Below are links directly to candidate Levy, Hanover election results, VPAP, Ballotopedia, and Wikipedia. Learn about our candidates and support them. The next election is the Primary on June 8, 2021.

55th Delegate: Rachel LevyLevy logo

HDC member Dr. Rachel Levy is running for the House of Delegates in the 55th District! Please check out her website: rachelfordelegate.org, like her on Facebook: facebook.com/RachelforDelegate, follow her on Twitter: twitter.com/RachelAnneLevy and Instagram: instagram.com/rachelfordelegate, and support her campaign: https://secure.actblue.com/donate/friends-of-rachel-levy-1

97th Delegate: TBA (It looks like we will be having a candidate announce soon!)

Candidates for VA Governor:  click here

Candidates for Lt Gov VA: click here

Candidates for Att Gen VA: click here


By Jen Chambers

Three amigos from Central Virginia — Jen Chambers, Christiane Riederer, our fearless driver, and Lorna Charlton (aka Thelma, Louise and Coffee) — assisted with voter registration, awareness and getting out the vote both in key states prior to the November election and in Georgia for the Senate run-off by bringing a big lavender RV to locally organized events.  

This article explains the mission and how it was adapted for the pandemic, the progress made on the three trips and the local organizations and events that reached voters. Thank you to Dan McGraw for asking us to share our journey and being our cheering squad to welcome us back to the Center of the Universe!

It's long, so please take the time to download the PDF from here: The_Notorious_RVG.pdf


Please join us at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 24 for our second Men's Forum of 2021 where HDC's own Morgan Goodman offers a review of the General Assembly's current session. The Democratic trifecta in the House, Senate, and Governor's mansion accomplished so much in 2020, and all of us are eager to learn what's next on the agenda. 

Morgan's presentation will review the Assembly's progress on Democratic policies to date as well as addressing the bills still to be voted on. The session tentatively ends on February 27. As usual, the floor will open for questions towards the end of the program, but for time's sake, please forward them in advance if possible so our speaker has the opportunity to incorporate them into her talk. RSVP with your questions to Don Barth (donna.don@comcast.net) no later than Feb. 17.

Our monthly Men's Forum provides a candid way for Hanover's Democratic community to stay informed, invigorated, and connected, with opportunities to talk politics with expert speakers in our slowly bluing county. We are grateful to be back to our regularly scheduled programming despite the ongoing pandemic, and thank our members for their continued support. 

Join the ZOOM Meeting: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/85699040716? 

pwd=cGtvK 0lwbkpZcjFmUUVSSONPZ 0FXdz09 

Meeting ID:  856 9904 0716 
Passcode:  890597 
By Phone  +1 301 715 8592 US 

RSVP to Don Barth at donna.don@comcast.net, or call his cellphone or text 856.889.5905, or leave a message on his landline 804.299.3160

Shop with Democrats

The Hanover County Democratic Store is now up and running correctly. You can access the store here: https://www.bsnteamsports.com/shop/HanVADems.

.You may need to copy and paste it into your web browser. The T-shirts and sweatshirts will have the new Hanover Democratic logo across the middle of the front and the polos will have the logo on the top left of the chest. 

The store will be open till January 4. When the items come in, they will be hand-delivered to your front door. Place your orders soon. These are the lowest prices that the items will ever be.

HCDC has a team store!

The Hanover County Democratic Committee apparel is now open! Find items that we've picked out specifically for our team. There is also spirit wear available for your family and friends. Check out the shop details below.

- Shop Now: https://www.bsnteamsports.com/shop/HanoverDem
- Store Open From November 23 - December 21, 2020

Items will be delivered to the house of Chair Daniel McGraw. We will then distribute them to the members. Get your orders in now! These are the lowest prices that they will ever be. The expected arrival of the items is from late January to early February.

PROBLEMS WITH YOUR EMAIL? a possible fix ...

Many of you on Comcast platforms have not been getting recent emails because Comcast has updated its mail server. It is blocking forwarded mail unless you contact your email postmaster. This affects you because we forward emails through HVAdems.com. We know this is going on because we're getting a ton of bouncebacks. As best we can tell, it appears that Comcast has increased their security to require e-mail addresses to be pre-approved.

Mary Laymen has created a quick video on “How to approve emails from a person or organization in Comcast." It is located at this link: https://screencast-o-matic.com/watch/cYXv2XNnEw.

Please watch and review the video even if you do not use Comcast internet because other Internet providers are moving to new systems. This video shows a skill that is becoming an industry standard. Share this with friends.

Appointed School Board vs. Elected School Board?

We want to hear from you about whether you believe one version of the board is preferred to the other one. Currently, we have an appointed school board. Please take this two (2) question survey and let us know your thoughts. https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/QWM9J7D

we need your support!

There are two runoff elections on Jan. 5, 2021, in the Georgia elections. Reverend Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff really need your support. This election is crucial to all of us and especially crucial to the success of the Biden administration. If we can win these two seats, we will break Mitch McConnell's chokehold on the Senate. Please go on Warnock's and Ossoff's websites and donate to their campaigns: https://warnockforgeorgia.com/ and https://electjon.com/

Hanover Democratic Women's Coffee Caucus

All Democratic and Like-Minded Women Are Welcome!  

Faye Prichard, Hanover County's only Democratic member of the Board of Supervisors will be the special guest at our February Hanover Democratic Women's Coffee at 7 p.m. on Thursday, February 18. Please join in — by Zoom, of course — to hear Faye give us an update on our local government happenings.  

Our Coffees are great for energizing fellowship with other Democratic Women. Come to learn, but come to talk, too, as we maintain connections while observing social distancing. There's plenty of room for a really big group at these virtual Coffees and new friends are always welcome. For more information contact Diane Neergaard at daneergaard@comcast.net or 804-304-1951. 

Our Coffee Caucus is a group of Democratic women of all ages who, in non-Covid times, meet monthly, sometimes in the day and sometimes in the evening, at the homes of volunteer hostesses at different locations around the county for the pleasure of being with other Democratic women and to make bonds so we can better work together. During this pandemic, we are grateful to continue to meet by Zoom. We have no formal memberships or fees.