voter-owned elections

Occupy the Ballot Box: taking back our democracy from corporate rule from the grassroots up

9:00 am Registration  -- visitors are free, membership is $10, pre-order lunch


9:30 am Welcome and Introductions 

9:40 am Workshop/Teach-in by Pittsboro Mayor Randy Voller: 

             “How to Elect Progressive Candidates from the Grassroots Up”


11:40 am short break


11:45 am  Move to Amend:  Challenging the Myth of Corporate Personhood

     presentation and vote on resolution facilitated by Sally Goerner, MTA Triangle

12:15 pm Lunch and informal Discussion


1:00 pm  The future of voter-owned elections, transparency and accountability after Citizens United

               - Jake Gellar-Goad from Democracy NC


 1:30 pm Mobilizing for Campaigns without candidates:


              Defeating the marriage discrimination amendment - Sam Parker from Protect NC Families


              Protecting voter rights and ballot access for all -- Jake Gellar-Goad from Democracy NC


             Creating an independent redistricting commission -- Jesse Goslen, Wake Progressive Democrats


2:30 pm break 

2:40 pm The future of progressive politics in a rapidly changing world   -   roundtable discussion


4:30 pm adjourn



Saturday, December 3, 2011 - 9:30am to 4:30pm


Orange County Campus of Durham Tech, Room 201; 525 College Park Road, Hillsborough

Campaign finance reports are out! Who's going to analyze them?

Why I am a Voter-Owned Candidate

During my campaign to be elected to the Chapel Hill Town Council this Fall, I have decided to be a Voter-Owned or VOE candidate.  Voter owned programs are sometimes called public funded or clean elections.  The basic premise is that in return for a commitment to limit spending on electoral campaigns, the public provides funds to the candidate for campaign costs.  I decided to be a VOE candidate because I believe the program supports basic tenets of democracy, fairness and accessibility.

Voter-Owned Election Public Information Session

I received the following email from the town.  It seems to be the same date (and according to the town's calendar, same location?) as the Council's Budget Worksession.  Choices, choices...

Voter-Owned Election Public Information Session May 10
Posted Date: 5/4/2011

VoteThe Town of Chapel Hill's Voter Owned Election Program will be discussed at a public information session scheduled at 7 p.m. Tuesday, May 10, in the Council Chamber of Town Hall, 405 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
The program for the public funding of local municipal election campaigns is voluntary and is for candidates choosing to run for Town elective office. Prospective candidates who choose to participate in the program must demonstrate a level of public support and comply with spending restrictions and reporting requirements as established by the Town program in order to receive public funding.

The information session will be of special interest to persons considering becoming candidates and potential candidates' campaign managers and to treasurers in the municipal election for the Town of Chapel Hill on Nov. 8, 2011, and others interested in local election issues. Voters this November will be electing a mayor and four Council members.

On July 16, 2007, the Town of Chapel Hill received authorization from the North Carolina General Assembly to establish the program for public funding of local municipal election campaigns. Chapel Hill is the first local government in North Carolina to have received this legislative authority.

A Voter Owned Election is a comprehensive system that provides candidates a voluntary option for a new way to run for office. Candidates who are registered with the program agree to:

  • Collect a large number of $5 to $20 qualifying contributions to demonstrate community support 
  • Limit campaign spending 
  • Agree to comply with strict administrative rules

In return, participating candidates receive limited amounts of campaign dollars from a publicly financed fund to be used only for allowed campaign expenses.

For more information, visit

CONTACT: Kim Strach or Amy Strange, NC Board of Elections: 919-733-7173


Tuesday, May 10, 2011 - 7:00pm to 9:00pm

More from the Chapel Hill poll

With the election mercifully in the rear view mirror Chapel Hill political observers will now shift their focus to the appointment of a replacement for Bill Strom.

Our poll found voters in town evenly divided on whether one of the losing candidates in yesterday's election should be appointed to fill the Strom seat- 38% in favor, 38% opposed, and 24% unsure.

Trumping that finding with the loss of Jim Merritt though is probably the question we asked about whether Chapel Hillians thought it was important to have an African American on the Town Council.  57% of voters said yes to that with just 28% dissenting, and I imagine given the strong support from the community that's the direction the Council will now go in with the appointment.

Two other key findings from the poll, neither of which is particularly surprising given the returns.  51% of Chapel Hill voters support publicly financed elections with only 31% opposed.  Given Mark Kleinschmidt's win and Penny Rich's first place finish it's clear there was no backlash from that and it's even possible the opposite was true.



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