In recent weeks, the fight to protect voting rights has seen some mixed results. While the fights in some of these states aren’t finished, courts in Wisconsin and North Carolina have upheld restrictive election laws under state and federal constitutions, a judge in Florida rightly declared that that state’s congressional district map violated the state constitution and unfortunately Congress left town for the August recess without addressing the Voting Rights Act Amendment. But in League we understand that voting rights are protected not just in court or in legislative bodies. Protecting voting rights also involves making sure that every eligible voter is registered, informed and able to vote on Election Day.
We understand that the single greatest challenge to our democracy is not too many people voting, but too few. Around the country we continue to stand up in court, in legislatures and in Congress for elections that are free, fair and accessible to every eligible voter, while at the same time, we power the vote through registration events, candidate forums and debates, and voter education. With National Voter Registration Day coming up in a few weeks, we are striving to once again have the single greatest organizational participation rate among our partners. We are once again taking advantage of the move to online voter education through VOTE411.org. We are focusing on high schools, community colleges and naturalization ceremonies making sure that underserved communities have the opportunity to make their voices heard at the polls.
Our vote is our voice and no matter what obstacles arise, the League of Women Voters is prepared to assist voters to find that all important voice so that democracy, not voter suppression, triumphs in this year’s elections.
Voter Registration Webinar Trainings START TOMORROW (REMINDER)
Want a refresher course on voter registration best practices? Have new volunteers who would benefit from hearing about all the kinds of voter registration activities undertaken by Leagues across the country? Looking for ideas on maximizing visibility for your League during the upcoming election season? Join us for a FREE voter registration webinar training on either Friday, August 15 at 2pm EDT or Thursday, September 4 at 4pm EDT.
Template Press Release for Women’s Equality Day and VOTE411 (NEW)
As we approach the 94th anniversary of the 19th Amendment on August 26th, Women’s Equality Day, use this new template press release to mark this occasion and tell your state and community about the impact of your League’s voter engagement and education work.
Sign Up as a National Voter Registration Day Partner by 9/5 to Receive Free Materials (REMINDER)
Leagues who sign up as an official partner of National Voter Registration Day 2014 before September 5th, will receive FREE posters and stickers to promote their voter registration activities on 9/23. Nearly 300 Leagues have already signed up to take part in this national celebration of democracy! Sign up as a partner at www.nationalvoterregistrationday.org. While you’re there be sure to check out the brand new website features and downloadable tools for participating partners.
Voter Registration: New Venues to Target (NEW)
This is the time of year to reach out to community colleges, technical schools, local businesses, transit authorities and service agencies to set up voter registration drives for September! In particular, Leagues are encouraged to reach out to their local member agencies of the national Alliance for Children and Families in order to offer voter registration. Please see a searchable list of the agencies here to find a potential new voter registration partner in your area. Then, be sure to tell your local media about all the great registration work you are doing: see our helpful template here.
New Election-Year Fundraising Tips (NEW)
LWVEF is pleased to release these new planning tips to help Leagues raise funds to support their important election-year work. From an itemized list of election-year needs, to specific suggestions about garnering support in your community, this resource can help your League prepare to be active, visible and effective during election time.
LWVNC Voting Rights Lawsuit to Continue After Setback (NEW)
North Carolina’s new voting law that, among other things, reduces early voting hours and eliminates same-day voter registration will be in place for the November elections, a federal judge ruled last Friday. The lawsuit will continue and LWVNC is confident that in the end they will be victorious.
LWVOH Challenges Cuts to Early Voting (NEW)
Lawyers squared off before a federal judge this past Monday to argue whether state officials have illegally rolled back early voting opportunities in Ohio for African Americans in violation of the Voting Rights Act.
Glad You Asked!
If you have a question for this area, please submit it to email@example.com.
What is VOTE411.org and how can my League participate?
VOTE411.org is the League’s nationwide election information website and there are a variety of ways your League can utilize VOTE411 to help voters in your community!
Contact Megan Brown at firstname.lastname@example.org to submit information for inclusion on VOTE411 or for more information on the voters’ guide software.
LWVUS Money in Politics Education Committee Application (NEW)
Members are sought for the LWVUS Money in Politics Education Committee. Money in Politics (MIP) is part of the three-part Structures of Democracy program that delegates adopted at the 2014 LWVUS Convention. We are currently accepting applications for the MIP Committee which will focus on the core League issue of campaign finance and money in politics. The Committee will review the League position on campaign finance and educate members and the general public about issues related to money in politics. An application form is now posted online. Those interested in applying for the MIP Education Committee should submit completed applications including resume, references and writing sample by September 11.
League Supports S. 2754 (NEW)
The League joined other reform groups to support S. 2754, the Lobbying and Campaign Finance Reform Act of 2014. The legislation would limit the ability of lobbyists to use bundled contributions to obtain undue influence with members of Congress.
Voting Rights Act Turns 49 (NEW)
For 49 years, the Voting Rights Act (VRA) has protected the right to vote regardless of race or language, but legislation to repair damage from the Supreme Court’s decision in Shelby v. Holder is currently stalled in the U.S. House. This August, tell your Representative to stop stalling and move the Voting Rights Amendment Act forward! Use the League’s online contact form to send a message to your Representative or visit with your Representative in district during the August recess.
National Report Shows Continued Pattern of Voting Rights Discrimination (NEW)
The National Commission on the Voting Rights (NCVR), led by the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law released a groundbreaking national report revealing where and how minorities continue to experience discrimination in the U.S. The League of Women Voters of the U.S. (LWVUS) was a member of the national steering committee for the commission and LWVUS President Elisabeth MacNamara acted as a guest commissioner at the Columbus Regional Hearing. Leagues from 20 states and two localities worked to provide written testimony regarding voting in their states, act as expert panelists and cosponsor hearings across the country.
League Signs on as Participating Organization for the People’s Climate March (NEW)
In September, the United Nations will gather for a summit on the climate crisis where leaders around the world will make commitments to fight climate change. Organizations from across the country are mobilizing to show support for the fight against climate change with a march and demonstration in New York City surrounding the summit. The League will be joining them for the Peoples Climate March on September 21. For additional information and to get involved, visit peoplesclimate.org.
EPA Hearings on Clean Power Plan Successful! (NEW)
Thank you to all of the League members who offered testimony at the EPA’s public hearings on the Clean Power Plan. The hearings, held in Atlanta, Pittsburgh, Denver and Washington, DC helped express strong support for the EPA’s regulations to cut carbon pollution from existing power plants. We have until October 16th to collect comments regarding this life-saving regulation. Submit your comments to the EPA today!
The Federal Action Request Form has Moved (REMINDER)
The form that state and local Leagues use to request action at the federal level has moved to the member resource site. Please save this updated link in your browser and use it to make future requests.
LWVUS Redistricting Task Force Announced (REMINDER)
The 2014-2016 LWVUS Program on key specific structures of American democracy, includes a review of the redistricting process for the U.S. Congress for the purpose of developing action steps. Chris Carson (LWVUS Board) will be chairing the LWVUS Redistricting Task Force. The committee includes Deborah Asberry (Indiana), Sara Fitzgerald (Virginia), Linnea Hirst (Washington), Helen Hutchison (California), Pat Jensen (Iowa), Barbara Klein (Oregon), Nancy Marashio (New Hampshire), Laura Wang, (Minnesota), Margo Waring (Alaska) and Dianne Wheatley-Giliotti (Florida). The Redistricting Task Force will: (1) review the various methods and criteria that have been used in the states and the positions of state Leagues on redistricting; (2) consider how well the methods and criteria.
League Clearinghouse--open 24/7
The Best Thing about Being a National Coach (NEW)
Do you know someone who is passionate about the League, is a good listener and would love this experience too? Nominate them to become part of our prestigious and fun national coaching team (Ruth S. Shur Fellow)! Please fill out this form by September 19, 2014. More information on the Shur Fellows and their role in the MLD program is available online and there will be an informational webinar on September 11, 2014 at 1pm. Register for that webinar here.
"The best thing about being a coach is creating synergy and facilitating discussion between these bright and vibrant ladies. I absolutely love when stories are shared and ideas are sparked unbeknownst to the person sharing."-Tracy Adkison
Strength in Unity: The Case for the Fund for Local League Growth (NEW)
Whether you belong to a League in Vermont or Florida or New Mexico, all of our Leagues are stronger when every League is strong. The Fund for Local League Growth (FLLG) ensures that Leagues have the support they need to grow and thrive. Learn more about the FLLG and why it’s important to all Leagues regardless of their size.
Is Your League Visible This Summer? (NEW)
With all the great work Leagues are doing in our communities, are you making sure to take advantage of events and "media hooks" to showcase your activities? Women's Equality Day (August 26th) marks the passage of the 19th Amendment for women's suffrage. It's a great visibility "hook" to hang your League's voter registration or voter information efforts on. Get additional ideas and take advantage of upcoming opportunities for "hooks" to make sure your community knows the great work you are doing!