Today: July 26, 1775 – The U.S. postal system is established by the 2nd Continental Congress, with Benjamin Franklin as its first postmaster general
- President’s Message: Stop Assaults on Voting Rights! (NEW)
- From the Treasurer: Your Share for Our Good Work (NEW)
POWER THE VOTE
- This Week’s Challenge Activity (NEW)
EDUCATION FUND (Elections; UN Observer)
- Elections: We Need You on National Voter Registration Day (NEW)
- Elections: LWVWI Poll Observer Report finds Problems at the Polls (NEW)
- Elections: “No evidence of voter impersonation in PA” (NEW)
- LWVUS UN Observer Meets with UN Officials and U.S. Senator Menendez (NEW)
MEMBERSHIP & LEADERSHIP
- Update New League Officers in the LWVUS Database
- Women's Equality Day: Plan an Event to Celebrate in August!
- Powering the League as We Power the Vote (NEW)
- LWVUS/EF Direct Marketing Schedule
- You Can Make a Gift That Helps Your League at All Three Levels!
Dear League Leader:
The News Hour, the New York Times and the Washington Post have all covered the Pennsylvania lawsuit challenging voter photo ID. Like the successful Wisconsin court challenge, the case in Pennsylvania involves the League of Women Voters and focuses on the state constitution. This time, media coverage has been interesting as well because it focuses not just on the need for voters to obtain government issued photo ID, but also on the underlying documents that states are now requiring before issuing that ID. For the 758,000 eligible voters in Pennsylvania who do not have the required ID this is a very big issue, and it is going to be a burden for all voters in every state that has enacted ID requirements.
In my own state of Georgia, we have been showing photo ID at the polls since 2006. Recent changes in state law, however, now require that to get or renew the most common form of ID, citizens must provide a birth certificate, proof of any name change, a social security card and two proofs of residence. Predictably, the state has not been prepared for these changes and so, in addition to the cost of obtaining these documents, applicants must include the cost and the burden of standing in line for hours to get a photo ID.
There is no doubt that these restrictive laws will have the most devastating impact on the elderly, the young and minority voters, but the time is ripe for reminding our friends and neighbors that sooner or later, these laws will impact everyone. It is important that state courts are recognizing the unnecessary burden these laws impose on voters, but it is more important that voter photo ID become politically unacceptable. The League can play a vital role in connecting these dots for the public and putting pressure on elected officials to stop this unnecessary assault on voting rights.
In League together making democracy safe,
From the Treasurer: Your Share for Our Good Work (NEW)
By now your League president should have received an invoice from the national office for this fiscal year’s Per Member Payment (PMP) obligation. Along with the invoice is a memo explaining how the amount was determined and providing contact information for questions. The national Board appreciates the significant commitment local Leagues make to our work at the national level when they pay their PMP. This is the “seed money” that enables us to raise the other 75 percent of the total national budget. PMP is the way Leagues satisfy the requirement to financially support the national level of our organization. We thank you for that support of the national Board and our excellent staff, who carry out our mission and program as well as help you with your work.
POWER THE VOTE
This Week’s Challenge Activity (NEW)
The challenge activity this week is one of seven that the Board issued in its challenge to Leagues for this 2012 election year: Host at least 5 registration events. Leading up to National Voter Registration Day on Sept. 25 (see Education Fund section below), now is a good time to start planning and hosting registration events in order to meet the challenge before the registration period is over. Please take advantage of this helpful webinar and a planning checklist that LWVEF has prepared for you.
EDUCATION FUND (Elections; UN Observer)
Elections: We Need You on National Voter Registration Day (NEW)
LWVUS invites every League to take part in National Voter Registration Day, a nationwide, nonpartisan effort to register thousands of voters on one single day – September 25, 2012. More than 160 national and regional organizations, celebrities, businesses, and high-profile leaders have already signed on to participate. Now you can too! We’re asking you to get involved by signing up at www.nationalvoterregistrationday.com and planning to host one of your fall registrations drives on September 25th. Whether you plan to register new voters at a school, transit stop, local business or other venue, make sure you’re part of the National Voter Registration Day effort.
Elections: LWVWI Poll Observer Report finds Problems at the Polls (NEW)
This week LWVWI released its poll observer program findings from the June 5th WI Governor recall election. They found that without increasing election officials' training and staffing, new voter registration requirements could make it difficult or even impossible for many valid Wisconsin voters to cast their ballot. This is a great example of what Leagues can do to ensure elections are run in a fair way, and how Leagues can use that information to change how elections are run. This project was funded in part by the LWVUS Public Advocacy for Voter Protection project (PAVP). Learn about creating a poll observer program in your state.
Elections: “No evidence of voter impersonation in PA” (NEW)
Prior to the photo ID trial yesterday, the State of Pennsylvania said it has no evidence of voter impersonation, but as many as 750,000 registered voters do not have the required ID to vote. Read more here.
LWVUS UN Observer Meets with UN Officials and U.S. Senator Menendez (NEW)
In mid-July, LWVUS UN Observer Rosalee Keech participated in a UN meeting at which Marta Santos Pais, the UN Special Rep. to the Secretary General (SRSG) to Prevent Violence Against Children, and colleagues shared information with U.S. Sen. Menendez (D-NJ) and others concerning the UN mandate to prevent violence against children and activities undertaken to help member states eradicate violence. As a result of this meeting, the Senator mentioned the possibility of holding a congressional hearing on violence against children, and it’s anticipated that SRSG expertise will be called upon.
MEMBERSHIP & LEADERSHIP
Update New League Officers in the LWVUS Database
If your League has had a change in leadership, please update new League officers’ information in the LWVUS database. If you have any questions or need help, contact Betty Taira. Also, please note that LWVUS will be pulling information from the database in early August to update the “Find a Local League” section of www.lwv.org. Make sure that your League is listed correctly by getting your information updated today!
Women's Equality Day: Plan an Event to Celebrate in August!
August 26 will mark the 92nd anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment, which gave full voting rights to women. As Leagues did in 2011, there is still time to plan an activity, put out a media release or get a proclamation signed by your local government to mark Women’s Equality Day, a day that is so important to our history and so strongly associated with the League. Here is a list of possible ideas, including movie viewing materials for Iron-Jawed Angels.
Powering the League as We Power the Vote (NEW)
LWVUS gathered with leaders from 10 local Leagues in Texas last weekend for another successful Membership & Leadership Development Program (MLD) training. As Texas State President Linda Krefting reflected, “Words just aren't adequate to describe how marvelous the Texas MLD training was this past weekend.” Read more about other recent trainings, the program and how it is funded at www.lwv.org.
LWVUS/EF Direct Marketing Schedule
When planning your own League's fundraising, please consult the LWVUS/EF Direct Marketing Schedule. The LWVUS Development Office is pleased to share with you the FY 2012-13 LWVUS/Education Fund Direct Marketing schedule for direct mail and telemarketing. Download the schedule (located under Leadership Development Tools in the Members section of www.lwv.org). Please share this schedule with your Development chairs to assist planning for your League's fundraising activities. Questions should be directed to Rose Simmons, email@example.com.
You Can Make a Gift That Helps Your League at All Three Levels!
Some things never change even in these challenging economic times. The League of Women Voters Education Fund continues to be at the forefront of public policy issue education which allows citizens to thoughtfully engage in the democratic process. By making a gift of cash or securities of $5,000 or more to the LWVEF Pooled Income Fund, you can receive an immediate income tax deduction for a portion of the gift's value and continue earning a quarterly return on the interest earned for life. Best of all, you can name your state and/or local League, along with the LWVEF, to benefit from the residual funds when you're gone. For more information, please contact the Development office at 202-263-1355 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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