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League of Women Voters Leaders' Update

October 25, 2012

In This Issue:

PRESIDENT'S CORNER

  • POWER THE VOTE: This Week's Challenge Activity (NEW)

ELECTIONS

  • Take Control this Election – Commit to Vote (NEW)
  • How to Talk to the Media about Candidates Refusing to Debate (NEW)
  • Election Day Op-ed Template: "Connect and Elect" (NEW)
  • Fact Checking Getting Higher Profile: Thanks to Leagues for Helping! (NEW)
  • Voter ID Confusion Continues in Pennsylvania: League Forces State to Clarify Photo ID Rules (NEW)

MEMBERSHIP & LEADERSHIP

  • Customizable LWV Brochure Inserts Available Online (NEW)

OTHER

  • Leaving a Legacy

Dear Supporter,

Hard as it is to believe, Election Day is less than two weeks away. There is a lot at stake in this election, and the best news for voters is the hard work that the League is doing to make sure that every eligible voter has free and fair access to the polls.

It is also hard to believe that the national Board is meeting this weekend in Washington to start looking beyond this election. One thing we already know for sure: voting and voting rights will continue to be an issue. Thanks to concerted efforts by the League, many bad election laws are on hold for this election. That is good news for voters, but continued vigilance on the part of the League will be needed not just to finish the fight on these laws in the long run, but to ensure that voters have accurate information as they go to the polls in the short run.

To this end, between now and the Election we will be communicating with editorial writers nationwide to stress the importance of providing good, reliable election information to voters, especially given changes in the election process that will impact voters in many states. We will be asking them to devote space to what the public needs to know and do in order to be ready to vote on Election Day and pointing them to two trusted sources of election information, the League of Women Voters and our election website, www.VOTE411.org. We will be sure to direct them to contact Leagues if they have questions, so we ask all of you be on the lookout for media inquiries in the coming days.

As we head into the final stretch, each of us can do our own get-out-the-vote campaign by reminding those around us to go vote and to help those around us to get the kind of accurate, fact-based information that only the League can provide.

In League together making democracy work,

Description: Elisabeth
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PRESIDENT'S CORNER

POWER THE VOTE: This Week’s Challenge Activity (NEW)
There’s still time to prepare your League and your community for Election Day! Read our new resource, “Three Steps for a Smooth Election Day,” which includes streamlined tips for planning effective get-out-the-vote communications to your social networks and newly registered voters, assisting voters with questions or voting challenges, and/or recruiting volunteers to participate in a nationwide poll watching program to help collect relevant information and make sure voters are able to fully participate.

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ELECTIONS

Take Control this Election – Commit to Vote (NEW)
Hopefully earlier this week you received our blast email asking our supporters to commit to vote this election. We know that we don’t need to worry about our members turning out to vote, but we hope you’ll push out the associated action (we’ve created this short URL: http://www.lwv.org/go/commit2vote), and share this image with your networks through your social media channels (both organizational and personal). A recent study showed that social media can have a positive impact on voter turnout – your friends are more likely to turn out when they know that you’ll be turning out.

How to Talk to the Media about Candidates Refusing to Debate (NEW)
Each election, we hear about candidates who refuse to participate in League debates and candidate forums. Unfortunately, this is not a new occurrence.  However, when candidates decide to go public with their decision not to participate, how should a League handle the media questions?  Recent research done for the League by Lake Research Partners suggests that when candidates attack the League’s important advocacy work as partisan and the reason for not debating, there is a great deal of public support in our favor, and it’s important to keep the focus on the voters who will miss out if a debate cannot occur. Citizens are hungry for information and do not think much of candidates who refuse to come before voters to explain where they stand on the critical issues facing our communities. For Leagues in this situation, the following response has been quite effective at delivering our key messages: “The League has a long history of conducting nonpartisan candidate forums and has always taken very seriously its role in helping voters get the information they need. That’s why we are particularly concerned when candidates refuse to show up and debate about the issues that are so important to our families and our communities. When a candidate decides not to attend, it’s the voters who miss out. This is a lost opportunity for all voters and denies them their right to hear directly from the person seeking their vote. Skipping a debate is like skipping your own job interview. Don’t the voters who are hiring you deserve to hear what you have to say?”  

Election Day Op-ed Template: "Connect and Elect" (NEW)
Personalize this Op-ed template to urge all voters in your community to cast their votes. Remind the public that we all vote to take control of what matters most to us: our education and health care, the economy, our children, our parents and our environment. Use this as an Op-ed for your local newspaper, repurpose as a blog posting or comment where the public goes to get their information in your community. Make that final visible push to get everyone out to vote!

Fact Checking Getting Higher Profile: Thanks to Leagues for Helping! (NEW)
Fact checking is clearly a high profile part of this election’s news stories – whether directed at political ads or televised debates. Check out this piece from CBS Sunday morning show. In meetings with local TV stations, Leagues are hearing praise for our work to offer citizens fact based information through debates/forums and voter guides. They also are telling us how much push they get from a very divided public in a toxic partisan environment. If you see TV stations running fact checking segments on air, please thank them for their work – send an email, post a note on their blogs or show public support by sending a Supportive Letter to the Editor to your local paper.

Voter ID Confusion Continues in Pennsylvania: League Forces State to Clarify Photo ID Rules (NEW)
Despite an Oct. 2 ruling by a Pennsylvania judge putting the state’s new voter ID law on hold, misleading ads and announcements are creating confusion among residents less than two weeks until Election Day. The LWVPA and other voting rights groups asked the courts to compel the state to remove all ads stating photo ID is required to vote on Nov. 6th. On Wednesday, the judge sided with the League and gave state officials until Oct. 30 to respond to calls to make clear that residents don’t need to show photo identification to vote on Nov. 6. Read more here.

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MEMBERSHIP & LEADERSHIP

Customizable LWV Brochure Inserts Available Online (NEW)
Now, you can include your local League’s upcoming events, contact information, and priority issues as part of the LWV membership brochure! Customize and print these inserts to include inside the professionally-printed membership brochures. Brochures are available for purchase through the online store at $7.00 per packet of 50 or for download here. In addition, a customizable PDF of the brochure is available too. Leagues can customize some fields of this document, to include their website address, local contact information and examples of issues of local importance, and then print the brochures themselves.

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OTHER

Leaving a Legacy
Including the League of Women Voters Education Fund in your will is among the easiest ways to offer support of the LWVEF's work for years to come. We suggest the following language to include the League as a beneficiary of a will or trust: " I give, devise, and bequeath to the League of Women Voters Education Fund, a charitable organization formed in the District of Columbia, with offices at 1730 M Street, NW, Washington, DC, 20036, {the sum of $___ } {___ percentage of my residuary estate}." If you already have a will, you can have your attorney add a codicil to include the LWVEF. After you've added the League, please contact the Development office by email so we can list you as a member of our Carrie Chapman Catt Legacy Society.

Donate to the League and support our work.

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