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League of Women Voters

The League Update

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October 16, 2014

Dear Friend,

It is easy to tell that Election Day 2014 is getting closer. In my recent travels to Wisconsin and this week in Texas, you see the candidates’ yard signs everywhere and the television ads have picked up and seem to run at every opportunity on every channel. What I have also seen first-hand is all the work the Leagues are doing in these final weeks. Hundreds of candidate debates and forums are being held and tens of thousands, if not millions, of voters’ guides are getting into the hands of voters and available online through VOTE411.org. Leagues are doing what they do best: providing the information all voters need to get ready and vote on November 4th.

This may be one of the most important elections of our lifetime. There is a great deal on the line - control of the US Senate - and thus the direction of our country going into the next presidential race, literally hangs in the balance of how many people register and vote this year. Big issues are weighing on the minds of voters: continuing to get our economy back on track, our national security during these very scary and uncertain times, affording quality education, and health care.

Keep up the great work of preparing and informing voters. This work is one of the most valuable things we do for our communities. As you turn your attention to get-out-the-vote activities and helping Election Day go smoothly by working at or observing the polls, remember to send out a press release and letter to the editor, update your Facebook page and Twitter feed, call up your neighbors, and make sure your voters’ guide is available in local grocery stores, schools, lobbies and bus stops. This is what the League does best. But voters can only take advantage of the resources if we share them far and wide.

In League,

Description: Elisabeth

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League Leaders:
To help keep your members informed, please consider forwarding this weekly message. Please note that this is an internal communication that provides both announcements and opportunities meant only for your members and League, as well as updates on important news and events. This message should not be posted in its entirety on League social media channels or websites. Instead consider sharing the external (e.g. public interest/action) pieces such as blog posts, letters to Congress and press statements.

In This Issue:

EDUCATION FUND - ELECTIONS

  • Arkansas Voter Photo Id Law Struck Down (NEW)
  • Send us your Printed Voters’ Guides for VOTE411 (REMINDER)
  • Get Ready for Election Day! Easy Tips to Help your Community Vote (REMINDER)

ADVOCACY

  • League Urges U.S. Senate to Improve Ethics Process (NEW)

MEMBERSHIP & LEADERSHIP

  • Chance to Win Great Prizes as You Update Your League’s Membership Roster (NEW)
  • #GivingTuesday is December 2 (NEW)


EDUCATION FUND - ELECTIONS

Arkansas Voter Photo Id Law Struck Down (NEW)
The Arkansas Supreme Court struck down a state law that requires voters to show photo identification before casting a ballot, ruling the requirement unconstitutional under their state constitution.

Send us your Printed Voters’ Guides for VOTE411 (REMINDER)
Has your League put together a printed voters’ guide with candidate and/or ballot measure information? Looking for a new way to help spread awareness about the guide in your community? If so, send a link or PDF of the voters’ guide to Megan Brown (mbrown@lwv.org) and she’ll post the guide to VOTE411! That way, voters in your area who use VOTE411 for their election information will have access to the voters’ guide for their community. If you have any questions please contact Megan Brown.

Get Ready for Election Day! Easy Tips to Help your Community Vote (REMINDER)
We know many of you are still busy handing out voter guides and putting on candidate debates, and the finish line is near. Here are a few steps to start planning now for a smooth Election Day. Make sure your League phone line and email are well-attended to on the days leading up to and on Election Day. Plan to make use of VOTE411.org to help address voters’ questions - better yet, mention it on your out-of-office email or phone message! While there is still time, consider sharing helpful elections information with your local media by customizing and sending the press release template and/or letter to the editor template, and follow up with voters you’ve helped register and your social networks to encourage them to participate on Election Day. Get started with our sample social media content.

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Glad You Asked!

If you have a question for this area, please submit it to kmcfarland@lwv.org.

Can you give us some examples of what local Leagues have done to increase their membership?

Cyndy Anderson, past president and current Steering Committee member of the LWV of Greenwich, CT, recently shared that they have 333 members in a city with only 65,000 residents. She thinks that their reputation for nonpartisanship, fairness, high standards, and reliable information has been the basis of their strong membership numbers. Almost every member of their Congressional delegation, the state legislative delegation and Town Selectman is a member of the League. Their programs are designed to attract different audiences and range from State Budget 101 to Community Gardens. LWV of Greenwich has worked on publicizing its events to reach a broader audience, which results in new members and new ideas, such as mailing the Voters' Guide to every household in town (33,000).

This League also takes time to have social events with a speaker or current legislators. They have a holiday party each year where members are encouraged to bring guests, a Cocktails and Conversation series that now regularly gets over 50 attendees, a party for new members with a short presentation about the League, and an Annual Dinner with a prominent speaker.

Cyndy’s advice to other Leagues: Market what you do, show your enthusiasm for League and our mission, and blend what we do best as an organization while innovating wherever we can.

ADVOCACY

League Urges U.S. Senate to Improve Ethics Process (NEW)
The League joined coalition partners on a letter urging the U.S. Senate to publicly endorse, in a bipartisan manner, five constructive changes to improve the Senate ethics process.

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MEMBERSHIP & LEADERSHIP

Chance to Win Great Prizes as You Update Your League’s Membership Roster (NEW)
Get ready for a chance to win some great prizes for updating your member roster! This year it will be especially important to make the changes to your members’ records for when we transition to the new online system in the spring of 2015. Clean data = clean transition! If you are a Roster Manager, get in there are start updating! You could earn a free National Convention registration, credits to the League Store and more! Watch the League Update every week for more details. If you have any questions or need assistance updating your League’s roster, download the user manual or contact Membership@lwv.org.

#GivingTuesday is December 2 (NEW)
This year, the League will participate in the third annual #GivingTuesday campaign on December 2, 2014. Taking place the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, #GivingTuesday celebrates and encourages charitable activities to support nonprofit organizations like the League. In the coming weeks, LWVUS will be providing various templates and toolkits via the League Update to help Leagues participate in #GivingTuesday. We encourage Leagues to be gathering success stories and take photos during this very busy Election season so that they can be used later as part of #GivingTuesday, other year-end fundraising or a membership renewal campaign.

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