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League of Women Voters

The League Update

 

NOVEMBER 6, 2014

Dear Friend,

Thank you, thank you, thank you! All of you worked so hard over the last year, and for the League of Women Voters this has been a fantastic election year. You are the heart and soul of the League and, without you, the tremendous work and impact of the League would not have been as successful! However we might personally feel about the outcome of this week’s elections, as League members we put voters first and provided nonpartisan service and information reaching more voters than in years past. Just a few of the highlights: by the end of the business on Election Day, the number of voters accessing VOTE411.org had increased by over 50 percent compared to the 2010 midterms. Pop superstar Justin Timberlake, along with many other celebrities and organizations were tweeting about “VOTE411.org” and more than 7,000 different websites linked to VOTE411. On Election Day, over half a million viewers visited the site and since the start of the year, we have had nearly one and a half million users!

This success demonstrates the power of local, state and national working together through one platform to get voters the information they need. More Leagues created voters’ guides through the site than in the last midterm elections and more Leagues contributed information about their candidate events. States like Texas, Wisconsin, Virginia, Ohio and North Carolina, where changes to election laws were occurring at the last minute made good use of VOTE411 to keep voters updated on what they needed to bring to the polls and if they could vote early. Early voting continued to be enormously popular; over 15 million voters cast their ballots in the 31 states that permit early voting.

In the last few days of their early voting period, I visited Ohio, a state that has seen changes to their election laws in every election since 2004. Ohio was the first state to permit Sunday voting and despite cutbacks by the state legislature, in Cleveland this past Sunday there was a street party outside the Board of Elections where vans were bringing “Souls to the Polls” after church. Early voting continued in Ohio on Monday and I had the chance to promote VOTE411 and the need to get out and vote on public radio. In Ohio, as in states around the country, Leagues registered voters, created voters’ guides and provided opportunities for voters to meet and hear from candidates.

The League’s efforts protecting the vote and Making Democracy Work® continue as it has for nearly a century. Over the next few weeks we will be assessing our efforts during this past election season and celebrating the tremendous work that we all did — local, state and national, together — to protect and inform voters in 2014, and filling out our survey is a key component of this work.

Thanks again for everything you did in Making Democracy Work® this election cycle. We couldn’t do what we do without each and every one of you.

In League,

signature

 

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

  • Free Materials if you Complete Our Election Season Activities Survey (REMINDER)

MEMBERSHIP & LEADERSHIP

  • Roster Update Challenge #1! (NEW)
  • Success Story: The “Gerrymandering Meander” Increases Visibility in Maryland (NEW)
  • Using Election Season Wrap-Up to Prepare for Asking for Members & Money (NEW)
  • Has Your League Filed Its Form 990-N Yet? (REMINDER)

ADVOCACY

  • EPA Clean Power Plan Comment Deadline Extended! (REMINDER)

EDUCATION FUND - ELECTIONS

Free Materials if you Complete Our Election Season Activities Survey (REMINDER)
Please take a few minutes to fill out our Election 2014 Voter Services Activities Survey and tell us what your League did to engage voters this year. Your answers will help inform our future trainings, materials and resources for Leagues and grant programs, enable us to better highlight Leagues’ work from across the nation, and allow us have more productive conversations with potential partners to benefit all levels of the League. Your feedback is important to us! Any League completing the survey before December 19 will be offered *FREE* VOTE411.org sports bags as part of our thanks for filling it out.

GLAD YOU ASKED!

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

I was intrigued to recently learn that Eleanor Roosevelt was a member of the League. Do we have or have there been other “famous” members?

The League has such a wonderful and rich history. And, what we always hear most from individuals that it is our members that make the experience of being in League so great! All of our members and supporters contribute to the organizations vitality in different ways, but as you note, some of our members are and have been a bit more high profile than others.

Eleanor Roosevelt is a great example, and more recent examples include Hillary Clinton, Kay Hagan, Janet Napolitano, and Pat Schroeder. As we look to our 100th birthday, we’d love to hear from Leagues: Who are the noteworthy members of your League — those that are known locally, statewide or nationally? Send your League’s “stars” to membership@lwv.org.

MEMBERSHIP & LEADERSHIP

Roster Update Challenge #1! (NEW)
We know you are ready to get in there and update! For your first challenge, if you update all of your active League members’ expire dates by January 31, 2015, you will be entered for a chance to win a $40 gift card! If you have any questions or need assistance updating your League’s roster, download the user manual or contact Membership@lwv.org. Keep an eye out in future League Updates for your next Roster Update Challenge.

Success Story: The “Gerrymandering Meander” Increases Visibility in Maryland (NEW)
On September 19th, the League of Women Voters of Maryland participated in the inaugural “Gerrymander Meander,” an event aimed at drawing attention to how many gerrymandered districts exist across the country. The event drew participants from a variety of organizations and was a great way for League members to be visible in their community. Read this blog about the event and the Washington Post story that chronicled the effort.

Using Election Season Wrap-Up to Prepare for Asking for Members & Money (NEW)
As your League reflects back on all of the incredible work you did leading up to Election Day 2014, take a moment to collect a list of some of your biggest successes. Have you considered how to share these successes via social media and in other innovative ways? Do you have pictures to help make those stories more compelling? Making your list now, while the elections are still so fresh, allows you to plan how to most effectively share these success stories during #GivingTuesday, your end-of-year fundraising campaigns, and membership recruitment and renewal notices.

Has Your League Filed Its Form 990-N Yet? (REMINDER)
Leagues that receive less than $50,000 in income must file an e-postcard return (also known as Form 990N) every year with the IRS. The deadline for filing the 990N is 4½ months after the end of your League’s fiscal year. If your League’s fiscal year ended on June 30th, your deadline is November 15th! For more information, please visit the Member Resources website: http://forum.lwv.org/member-resources/article/has-your-league-filed-its-form-990-n-yet.

ADVOCACY

EPA Clean Power Plan Comment Deadline Extended! (REMINDER)
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has extended the deadline for public comment on the proposed regulation to cut carbon pollution from existing power plants. The new deadline is December 1. League members wishing to comment on the proposal can send comments using the LWVUS action alert!

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