August 4, 2016
This Saturday marks the 51st Anniversary of the Voting Rights Act (VRA). What moment to celebrate and recommit to our important work!
Over the last two weeks, courts across the land have ruled in favor of voters. A federal appeals court sided with League of Women Voters of North Carolina, finding the state acted with discriminatory intent when it passed sweeping voter suppression legislation. Last week’s ruling bars the state from requiring photo IDs at the polls and orders the state to restore a week of early voting and pre-registration, as well as maintain same-day registration and out-of-precinct voting. I am so grateful to our hardworking North Carolina League leaders and our allies, who have fought this fight since 2013.
Though our fight for voters’ rights is far from over, this is an important moment. The North Carolina decision, and the other recent hard-fought victories in Kansas, North Dakota, Texas, and Wisconsin, are not just milestones for advocates but, far more important, the millions of voters whose rights have been threatened. Multiple federal courts have now made clear that the nation’s most restrictive photo voter ID laws and other barriers to the vote were passed with discriminatory intent, for the purpose of suppressing the voices of voters. To all the League leaders and volunteers who have been working toward this for nearly a decade: thank you. We stand on the right side of history.
Even as we celebrate, I am keenly aware that this a moment to double down on our commitment to voters. Restrictions we have beaten back for now will continue to play out in court, and others could yet be appealed. Many were implemented in the first place only because the long-held protections of the VRA were halted by the Supreme Court’s 2013 Shelby Co. v. Holder decision. We must continue our work to repair the VRA. We must stand ready to act if we see problems at the polls, voter confusion or other challenges on Election Day. We must register and turn out as many voters as possible this year. Let’s go!
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IN THIS ISSUE:
- National Voter Registration Day: DEADLINE FOR FREE MATERIALS - Aug. 26!
- Last Chance: Apply for a National Voter Registration Day Grant by 8/12
- FREE Voter Registration Training Thursday, 8/18 at 2pm ET (NEW)
- Promote your Candidate Debates and Forums on VOTE411! (NEW)
- League Files Amicus Brief in A. Phillip Randolph Inst. v. Husted (NEW)
- Tell Congress: Repair the Voting Rights Act
- Serve LWV at the national level: Apply to join LWVUS Governing Committees! (NEW)
- Now is the Time to Reaffirm your League Nonpartisanship Policy (NEW)
- Updated Information for Members (NEW)
National Voter Registration Day: DEADLINE FOR FREE MATERIALS - Aug. 26!
Want to ensure your League receives FREE National Voter Registration Day posters & materials this year? Sign up your League as a partner in this incredible celebration of democracy before August 26. All you need to do is agree to host a registration event in your community on 9/27, or otherwise publicize the importance of voter registration. Join thousands of organizations, elected officials, celebrities, and other partners—including hundreds of participating state and local Leagues—by signing up today! The League has been the single largest on-the-ground partner for NVRD since 2012. Let’s keep up the trend! NVRD visibility materials will be coming soon.
Last Chance: Apply for a National Voter Registration Day Grant by 8/12
The League of Women Voters Education Fund (LWVEF) is pleased to announce a 2016 National Voter Registration Day (NVRD) grant project. As part of this project, LWVEF will award pass-through grants to state and local Leagues to undertake exemplary voter registration activities on NVRD, September 27, 2016, targeting communities of likely underrepresented voters including community college/vocational school students, new citizens, individuals of limited income, or other groups. Download the RFP to find full instructions and guidelines for applying to receive grant funds.
FREE Voter Registration Training Thursday, 8/18 at 2pm ET (NEW)
Is your League ready to register as many voters as possible this year? Are you new to voter registration, or an experienced leader who could use some new ideas and tips? Join us August 18 at 2pm ET for a FREE voter registration best practices webinar. Learn how other Leagues are engaging new voters this year, and hear expert tips on getting the biggest bang for our voter registration buck! PLEASE REGISTER for the webinar here.
Promote your Candidate Debates and Forums on VOTE411! (NEW)
Does your League have candidate debates or forums coming up? Promoting your events on VOTE411.org can help spread the word to more voters in your community. Please send the following information to Megan Brown (firstname.lastname@example.org): event title, offices covered, date, time, location (venue name and address) and any other information voters might need so we can help secure additional visibility for your efforts!
League Files Amicus Brief in A. Phillip Randolph Inst. v. Husted (NEW)
The League joined Project Vote and Common Cause on a brief in the case of A. Phillip Randolf Inst. v. Husted in 6th Circuit Appeals Court. The brief argues that methods used by the state of Ohio to remove voters based on their voting status from the voting rolls should be prohibited. Purging voters from the rolls because they didn’t vote in previous elections creates confusion for voters and is in direct violation of the National Voter Registration Act (NVRA) and the Help America Vote Act (HAVA).
Tell Congress: Repair The Voting Rights Act
June 25 marked the third anniversary of the decision in Shelby County v. Holder, the Supreme Court decision that gutted the Voting Rights Act (VRA). Join the League and tell your Senators and Representatives that it is time to modernize and repair the VRA! As a preconvention activity, League members from around the country lobbied their members of Congress on legislation that would repair the VRA to its full powers. This legislation, the Voting Rights Advancement Act, will level the playing field and ensure that all Americans have fair and equal access to the voting booth. Members of the League who attended Lobby Day may also wish to use our template press release to spread the word about the lobbying activities with their local media.
Serve LWV at the national level: Apply to join LWVUS Governing Committees! (NEW)
LWVUS is seeking individuals to serve as off-board members of the organization's governing committees. Five committees have openings. Please follow the link below to read each of the committee's charters to better understand the work of each committee and what skill sets are required. Individuals interested should complete this online application. All applications are due Sept. 1, 2016.
Now is the Time to Reaffirm your League Nonpartisanship Policy (NEW)
With a high-profile election just around the corner, please make sure your League’s board has reaffirmed its nonpartisanship policy. Each League board should formulate a policy that best reflects conditions in your League and in your community, including specific guidelines to govern the political activities of its board and members. See additional guidance here. This is also a key time to remind members, partners and the public that the League never supports or opposes candidates or political parties.
Updated Information for Members (NEW)
Updated information about 2016-2018 LWVUS/EF Board Committee assignments, national Board liaisons to state Leagues, and a helpful annual calendar of key dates and events are all now available on the League Management site.