I hope this email finds you and your loved ones safe and healthy. Like you, the staff at LWV are navigating this pandemic and what it means for our collective work. Right now, more than ever, regardless of what League we are a member of, we are all ONE LEAGUE. We care about what is happening to you and are doing everything we can to understand your needs and provide you with the necessary supports to continue the important work of empowering voters and defending democracy.
During the past two weeks, we have been in conversation with many of you and one thing we have heard repeatedly is that you are navigating technology challenges and looking for guidance on how to govern your organizations virtually. We also know that many of you are trying to figure out how to transition your annual member meeting, convention, or council to a virtual meeting. There are technology and governance considerations to this transition and, in an effort to assist, we have developed the following resources:
When it comes to digital advocacy during this time, we have created guidelines for virtual meetings with government bodies. With so many state legislatures and other entities not meeting, these tools are great to keep in mind as we move forward in ensuring transparency in government during the COVID-19 crisis and future national emergencies.
This week, the Senate passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) and we expected the House to pass it Friday (3/27). While we’re please Congress came together to provide the American people with desperately needed relief, the bill fell short of the $2 billion in election funding needed to safeguard the right to vote in the upcoming November election. We will be calling on Congress to prioritize elections in the next round of stimulus. You can read our full statement here.
We are also deeply concerned that our fellow League members and residents of the District of Columbia were left behind in the overall stimulus because Congress has yet to grant them statehood. We are committed to fighting for DC to receive its fair share of the virus relief aid.
As we prepare for upcoming primaries, we are working closely with state League leaders to understand their unique challenges. Leagues are working independently and in coalitions to assess the best recommendations for safely moving forward with schedule primaries. The League has joined or filed two legal cases – in Ohio to protect registration timeframes and in Wisconsin to challenge witness signatures of absentee ballots.
Staff have been working tirelessly to keep VOTE411 updated with state-specific alerts as changes to elections are announced. In the last 10 days, we have produced 24 alerts in both English and Spanish.
Next week our Advocacy team will lead a webinar: COVID and the League: Continuing our Work in Unprecedented Times. The COVID-19 pandemic is affecting everyone's lives, but that doesn't mean that our work stops. Join LWVUS staff for a conversation around recommendations for policy, advocacy, grassroots engagement, and communications during this unprecedented time. Register for the webinar here.
Finally, please do continue to check our main resources link for a running list of content and tools created by LWVUS related to coronavirus to date.
Thank you for your partnership and support during this unprecedented time. We will continue to keep our members updated with these biweekly messages.