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The League of Women Voters
The League Update
OCTOber 22, 2020

Photo of a group holding up signs related to voting that has the word vote overlayed

Friend,

More than 47 million voters have already cast their ballots for this year’s election and we still have more than a week until Election Day!  Early voter turnout is far greater than it was in 2016, despite the myriad of changes forced by the  COVID-19 pandemic. This shows Americans’ belief in democracy and the power of the vote.  

In these final days leading up to November 3, we must continue to provide voters with the tools they need to cast their votes. We can do this by: 1) continuing to share VOTE411 as a resource for voters available in English and Spanish, and 2) continuing to share the VOTE411 videos on social media and with your networks. Vote411 is the League's way to provide voters with accurate and timely information they need to vote with confidence.  

We must continue to vigorously combat mis and disinformation and help identify and thwart attempts of voter suppression and intimidation at the polls while safely protecting ourselves. Threats of voter intimidation may continue to rise the closer we get to the final Election Day and we must be prepared. The Organizing Team will be hosting Protecting Democracy: Active Bystander Training on October 29, at 3pm ET. The training will cover de-escalation techniques to safely address tense situations at polling places. More information about this training can be found under the Organizing section below.  

At the national office, staff are coordinating directly with state leaders on election-related issues and concerns. Our goal is to make sure the designated leaders in every state are aware of incidents as they occur. Now is the time for state and local League leaders to coordinate, clearly specify your chain of command, and ensure you have open lines of communication in place for Election Day. LWVUS will be rolling out guidance next week for building internal rapid response and what issues should be elevated to the national office. 

Finally, it is imperative that we prepare voters to expect delayed election results, primarily due to the increase of absentee and vote-by-mail ballots taking more time to count. We are determined to do all we can to make sure every vote is counted and that will require patience on everyone's part. Please continue to share the message that Democracy is Worth Waiting For to set the expectation that election results will come later than usual this year. 

It is inspiring to see all the hard work and great and innovative things Leagues are doing across the country this voting season.  I humbly thank each of you for your  dedication and “high five” you for your incredible leadership in this complex world. I know you agree with me – the work of empowering voters and defending democracy is rewarding and lights the pathway to a greater nation. If you haven’t already, go vote, and please continue to wear a mask.  

In League,

Deborah Ann Turner, MD, JD

Deborah

Campaign for MAKING DEMOCRACY WORK®

Blog: When it Comes to Absentee and Mail-In Voting, What is the Notice & Cure Process?      

Notice and cure is one of the most effective mitigation tools for voters to fix their ballot and be counted in elections. Due to the pandemic, more people will be voting by mail this year than in any previous election. The New York Times found that this year it is estimated that over 80 million mail-in ballots will be sent into election offices, which is more than double the amount that were returned in the 2016 election. This means that the 2020 election result will likely be determined by mail-in ballots and, because of that, we wrote a blog about what notice and cure is and how it could be helpful to voters if this process is in place in your state. Read more.  

Post-Election Message Template      

Election messaging doesn’t end on Election Day! It’s good to plan a public message to send out on social media, to the press, via email to your supporters, or on your website for the day (or days) after Election Day. Use these prompts to help formulate your post-election message that will keep your supporters engaged.  

Virtual Debate Security     

As Leagues continue to host candidate forums and debates, it’s a good idea to review our guidance for virtually conducting League work. Our security best practices include steps to help prevent “Zoom-bombing” and other security breaches at your important public and internal events. In addition to these tips, always remember to practice running your entire event before going live—practice kicking people out, muting and unmuting, and admitting people through the waiting room. Review the guidance on the League Management Site.

Census Action Kit Updates    

October 15th was the last day for households to fill out the census through the self-response phase. As the census begins to wrap up field operations around the country and information about the 2020 census count becomes available, LWVUS will be updating the Census Action Kit. We have added two new resources so far that explain the current status of the Non-Response Follow Up across the country, and a guide on how to understand the accuracy of the count this year. They can be viewed on the Census Action Kit page.   

League Continues Demand for COVID-19 Relief Package in Congress    

The League sent a memo to all members of the U.S. House and Senate asking them to prioritize a COVID-19 relief package to aid American families during the ongoing pandemic. The memo asks Congress to allocate additional funding to address American families’ basic human needs, provide funding to safeguard free and fair elections, extend the U.S. Census Bureau's statutory reporting deadlines, and provide the U.S. Postal Service with the necessary funding levels to continue its vital services. Read our letter to Capitol Hill

Take Action: The Census is NOT Over     

The census continues with the final processing of the data and the determination of the apportionment across the states. Congress must pass legislation to extend the timeline to process data, as the administration requested, a length of at least 120 days. Shortening the timeline to collect data and rush operations during a national pandemic is an intentional plot to sabotage the census and skew Congressional representation, redistricting, and critical funding allotments for every state in the country. Tell Congress to protect the 2020 Census in the next version of the stimulus bill

Tell your Senators: Don’t Rush the SCOTUS Nomination       

The American people deserve a Supreme Court confirmation process that builds trust in our democracy and ensures an independent judiciary without compromising any more lives. We deserve a Senate that keeps Americans safe during a pandemic that has already claimed over 200,000 lives. It is up to us to hold our Senators accountable. Contact your Senators today and tell them why this confirmation process can’t be rushed, especially while millions of Americans suffer in the pandemic. 

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

October Webinar: An Inclusive Look at Holidays and Calendars  

Join us tonight at 7pm ET for our monthly webinar. Registration is available here

Governance & DEI Webinar: DEI Policy    

Join us on November 12, at 7pm ET, for a webinar on governance and diversity, equity, and inclusion. Register today

Participants will hear from League leaders and LWVUS staff on the DEI policy. The webinar will cover:  

  • The Bylaws Amendment passed at the 2020 Convention that involves the DEI policy  
  • The LWVUS DEI Policy and the language included in it 

News of the Week

A 94-year-old woman traveled over 300 miles to vote after not receiving her absentee ballot. Read about the former local League president’s journey to ensure that her vote is counted.  

Tonight, the presidential candidates will meet in Nashville, TN, for a final debate before the election. Marian Ott, LWV of Tennessee president, wrote an op-ed which stresses the importance of the next elected president making democracy a day one priority by being a champion of the For the People Act. Read the op-ed

Voting experts, including our CEO Virginia Kase, share ways that people can make a difference before Election Day. Check out the 5 ways voters can make an impact before the election. 

 

Advocacy

2021 Legislative Priorities Guidance Now Available   

The Advocacy and Litigation department is proud to present our finalized Legislative Priorities Guidance document to state and local Leagues. Our 2021 Legislative Priorities Guidance provides valuable information on the League’s anticipated priorities for 2021 state and local legislative sessions across the country. Using input we received from League leaders during our August policy webinar on legislative priorities, and additional information from previous legislative surveys, we have created this document to help you frame your work for next year. Please be on the lookout for an upcoming survey where you will be able to share your legislative priorities with the national office next year. The Legislative Priorities Guidance can be read on the League Management Site

Webinar Follow-up: Using Impact on Issues     

In the LWVUS’ running series of monthly webinar briefings, we were excited to talk about a centerpiece resource that League publishes, Impact on Issues. The briefing focused on how Leagues, on every level, can incorporate and ground their work in the positions articulated out in Impact on Issues. We also discussed how Impact on Issues can help guide League actions and advocacy. This webinar serves as a great resource to help better understand Impact on Issues and its influence on the League. Check out the recordings and slides

Upcoming Policy Webinar Schedule    

Visit our page on the League Management Site to see a listing of all future and past webinars from the LWVUS Advocacy and Litigation team! Webinars will cover everything from setting Legislative priorities, putting together action alerts, policy briefings on legislative issues, and preparing for your next legislative session. Currently, webinars are scheduled out through January 2021. 

Organizing

Empowering Voters: GOTV Text-A-Thon    

Join the LWVUS, The Leadership Conference, And I Still Vote, and the National Partnership for New Americans on October 23, at 5pm ET, for a massive get out the vote text-a-thon to critical states across the country 11 days before Election Day! Training will be provided, so register today and bring a friend!  

Protecting Democracy: Active Bystander Training     

Join the LWVUS for our “Protecting Democracy: Bystander Active Training” on October 29, at 3pm ET. This training will cover de-escalation techniques to safely address tense situations at polling places to ensure every voter can exercise their right to vote safely. Click here to register today!   

Membership

Measuring our Impact: LWV Semi-Annual Survey       

As the League prepares to move beyond 2020 and into our second century, we do so with a focus on the future and knowing that it is critical that we effectively tell our social impact story. By demonstrating our impact, we strengthen our brand, position the organization to remain relevant for the next 100 years, and garner additional resources to support our initiatives. Our ability to tell our individual and collective League stories hinges on state and local Leagues collecting and reporting data. To this end, LWVUS is launching our Semi-Annual Survey. The survey will open on November 5, 2020, and close on December 4, 2020. Through this effort, we will better understand League activities during the election season, plans for upcoming legislative cycles, and internal processes. We will also seek to highlight successes and challenges Leagues might be facing. Register for the Semi-Annual Survey Webinar on Thursday, November 5, where will discuss the survey more in depth. More information about the survey, including the areas of focus, can be found on the League Management Site or by contacting Amilcar Guzman, Ph.D., at aguzman@lwv.org.

PMP         

Second-quarter FY21 PMP invoices will be mailed on October 30. Please be aware that any payment received after October 15 will not be reflected on this invoice. Please email membership@lwv.org with any questions.  

Staff Highlight

Meet Our Interns/Externs

  • Frankie Hass – Legal Extern, Creighton University 
  • Valeria Garcia – Intern, Saint Xavier University 
  • Rebecca Raftery – Legal Extern, Harvard Law School 
  • Thomas Tai – Legal Intern, Loyola Law School 
     
LEAGUE LEADERS

Special Notifications: Please don’t reply to this message. For additional information, contact the individual listed or visit our websites: lwv.org and the League Management Site. To help keep your members informed, consider forwarding this bi-weekly message. Want to sign up to receive this email? Use this form. 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.

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