It is hard to believe it is officially fall! Fall is home to cooler weather, cozy sweaters, and this year, midterm elections. September marked some of our largest voter registration campaigns ever, with Leagues nationwide participating in National Voter Registration Day this past Tuesday. For over 10 years, we have been the largest on-the-ground partner, and once again Leagues showed up in record numbers to help voters register or update their registration. Thank YOU for all of your work this September to increase voter turnout ahead of November.
Litigation is a crucial part of the work we do to empower voters and defend democracy. I am excited to introduce the LWVUS Legal Center, a database on lwv.org that showcases up-to-date information about our litigation work. Users can search cases by name, state, or topic to find information on historic and active cases. Read our press release and check out this new resource on our website.
With the midterm elections less than 50 days away, we have updated our election resources to help Leagues prepare for Election Day. From our updated election messaging to upcoming trainings, we are here to support you. Find these refreshed resources in our Election Preparation Toolkit.
Additionally, fall is a time to reflect on last year's legislative trends and forecast upcoming legislation in the 2023 sessions. The LWVUS advocacy team will host a webinar on October 5 to provide Leagues with guidance and policy outlooks as Leagues consider their legislative priorities for the upcoming year. Register for the webinar and learn more here.
On a personal note: I could not be prouder of the role the League plays in ensuring voters have the tools they need to cast their ballot in a safe and informed way. This work is overwhelming and hard — especially in this polarized political environment — and I thank you all for your ongoing commitment. As we shift gears and move into “midterms mode,” please carve out time to practice self-care. Whether it is connecting with loved ones, carving pumpkins with children, grandchildren, or friends, or embracing the fall weather and changing leaves, take time to do what you need to stay healthy, both physically and mentally. And remember that the LWVUS staff, board, and president are here to support you.
Webinars & Virtual Meetings
Sept. 27, 5pm ET | September Community Call Join fellow League leaders and LWVUS staff this month to learn GOTV best practices and voter education tactics for the 2022 midterms.
Sept. 27, 6pm ET | VOTE411 Admin Office Hours Join LWVEF staff as they walk VOTE411 admins through the new VOTE411 voter guide technology.
Sept. 28, 5:30pm ET | OutreachCircle Skills Workshop Learn how to incorporate OutreachCircle into existing LWV programs and strategies. Together, we'll create a list of actions corresponding to a sample strategy and LWV program.
Oct. 5, 3pm ET | Legislative Trends An opportunity for Leagues to address advocacy, legislative or policy issues and forecast upcoming legislative priorities for 2023 sessions.
Oct. 7, 1pm ET | Local League Media Training Training for local League leaders on interacting with the media during election season. State League leaders are also welcome to attend.
Join the League of Women Voters and our friends at Vot-ER, a nonpartisan organization integrating voter registration into the health care system, for our GOTV phone banks! We'll be calling people that health care providers and organizations helped register to vote to make sure they're prepared for the upcoming November election. Spanish-speaking volunteers are especially encouraged. A short training will be provided beforehand, and volunteers will only need a computer and phone. Sign up for a spot below:
We’ve updated our Election Preparation Toolkit for 2022! Check it out for messaging tools, rapid response guidance, GOTV ideas, and more to get ready for the 2022 elections.
VOTE411 Instagram Template: State and Local Elections
Share critical election deadlines with your community using our state and local election social media templates. These brand-compliant Canva templates are available for Leagues to customize and share on Instagram. Find these templates and additional VOTE411 messaging resources on the League Management Site.
Candidate Name Tents: Canva Template
We've created name tent templates on Canva for Leagues to use at debates and forums. Our template includes basic instructions and can be printed on 8.5" x 11" paper. Learn more and access our template here.
Nonpartisanship on Social Media
Nonpartisanship is a core principle of the League of Women Voters, and it is very important for League leaders to exemplify this value in the public arena, including on their personal social media accounts. As we gear up for an electric and polarizing election season, Leagues can refer to our guidance on how leaders can navigate being representatives of the League online. Please note that this information is mostly geared toward personal accounts rather than organizational League accounts, but many of the suggestions apply to both.
Democracy Truth Project Update
Building upon the important work Leagues are doing to combat mis- and disinformation in our elections processes, LWVUS/EF launched the nationwide Democracy Truth Project as one of the four prongs of our “Women Power Democracy” program focus. In partnership with the Algorithmic Transparency Institute (ATI) at the National Conference on Citizenship, LWVEF recently completed a train-the-trainer series to support League members that want to host trainings in their communities to build community-based resilience to mis- and disinformation. Additionally, LWVEF partnered with the News Literacy Project to create public service announcements in both English and Spanish. Leagues can find these new resources on the League Management Site.
Moore v. Harper Partner Toolkit
Moore v. Harper is an important upcoming Supreme Court case which could restrict state courts’ ability to protect voters against anti-democratic laws and political maps passed by state legislatures and create myriad challenges for election administration across the country. League-specific guidance is forthcoming. In the meantime, this toolkit from our partners at Southern Coalition for Social Justice can be helpful.
Updated Equal Rights Amendment Toolkit
We’ve recently updated our ERA Toolkit for Leagues to use in our nationwide push to get the Equal Rights Amendment across the finish line. The toolkit includes an updated ERA action alert template for state Leagues to circulate to their members, as well as template letters Leagues can use to urge their senators to act.
Legislative Trends 2023
LWVUS strives to provide guidance and policy outlooks to state and local Leagues around the country. As part of our ongoing resources for Leagues, the LWVUS advocacy and litigation team is providing an outlook on the trends that Leagues may see in state legislatures in the 2023 session. This comes in direct response to feedback from League leaders, and we hope it will be helpful as Leagues consider their legislative priorities for 2023. Registration information for the Oct. 5 webinar can be found in the "Webinars & Virtual Meetings" section above.
Comment Period for Draft Policies Closes Oct. 11
The LWVUS board has developed two draft policies that provide clarity on organization-wide expectations for LWVUS, state and local Leagues, and members in the form of a League Rights and Responsibility Policy and a Member Rights and Responsibility Policy. These policies were formulated from existing bylaws, politics, and legal or nonprofit best practices. As the LWVUS board and staff prepare to finalize and implement these policies, they are seeking additional input from the field and are asking state and local League boards to review the proposed policies and submit comments. To give boards time to meet and discuss the policies, the comment period was re-opened and extended to Oct. 11, 2022. Individuals and Leagues can submit their comments on the forms posted at the bottom of each page. Comments may be submitted collaboratively or individually. LWVUS is currently reviewing each comment and pulling out themes and questions.
No Changes to State & Local League Bylaws Required After Convention 2022
LWVUS has received some questions about whether state and local Leagues need to update their bylaws since the LWVUS bylaws were amended at the Convention in June, particularly regarding the new unified membership system that will take effect at a future date. The short answer is “no.” With the provisos in the LWVUS bylaws, the changes adopted at Convention do not go into effect until the national board votes to put them into effect. (Per the provisos, the LWVUS board will set a date once the new membership system is in place and no sooner than 2024.) Until then, the current LWVUS bylaws remain in force. Therefore, state and local Leagues do not need to make any changes to their bylaws until the national board notifies them of the effective date of the bylaws amendments that were passed with provisos. At that time, LWVUS will also provide state and local Leagues with guidance on how they should conform their bylaws to LWVUS’s bylaws. For questions about the bylaws process, contact email@example.com.
Lori Thiel, vice president of the League of Women Voters of San Diego, CA, discussed their League’s work and dedication to empowering voters on International Democracy Day. Listen now: KPBS Midday Edition special: Democracy Day.
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