OCTOBER 30, 2014
In states all around the country, early voting periods are underway and Election Day is next Tuesday, November 4. Yesterday, I took advantage of Georgia’s early voting in anticipation of a final election season trip to Ohio, where that state’s early voting will continue over the weekend. In states like Ohio, Texas, North Carolina and Georgia, which have enacted restrictive voting laws, early voting provides voters and elections officials alike an opportunity to identify and resolve issues that might otherwise prevent votes from counting on Election Day. Earlier this week, a Georgia judge dismissed a lawsuit that accused election officials of failing to fully process thousands of pending voter registration applications, meaning thousands of Georgians' right to vote may be compromised this election cycle.
Early voting is also a convenience for both voters and election officials. In Georgia, where the ID and proof of citizenship requirements are very strict, some local election officials have used their discretion to offer Sunday voting for the first time; approximately 10,000 voters came out last Sunday to take advantage. One voter was quoted in the newspaper crediting his pastor with reminding him to go and vote.
This is an important election, not just because of the federal races involved but also because so many state and local officials are on the ballot. While the League continues to oppose new restrictions on registration and voting, we also continue to work at the local level with registrars and administrators dedicated to making elections about voters and their ability to weigh in on the issues most important to them, and not about which party wins or loses.
As we near the end of yet another election season, let us continue to encourage voters to turn out and make their voices heard; let us continue to work with those dedicated professionals to make this election free, fair and accessible to every eligible voter. Please share VOTE411.org with your communities and networks – via email, social media, etc. to make sure all voters can have their last-minute elections questions answered.
In every state in the union, Leagues are doing the work that the League does best: arming voters with the information they need to get to the polls and make the choices that will best serve our nation, our states and our communities. It is the work that the League has done for almost 95 years and there is no one that does it better than us.
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 (NEW)
- Get Ready for Election Day! Easy Tips to Help your Community Vote (REMINDER)
- Sample Elections Social Media Content for Leagues (REMINDER)
- League Urges Congress to Fund CHIP (NEW)
- EPA Clean Power Plan Comment Deadline Extended! (REMINDER)
MEMBERSHIP & LEADERSHIP
- Welcome the LWV of the Twin Counties, NC! (NEW)
- Has Your League Filed Its Form 990-N Yet? (NEW)
- #GivingTuesday is December 2 (REMINDER)
- Update Your League’s Database (REMINDER)
- Visit the League Store Today (REMINDER)
EDUCATION FUND - ELECTIONS
Free Materials if you Complete Our Election Season Activities Survey (NEW)
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.
Get Ready for Election Day! Tips to help your Community Vote (REMINDER)
We know many of you are still busy handing out voter guides and putting on candidate debates, and the finish line is near. Here are a few steps to start planning now for a smooth Election Day. Make sure your League phone line and email are well-attended to on the days leading up to and on Election Day. Plan to make use of VOTE411.org to help address voters' questions - better yet, mention it on your out-of-office email or phone message! While there is still time, consider sharing helpful elections information with your local media by customizing and sending the press release template, op-ed template and/or letter to the editor template, and follow up with voters you've helped register and your social networks to encourage them to participate on Election Day. Get started with our sample social media content.
Sample Elections Social Media Content for Leagues (UPDATED)
Is your League on Facebook or Twitter? Check out our Election 2014 sample social media content! Our LWV Election 2014 Sample Social Media document includes sample Facebook posts, tweets and images you can share about voting in your state, including recently added images. We will continue to update the materials throughout the season, so be sure to bookmark the link to check back!
GLAD YOU ASKED!
If you have a question for this area, please submit it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Should my League have Directors & Officers insurance? If so, does LWVUS offer a group policy?
Leagues should evaluate whether to purchase insurance based on their own activities, financial circumstances, and factors such as the passage of the Volunteer Protection Act of 1997. Also, as each state’s laws are unique, Leagues should check locally about what is best for their situation. It is because of these state differences (as well as the large cost) that LWVUS cannot offer a group policy for all Leagues.
League Urges Congress to Fund CHIP (REMINDER)
The League joined 1,200 leading national, state, tribal, and local organizations on a letter to Congressional leaders urging them to provide continued funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). Congressional action is needed in the lame duck session to ensure that states can continue to operate programs and provide health coverage for millions of children
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!
MEMBERSHIP & LEADERSHIP
Welcome the LWV of the Twin Counties, NC! (NEW)
LWVUS is pleased welcome the League of Women Voters of the Twin Counties, North Carolina. LWV of the Twin Counties is already hard at work registering high school students to vote, visiting the state legislature and holding educational events focusing on public education, voting rights and other issues in their community. This League has shown itself to be dedicated to protecting and strengthening our democracy and we look forward to their future successes. Special thanks are extended to LWV of North Carolina for mentoring this new group!
Has Your League Filed Its Form 990-N Yet?(NEW)
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 4 ½ 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
#GivingTuesday is December 2 (REMINDER)
This year, the League will participate in the third annual #GivingTuesday campaign on December 2, 2014. Taking place the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, #GivingTuesday celebrates and encourages charitable activities to support nonprofit organizations like the League. In the coming weeks, LWVUS will be providing email templates, a social media toolkit, and lots of other materials via the League Update to make Leagues participation in #GivingTuesday as easy and productive as possible. Remember to be gathering success stories and taking photos during this very busy Election season so that they can be used later as part of #GivingTuesday, other year-end fundraising or a membership renewal campaign.
Update Your League’s Database (REMINDER)
Are you a database manager for your League? Your role is vital to the success and operation of your organization! Get rewarded for it! The more often you are in the system and the more accurate your members’ information, the more chances you have to get rewarded! You could earn free Convention registration, credits to the League Store and more! Keep an eye out in the League Update every week for more details. If you have any questions or need assistance updating your League’s roster, download the user manual or contact Membership@lwv.org. Next week we will announce our first prize, so stay tuned!
Visit the League Store Today (REMINDER)
The League Store has expanded! Looking for gifts for speakers, special guests, and your Board? Are you recruiting new members? How about being more visible in your community? You can find many items that range from LWV pins and car magnets to LWV Hot n' Cold Tumblers and LWV laser-etched pens with a stylus for your mobile devices! You can also find all LWVUS publications. The League Store is part of our public site -- follow the link on the bottom of www.lwv.org. Or, to see what else is available for purchase, click here.
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