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The Voter, September 2020

 | Published on 9/8/2020
The Voter
September 2020




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News & Stuff


Volunteer to Get Out The Vote 2020
By Toni Brammeier, LWVMC Member

Help us encourage Mesa County residents to vote in the upcoming General Election on November 3rd. Volunteers are needed to...
  • Write an oped to the Daily Sentinel or other local news source encouraging Mesa County residents to vote.
  • Help with the Make A Plan To Vote social media campaign.
  • Help plan a virtual ballot issue forum to educate voters on one or more ballot initiatives.
  • Distribute LWV Ballot Issues fliers around town.
  • Contribute other ideas to educate and encourage Mesa County voters.
If interested in helping with our GOTV 2020 campaign, please contact Toni Brammeier at tech@lwvmesa.org
and/or Robyn Parker at media@lwvmesa.org.


Volunteer to be an Election Judge in Mesa County
By Toni Brammeier, LWVMC Member

CO's Secretary of State's office is expecting a shortage of election judges this year due to the pandemic. If you are able, please consider volunteering for this important role. (It's also a nice way to make a little extra money!)

To be considered in Colorado, you must meet the following qualifications:
  • Registered electors who are willing to serve - knowing that Election Day runs from 6:00 AM to 8:00 PM;
  • Be U.S. citizens by the date of the election at which they are scheduled to work;
  • Be physically and mentally able to perform the duties of an Election Judge;
  • Attend a mandatory Election Judge class prior to each election at which they work;
  • Never been convicted of election fraud, any other election offense, or fraud; and
  • Neither a candidate whose name appears on the ballot in the precinct that they are appointed to serve nor a member of the immediate family, related by blood or marriage to the second degree, of a candidate whose name appears on the ballot in the precinct that they are appointed to serve.
  • Get involved and assist voters on Election Day. Earn extra money** (stipend varies by county).
Not everyone will be chosen, of course, but you can start the process by expressing your interest at
https://www.sos.state.co.us/pubs/elections/electionJudges.html.



LWV Mesa County Adopts 'Making Democracy Work' for 2020-2021
By Toni Brammeier & Robyn Parker, LWVMC Members

A League Program is the education and advocacy platform that we adopt to move our mission forward. Our monthly presentations and other activities are guided by this platform. For the past several years, LWVUS and LWVCO have adopted 'Making Democracy Work' for their program platform.

In August 2020, LWV Mesa County members voted to re-adopt the 'Making Democracy Work' platform for the upcoming 2020-2021 season. Through this campaign, LWV seeks to "fundamentally reshape our democracy by engaging millions more voters in the election process and strengthening the laws that govern money in politics, redistricting and voting rights so that it is free, fair and accessible to all." (LWVUS, 2016).
 
LWV Mesa County members are committed to promoting this campaign through voter education and advocacy efforts throughout the coming year. Please visit our website at lwvmesa.org to learn more about how you can become involved and help carry out our mission.

Read more about the 'Making Democracy Work' platform here.



LWV Mesa County Annual Meeting Goes Virtual
By Toni Brammeier, LWVMC Member

For the first time, LWV Mesa County held its annual meeting online. LWV Mesa County Chair Deb Tittle kicked-off the meeting with a warm welcome to all of our new members. Voter Services Coordinator Robyn Parker followed with a tribute to one of our favorite ladies and life-long member, Arleta Carr, whom we lost this summer and will miss greatly. Robyn also paid tribute to Henry Snyder and Cynthia Edwards, both of whom are stepping down from our leadership team after dedicating many, many hours of service to our organization over the years.

After a call to order, we confirmed that we had enough members present for a quorum (12 members attended with 2 members voting by proxy). Members voted to adopt the "Making Democracy Work" platform for our 2020-2021 season. Members also elected new members Jan Moorman and Debra Kalish to our leadership team and re-elected Anita Pisciotte and Peggy Rawlins to serve for the next two years. Members voted to adopt the proposed 2020-2021 budget. And finally, members voted to approved the proposed changes to our bylaws. Members can review all of this and more in the 2020 Annual Manual (pdf), Meeting Minutes, and 2020 Proposed Changes to Bylaws (pdf).


We closed out the meeting with an interesting and quick presentation from LWV member and former Secretary of State of CO Bernie Buescher regarding the upcoming Gallagher Amendment ballot initiative. (Be on the lookout for more info from LWV and Bernie regarding this important ballot issue). Bernie also encouraged our members to sign-up and serve on Colorado's new Independent Redistricting Commissions.




Recap of LWV's CO District 3 Primary Candidate Forum
By Toni Brammeier, LWVMC Member

In June 2020, LWV Mesa County successfully partnered with LWV La Plata County and other CO District 3 leagues to present an online candidate forum featuring the District 3 primary candidates. Three candidates attended: Diane Mitsch-Bush (D), James Iacino (D), and Lauren Boebert (R). Incumbent candidate Scott Tipton (R) did not attend.

Our friends at La Plata took on the majority of the legwork and deserve a big round of applause for the success of the event. Between the live streaming on Zoom and Facebook, La Plata reported almost 550 attendees. They also reported a lot of positive feedback regarding the online format, with many people indicating they prefer watching the forum from the comfort of their own homes versus an in-person event. The event even received coverage in The Aspen Times!

You can watch a replay of the forum on YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AXzE9CI85KI&feature=youtu.be.



Thank You, Henry & Cynthia!
By Robyn Parker, LWVMC Member

The Leadership Team shall miss the company and contributions of our retiring board members, Cynthia Edwards and Henry Snyder. Cynthia and Henry both joined our Leadership Team 4 years ago in response to a desperate plea for volunteers to help with basic duties required to keep our chapter afloat. We were hurting from the loss of our chapter’s paid part-time coordinator and struggling to meet the group’s most basic needs. Both Cynthia and Henry stepped into fundamental roles for our group.

Henry’s official title was Treasurer, a position which quickly evolved to include webmaster, membership coordinator, and newsletter editor. I don’t recall if we ever actually came up with a title for Cynthia. Cynthia reminds me of when we were young and had classroom moms. Perhaps Chapter Mom would be the best title for her. Cynthia took care of us at presentations with snacks, and she always showed up with everything we needed for interactive tabling displays at community events.

When Cynthia and Henry came on board, we all agreed that Leadership Team positions can be tough jobs for volunteers and that as hard-working volunteers, we deserved fun drinks during our meetings. Henry started bringing beer. Our meetings were more fun and we got even more done than before. Cynthia and Henry will be missed by our Mesa County group, and we shall look forward to the time when we can all meet again in person and have snacks and drinks together.


A Tribute To LWV Lifetime Member And Friend, Arleta Carr
By Robyn Parker, LWVMC Member

On June 28, LWV lost a lifetime supporter, Arleta Carr. Arleta died July 28 at the age of 86.

In the 8 years that I’ve been part of our Mesa County LWV chapter, Arleta has been part of many of my memories. She was always here to support everything we were doing. We often mention that she helped make our presentations possible by funding our events at the UU Church. Mostly, though, I remember Arleta for her showing up to support each of us as we worked on everything we do.

I remember thinking of Arleta when I was trying to convince the kids from Grand Valley Students United to host a presentation for LWV about their gun violence prevention activities. The kids were nervous about speaking in front of a crowd, especially adult strangers. I assured the kids that we would provide a safe, supportive venue for them and that our members would be there to empower them, not to intimidate them. I thought of the times when I was new to the group, speaking in front of our crowds and feeling like I didn’t know what I was talking about. Arleta was always there in the audience, offering smiles of encouragement and intelligent questions to move discussions forward. Of course, she was there, too, when the students spoke to our group, and of course, she encouraged them onward when they stumbled

Arleta was an important part of our group for a long time. She will be missed but not forgotten.


Donate Your Old Tablet to LWV Mesa County
By Toni Brammeier, LWVMC Member

Do you have an old tablet taking up space in your junk drawer? Maybe it still works, it's just a little slow? Why not donate that tablet to us?!

LWV Mesa County is now accepting donations of old tablets to assist with Voter Education Drives. Refurbished tablets are a cost-effective way to transition away from paper voter registration forms. With your old tablet and a wifi signal, we will be able to offer Mesa County residents a quick way to register online AND check their existing voter registration right there on the spot. We will also be able to help residents research answers to specific voter questions such as 'Where is the nearest ballot dropbox?' and 'What if I'm a college student?'

If you would like to donate your tablet, please email us at tech@lwvmesa.org.

LWV of Mesa County is a 501(c)(4) organization – contributions are not tax deductible.


A Voter Services Committee Update
By Robyn Parker, LWVMC Member & Voter Services Coordinator

Our Voter Services Committee will be busy this fall organizing ballot issues presentations, publishing Vote 411, and getting out the vote. We will partner with other LWV chapters for some presentations and are primarily responsible for organizing our October 14 ballot issues forum. Since there are 11 Colorado ballot issues, we’re looking for creative new ways to present the issues. We’ve usually only had to cover 6 or 8 issues in a forum, but 11 issues with our usual format would take 3 hours! I am pleased to report that for the first time in a few years, we have the volunteer resources to include local candidates and ballot issues in Vote 411.

In the 8 years I have worked with LWV, this seems like the most exciting time for new volunteers to get involved. After years of volunteer shortages and a struggle to keep our chapter afloat, we have finally stabilized and have the infrastructure in place for volunteer jobs to be clearly understood and efficiently completed. We rely on volunteers for everything we do, and we have opportunities available for a diversity of interests, skill-sets, and availability. Volunteers are needed for all aspects of voter services, so we’d appreciate hearing from anyone who would like to get involved.

 Members can sign-up for our Voter Services Committee on our website, lwvmesa.org. Or contact Robyn Parker at media@lwvmesa.org.



See CO's ClearVote 2.1 Voting System in Action
By Toni Brammeier, LWVMC Member

In July, the Colorado Secretary of State's office along with Clear Ballot Group (CO's election vendor) published a recorded demonstration of the ClearVote 2.1 voting system. You can watch the recording of the demonstration at https://vimeo.com/433767695/0c94485cb4.


Virginia Becomes the 38th State to Ratify The ERA!
By Peggy Rawlins, LWVMC Member

It has taken 100 years to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment, with the Virginia State House and Senate voting for ratification, thus making that vote the 38th, and final state required to add women to the Constitution. For over 20 years, the Virginia House’s right wing stopped the ERA from coming to the floor for a vote. But in 2017 and 2019, the court mandated redistricting to fix racial gerrymandering, and women outvoted the Republican seats. The new speaker is the first woman to hold that position in the 400-year history of the Virginia House, and the majority leader will be the first African American to be elected chair of the Democratic Party of Virginia.

In 1923, suffragist leader Alice Paul hoped to put the ERA up for a vote and, finally in 1972, it went to the states for ratification. The drive in 1982 for ratification stalled but changed in 2017 when both houses of the Nevada legislature flipped from red to blue. Senator Pat Spearman, an Army Lt. Colonel and an African American, was able to get the Nevada Legislature to vote as the 36th state to ratify the ERA.

In 2018, the Illinois House and Senate also ratified the vote, making it the 37th state. So with the Virginia legislature voting to ratify, we have the ERA at last being hopefully added to the U.S. Constitution. It has taken 100 years, but finally we will have, as women, EQUAL RIGHTS!


LWV is working to push the ERA across the finish line! Learn how you can help here.


Colorado Recruiting for First Independent Redistricting Commissions
By Toni Brammeier, LWVMC Member

Remember way back in November of 2018 when CO voters passed Amendments Y & Z authorizing the use of independent commissions to draw electoral districts for legislators and members of Congress? Well, it's almost time to see these two amendments in action!

That's right! Redistricting season is fast approaching and the CO Independent Redistricting Commission is recruiting applicants to serve on both the Congressional Redistricting and Legislative Redistricting commissions. According to the "job" description, applications should expect the role to be "a full-time job. The commission will be required to meet at the State Capitol in Denver while a redistricting plan is developed, and then take the preliminary plan around the state to at least 21 locations to solicit public comment and discussion. While we are uncertain about when the heavy work of the commission will take place, we anticipate that it will be around July through September of 2021. You will be paid a per diem and travel expenses for your time."

What a great opportunity to serve your community AND play an active role in our state's history! If you have the time and the interest, you can apply to serve on a commission at redistricting.colorado.gov.

Learn more about Amendments Y & Z in this great Ted talk from LWV member and former CO Secretary of State Bernie Buescher: https://www.ted.com/talks/bernie_buescher_how_colorado_solved_redistricting_challenges_and_passed_me



LWV Call to Action

LWVCO Call to Action: Ask Congress to Provide Funding to Extend Census
By Toni Brammeier, LWVMC Member

In August, LWVCO issued an Action Alert encouraging LWV members and friends to ask Congress to provide funding to extend the census through it's original October 31, 2020 end date. The U.S. Census Bureau has recently announced plans to cut the census short by one month due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the shortened timeline all but ensures that hard to count populations will not be fully counted and thus will not be properly represented during the upcoming redistricting efforts.

You can help by contacting your elected senators and representatives to ask them to support funding the Census through October. Locate your elected officials
here.

LWV Colorado offers additional ideas on how you can help here.


LWVUS Call to Action: Ask Congress to Protect The Postal Service
By Toni Brammeier, LWVMC Member

In August, LWVUS issued the following Action Alert encouraging LWV members and friends to encourage Congress to protect our Postal Service:

The U.S. Postal Service is essential to our democracy and plays a critical role to the success of this election in the middle of a pandemic. The postal service has long been the most popular federal agency in the nation, with 91-percent of people in our country holding a favorable opinion about the agency. Delivering election ballots is just one of the essential functions the post office plays. Today, it is the subject of partisan attacks designed to weaken its role and core functions.

Undermining and disrupting the work of the postal service will affect:
  • People in rural communities, seniors, and people with disabilities, who depend on the postal service to deliver essential medications and daily necessities in a timely and affordable way;
  • Working people who depend on the postal service for their paychecks;
  • Veterans who depend on the postal service for medicines and VA benefits;
  • Small businesses that depend on the postal service to ship their products to customers; and
  • Without the postal service’s public service commitment to provide the “last mile” of delivery, rural and tribal communities may be excluded from mail services entirely by private companies that may not find it profitable to continue rural postal routes.
Contact your Members of Congress and tell them why the U.S. Postal Service is essential to our communities! Locate your elected officials here.

Read the original Action Alert here.



LWV Colorado News

Learn what LWV Colorado's Legislative Action Committee was up to during the 2020 legislative session at 2020 Legislative Wrap-Up - July 6, 2020.

LWV Colorado members are joining the fight against misinformation on the web. Learn how you can get involved in the SQUINT project here.

Sign-up to receive LWV Colorado's newsletter at lwvcolorado.org
.



LWV National News

LWVUS has joined the National Urban League and Common Cause in a lawsuit against the Postmaster General and USPS to protect our right to a safe and secure vote. Read more about the litigation at Groups Sue Postmaster General over USPS Changes.

Learn what LWVUS is doing to ensure all Americans have the ability to cast their ballots safely and securely at In the Know: COVID-19 Voting Litigation (August 2020).

LWV is partnering with Power The Polls to ensure that every poll in the U.S. is staffed appropriately this November 3rd. Learn more about LWV's efforts (and get more information about how you can help) at We’re Facing a Historic Shortage of Poll Workers. Can Voters Count on You? (August 2020).

Election day, November 3rd, is right around the corner and LWV has 100 ways for you to take action at 100 Days and 100 Ways to Get Ready for Election Day (July 2020).

LWV is fighting hard for the passage of the Voting Rights Advancement Act (VRAA). Learn about our latest efforts at People Powering the Vote: League Leaders and the fight for the VRAA (August 2020)
.

LWV believes strongly that the upcoming redistricting cycle in 2021 should be "fully representative of all persons living in our country." Read LWV CEO Virginia Kase's statement in response to President Trump's recent executive order at Unconstitutional Executive Order Targets Immigrants and Damages Redistricting (July 2020).

For 100 years, LWV has remained a staunch defender of our First Amendment. Read LWV's response to the recent federal crackdown on protesters at League of Women Voters Responds to DHS Crackdown on Portland Protests (July 2020).

Leagues across the country are engaged in more than double the litigation than that of FY19. Read about the more than 50 cases in FY20 Litigation Wrap-Up (July 2020).



Clubs & Committees

LWV Mesa County is currently recruiting volunteers to serve on the following committees for our upcoming 2020-2021 season.

Voter Services Committee
If Voter Education is your thing, then the Voter Services Committee is where you need to be. Help us plan Voter Education Drives, Election Forums, and Get Out The Vote campaigns.

Program & Event Committee
Do you like entertaining? Do you have an idea for an activity or a speaker that will appeal to our LWV members and friends? Join the Program & Event Committee and help us see your idea to fruition.

Membership Committee
If meeting new people is your idea of the best time, then how about joining the Membership Committee?! Help us welcome new members and stay in touch with all of our friends.

Communications & Technology Committee
Do you spend an inordinate amount of time playing around on your device(s)? Why not channel some of that online energy to a worthy cause? Join our CommTech Committee and help us promote our mission over the Interweb.

Fundraising Committee
LWV Mesa County has an aggressive fundraising goal for the 2020-2021 season. Help us come up with some creative ways to meet that goal!

Leadership Committee
And if a little bit of all of the above sounds interesting, then the Leadership Committee wants you!


LWV Mesa County members must be logged in to sign-up for a committee. If you need help with your username please email us at tech@lwvmesa.org.



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