The Voter
League of Women Voters of the Midland Area
IN THIS ISSUE
SEPT 27, 2016
Educational booklet for new voters
Your Elected Officials
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CALENDAR
Board Meetings are held 9:30-11:30 the first Thursday of each month in Conference Room A of the Grace A. Dow Memorial Library. All members are invited to attend.

Sep 1, 9:30am
Board Meeting
Grace A Dow Library
Conf Rm A

Sep 14, 7pm
Community Conversation
"Restoring Public Trust in State Government"
Grace A Dow Library
Community Room

Sep 27

Sep 26-29
Work with Delta College Political Science Program registering student voters. Details in August VOTER. Volunteers will be needed.

Oct 12
Senior Expo
Midland Mall
Volunteers will be needed

Nov 8, 7am - 8pm
General Election

Board of Directors
President

VP Membership

VP Program

Secretary

Treasurer
Directors
Judy Donahue - Program
Terry Townley - Education
Cathy Heng - Print Media
Katherine Redwine - New Media
Carole Swinehart - Voter Service
Kim Steinke - Voter Service

CONNECTIONS

  
  
  
  
  
  

AUGUST 2016
A New Year - July 2016-June 2017

Kick off the new League year by participating in our Community Conversation on September 14! This year's topic is restoring trust in our state government. This is our opportunity to give input to state legislators via the Center for Michigan, who will facilitate our event and combine input from Conversations around the state for delivery to our legislators.  The article below gives details.

Election Season -- This biennial summer-fall season is always among the most active, interesting, and busy time for Leagues. We provide candidate and other election-related information for voters, and we help new voters become registered. In the process, hopefully we capture the attention of our citizens so they are motivated to exercise their right to vote and can make informed decisions on the candidates and proposals presented to them on their ballots.
As you read the Voter Service report below, keep in mind that this work requires efforts from many of us. Please be prepared to say YES if you are asked to help greet participants and attendees at a candidate forum, or take a shift at the Senior Expo booth or for voter registration, or proof the VOTER GUIDE or help distribute it to various local sites. These are probably the most visible and widely valued services provided by LWV. We need your help in making them successful.

Reminder -- All League members are welcome to attend Board meetings (1st Thursday of the month, 9:30-11:30 a.m., Grace A. Dow Library Conference Room A). Our annual review of Board Policies  will be on the Sept. 1 agenda.

Sue McCollister, President

Clarifying the League's Policy
The League, as an organization, never supports political parties or candidates, although we do take positions on issues, based on member study and consensus. League members, however, as individuals can be as active as they choose in supporting particular candidates or political parties.  Only the League President (or co-presidents) and Voter Service Director cannot be involved with candidates or political parties. 

(Thanks to the Lansing Area VOTER for this reminder.)

Restoring Faith in State Government: 
a Community Conversation

Center for Michigan Community Conversation September 14, 2016
Grace A. Dow Library Community room, 7:00-8:30 p.m 

The League of Women Voters of the Midland Area in conjunction with the Center for Michigan will hold a Community Conversation on September 14 in the Grace A. Dow Library Community Room, 7-8:30pm.  It will be an interactive session where attendees respond to a number of questions regarding improving trust in Michigan State Government.  Topics include state government services, management of the public purse and many more areas.
 
The Center for Michigan takes the priorities we share in the discussion and amplifies these to state leaders.
 
Please put this on your calendar and RSVP your participation to judit.donahue@sbcglobal.net.  Space is limited to between 25-50 and we are inviting in addition to our membership, AAUW Midland, Zonta Midland, politicians, school board members and many more.  RSVP as soon as possible to get a place.
Voter Service
Now that the primary election is over and we know who will be on the ballot for the November 8 general election, our Voter Service team is proceeding to the next phase of providing election support as we...
  • Update VOTE411 with general election races - we will be adding candidates for Midland Public School Board; also, we're working on a plan to add township races, which we haven't included previously.
  • Organize candidate forums (tentative date October 3)
  • Distribute election information at Senior Expo (October 12) - LWVMI Voter Guides, local race information
  • Assist with voter registration at Delta College (September 27-29) - This is a repeat activity from 2014, when we helped register over 350 new student voters.
  • Create hard copy VOTER GUIDE, for distribution by Midland Daily News mid-October.
We'll have more details next month, meanwhile, we hope you'll be able to help carry out these important services.

Voter Service Team
Carole Swinehart (chair), Kim Steinke, Sue McCollister 
LWV Successful in Voter  Suppression  Cases

As you may have read, the voting rights debate has taken a welcome turn in a few recent court decisions. Courts in Wisconsin and Texas ruled that strict photo ID laws pose an unreasonable burden on voters, and a federal court struck down a significant voter suppression bill in North Carolina that included strict voter-ID requirements, eliminated same-day voter registration, and shortened the early voting period. LWVUS and state Leagues were plaintiffs in these lawsuits. Our hope is that this is the beginning of a trend. More information on these cases can be found on the League of Women Voters issues page and in  The Economist article of July 25 (requires free registration).   However, on the home front, our state legislators have been resistant to changes that would make voting easier. The June edition of the LWVMI VOTER  gives an excellent overview of Michigan's election laws including opportunities for possible reform.

Membership
 If you are interested in joining, please fill out the form below, and send it in. If you have questions, please email Judy McDowell, VP Membership. 
 
mail to: LWV - Midland Area
P.O. Box 1203
Midland, MI 48641-1203
 
Any other questions or problems, email Katherine Redwine, e-newsletter editor.