1. Newly Updated Voter Service Guidance pieces from LWVUS
- Candidate forum FAQ piece that explains the rules around empty chair, no surrogate, as well as the difference between a debate and a forum. Click here to download the document.
- New guidance piece about how to deal with candidates who refuse to participate. Click here to download the document.
2. Voter Service
a. Attention Voter Service Chairs: the Voters' Guide Packet is Online
The Voters' Guide Information Packet for the November 8 Ohio General Election is available on LWV Ohio website here. It includes suggested questions for candidates and district assignments. Please share this information with all individuals in your League working on voter service. Please contact the state League office at 614-469-1505, if you have any questions. Reminder: local Leagues should not contact judicial candidates to solicit information for a voter guide; that information is available via judicialvotescount.org.
b. Voters' Guide Assignments and Vote411
We have received a number of questions about voters' guide assignments this year and who is responsible for contacting candidates and uploading information to VOTE411. We hope this provides some clarification.
- LWVUS is responsible for entering presidential candidate information.
- The state League is responsible for contacting US Senate candidates and entering that information. Our goal is to have that information available by mid-September, depending on the candidates' cooperation!
- Local Leagues are assigned US House districts, and Ohio Senate and House districts in their area. Instructions for how to handle shared districts (those with multiple Leagues) can be found in the Voters' Guide Information Packet.
- ALL judicial races, from Ohio Supreme Court to county courts, will be covered by Judicial Votes Count (JVC). Leagues should not contact candidates for judge to avoid duplication and confusion. JVC posts candidate information as it comes in, and candidate invitations have already been sent. All of the candidate information on judicialvotescount.org will be available for Leagues to cut-and-paste for print in local voters' guides.
Is your local League producing a print-only Voters Guide (i.e., not using VOTE411)? Let's share information! Contact the state League office with your state and federal candidate information and we'll upload it to VOTE411. We can also send you Word versions of the presidential and US Senate candidate information, if that helps with your printed guide.
c. New Voter Education Materials Available!
New 2016 voter education materials are now available from LWV Ohio on the "Voter Center" section of the website. Wondering what voting rules are in place this year? We have your answers!
These resources are available to download, print, or share online. Up to 1000 copies may be ordered at no cost by contacting the LWVO office at 614-469-1505.
3. Update on Election Lawsuits
a. "Golden Week" Lawsuit Update
Golden Week was gone, and then back, and now gone again. On August 23, 2016, the federal appeals court overruled the lower court and reinstated the elimination of Golden Week. If this ruling stands, it means early voting will begin October 12, the day after voter registration closes. The plaintiffs are expected to appeal the August 23 ruling, but there is no way to know if they will succeed in having Golden Week restored prior to the start of voting in October. The most recent court decision and other court filings are available here.
b. Voter Purge - Lawsuit Update & Voter Outreach Plans
In April 2016, a group of voting rights advocates sued the Ohio Secretary of State (SOS). This suit alleges that the SOS removed voters from the rolls in violation of the National Voter Registration Act (NVRA) by using voter inactivity as a basis to trigger removal. In late June, a federal court ruled in favor of the SOS, and the voting advocates appealed. You can read more about the case here. Appeal briefs were filed in July. The US Department of Justice filed an amicus (friend-of-the-court) brief agreeing with voter advocates that failure to vote cannot be a basis for removal, and a similar joint amicus was filed by Common Cause, LWVUS, and Project Vote.
Regardless of what happens with the lawsuit, we are forced to deal with the reality that approximately two million names have been removed from Ohio's voter registration list in recent years.
The leaders of the Ohio Voter Rights Coalition - the League of Women Voters of Ohio, Ohio Votes, Ohio Voice, and Common Cause Ohio - have crafted a direct engagement plan to reach purged voters and those in the purge pipeline. We can reach out to these voters using a combination of live and recorded calls. We are currently raising funds to make these robocalls, a reality that recaptures and registers purged voters. We will also be inviting local Leagues and local partner groups to volunteer to call voters in their community to re-register by the October 11 deadline. If your local League is interested in signing up to call purged voters in your area, please contact Carrie Davis at email@example.com.
4. MLD Tip: Attract New Members During Election Season!
The Election Season is upon us - and this is prime time to reach out to nonmembers and invite them to join the League! Find simple tips - and sample language - your League can use to encourage people to join at ....
Click here for the sample language and tips - and please remember: The most important thing is to ASK people to join the League and help make democracy work.
- Candidates' Debates
- Hot Topics Lunches
- Issue Forums
- Social / Community Events
- In Publications
- On Your Website or Facebook page
a. Reminder: September 30 deadline for state PMP discount
As a reminder, the state League provides a 5% discount on PMP (per member payment) to any local League that pays their PMP in full by the end of the first quarter of the fiscal year, which is coming up on September 30, 2016. Thank you to the Leagues who have already paid in full (you know who you are!). If your League was planning to pay early and get the discount, please have your PMP checks postmarked by September 30.
Leagues that do not pay in full will receive quarterly invoices. Your local League Treasurer will receive the second PMP statement in mid-October. The membership count and PMP amount on the invoice are based on the numbers your League entered into the national database by January 30, 2016.
b. How do new local League Board members get access to the LWVUS membership database? Reminder from the LWVUS
Getting access for new Membership Chairs, Treasurers, and Presidents is easy!
No email to LWVUS required.
If you have a new Roster Manager, you can get them access by following these steps:
1. Log into the database, go to Your League Record, and click "Add/Update Officers".
2. Follow the instructions on page 23 of the User Guide to add a new officer. When selecting an Officer title, select Local Roster Manager if you are a local League, and State Roster manager if you are a state League.
3. Once you have added them as an officer, LWVUS staff are notified via automatic email of it. Staff will then set up the permissions for the new Roster Manager to access the database and send a follow up email with information on how to get started.
Questions can be emailed to the LWVUS at RosterSupport@lwv.org .
c. Reminder: Did your local League elect a new board at your annual meeting?
Many Leagues held Annual Meetings over the summer, and this means changes in League leadership. If your League has elected or appointed new officers, please email your updated board roster to the Ohio League office at firstname.lastname@example.org with the new officers' contact information. It is vital that we know how to contact your League's leadership to share important updates.
6. September All Member Conference Call
Our next all-member conference call will be on
Tuesday, September 6, 12-1 pm. Join us to hear about the Ohio Voting Rights Coalition's voter engagement plan to address voter purge, Election Protection Observers, and GOTV efforts from now thru Election Day. The call will also provide an opportunity to the local Leagues to discuss their voter service plans, and publicize any opportunities available for volunteers to sign up.
CALL-IN NUMBER: 866-740-1260
PIN NUMBER: 4691505#
The recording of the all-member call will be available following the call until the end of the month. Please note that the podcast is intended for LWV members and guests (just like the calls) and, therefore, should not be shared with anyone outside the League family. Thank you.
7. Pass-Thru Grants Available - "Women's Voices: Preparing the Next Gen of Women Leaders"
Thanks to a grant from the Women's Fund of Central Ohio, LWV Ohio is providing funding to participating local Leagues for activities that involve creating ongoing relationships between women leaders in their communities and high school girls, whereby local Leagues can encourage youth civic engagement. The primary goals of this project are to foster a dialogue about gender issues in politics, encourage more young women to become civically engaged, and foster mentoring opportunities between high school girls and local women elected officials. Projects for the current grant must be completed by the end of calendar year 2016.
Leagues participating in the Women's Voices: Next Gen Project are LWV of Greater Cleveland, LWV of Greater Dayton, LWV of Greater Youngstown, LWV of Hudson, LWV of Kent, and LWV of Oberlin Area. Please contact the state League office at 614-469-1505 if your League would like to participate in this project. For those Leagues that were unable to participate in this project this year, we have submitted an application to renew grant funding in the hopes of offering this project again next year. Click here to read more about the Women's Voices project and view the project materials.
8. Election Observer Training by the Carter Center
We are honored that the League has been chosen by the Carter Center to apply their world renowned election observer training model in the US. The state League and our partners at the Voting Rights Coalition will be integrating the Carter Center election observer training into Ohio train-the-trainer events in Cleveland and Columbus in late September and October. Through the national Election Protection coalition, of which LWVUS is a member, we will continue to offer the 866-OUR-VOTE hotline as well as having on-the-ground field volunteers trained to troubleshoot and help voters. Volunteers can sign up by contacting the LWVO office at 614-469-1505 or email
More information will be discussed on the September 6 all-member call.
9. Keep up the pressure for Congressional Redistricting Reform
On August 18, the Fair Districts = Fair Elections coalition held a
virtual lobby day
, urging Ohioans to contact Ohio House Speaker Cliff Rosenberger and demand action on Congressional redistricting reform.
Fair Districts supporters succeeded in having redistricting reform for the state legislature placed on the 2015 ballot, because the reform proposal was passed by the legislature in the "lame duck" session at the end of 2014. We are urging the legislature to do the same by passing Congressional redistricting reform when they return for the lame duck session this fall after the election, to place the issue on the 2017 ballot for voter approval.
We need your help to keep the pressure on! Print and share this Congressional redistricting reform take action handout at your League's fall events. If you are hosting or attending a candidate forum, ask the candidates if they support placing Congressional redistricting reform before Ohio voters next year. If you hear someone complain that their local races are lopsided so one party is guaranteed to win, point out that it's due to gerrymandering and we can do something about it. Letters to the editor and op-eds are also helpful, to keep the pressure on the legislature to act when they return this fall.