August 2017  Ohio League Leader Upd ates
 

Contents 
 
1. 2017 Statewide Ballot Issue Information

2. Judicial Votes Count Reminder

3. Fair Districts Campaign Updates

4. State Legislature News

5. Updates from LWVUS
a. Sign up for National Voter Registration Day 2017 by Sept 5. to receive free materials
b. LWVUS Board Nominations Open - Submissions Due Sept. 30

6. Election law updates 
from the Brennan Center

7. All-Member Conference Call for September

8. Please update your local League board contacts

9. Please give generously 
to LWVO's Women's Equality Day fundraiser!

10. Pass-thru Grant Opportunities - Apply today!
b. Voter Participation Forums
c. Online Voter Registration Outreach to College Students

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1. 2017 Statewide Ballot Issue Information
Two citizens' initiatives have qualified for the statewide ballot in 2017, Marsy's Law (also known as the Crime Victims' Bill of Rights) and Ohio Drug Price Relief Act.

Marsy's Law is an initiated constitutional amendment that is certified for the ballot as Issue 1. This would repeal and replace a section of the state constitution addressing the rights of crime victims. Its purpose is to give victims the same co-equal rights as the accused and convicted.

The Ohio Drug Price Relief Act is an initiated statute certified for the ballot as Issue 2. This would require state agencies to pay no more for prescription drugs than the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

The LWVO State Board is reviewing these measures in order to compile the Voter's Guide, which we expect to publish in early September. We will publish it on Vote411 and send to local Leagues to include in local print guides. If you receive questions about statewide ballot issues, let them know a voter's guide is forthcoming.

2.  Judicial Votes Count Reminder
Once again, this year LWVO is partnering with the Ohio Supreme Court, Bar Association, and others on "Judicial Votes Count" (JVC) an online website with information on candidates for judge across the state and with educational information about what judges do and how to evaluate candidates. You can visit online at www.judicialvotescount.org.

Judicial candidates across the state have been reminded to complete their questionnaires before September 1, so there is no need for local Leagues to reach out to them separately. Judicial candidate responses are published on the JVC website generally within 24 hours of receipt. Local Leagues are welcome to copy and paste candidate information into your local voters' guide, or we can download the information for you if you contact the LWVO office and let us know which races you need.

3. Fair Districts Campaign Updates
THANK YOU to all the League members and friends who have been collecting petition signatures, holding Fair Districts events in your community, reaching out to local news media, delivering completed petitions to Columbus for data entry, and more! You are amazing!  How special is this campaign? We are on pace to set a new Ohio citizen initiative record for volunteer support, and are continuing to make great strides; just check out our August 30 update:  "Where to focus petition efforts over Labor Day weekend."

LWVO sponsored a booth at the Ohio State Fair in late July and early August to promote Fair Districts. Thanks to over 100 volunteers we collected 79 voter registrations, petition signatures from counties all over the state (we're still adding up how many), and raised over $200. Check out some of the photos here.

Wondering how you can help?
  • Please turn in petition booklets every 1-2 weeks, so we can update our signature totals.
  • If you are driving to and from Columbus, please help us out by collecting petitions from volunteers in your area and drop them off at the LWVO, Common Cause, or Ohio Environmental Council offices.
  • Having a local event to support Fair Districts and collect petition signatures? Please post it on the Fair Districts website (https://actionnetwork.org/event_campaigns/collect-petition-signatures-for-redistricting-reform) and on Facebook or Tweet @ohfairdistricts so that others know where to find you.
  • Do you like parties? Contact the LWVO office if you are interested in hosting a house party to help raise money for the Fair Districts campaign.
Check out www.fairdistrictsohio.org   for more ways you can help and the latest campaign announcements.

4. State Legislature News
As you may recall, the two-year state budget was passed by the legislature and signed into law the last week of June, with Governor Kasich exercising his line-item veto to strike 47 provisions dealing with a variety of issues, from Medicaid to oil & gas drilling, from the final version. This included several vetoes the LWVO advocacy team supported in a letter to the Governor.

The legislature can override a veto with the vote of a three-fifths majority, and on July 6 the Ohio House convened to pass 11 budget provisions over the Governor's objections. This list notably did not include a provision to freeze enrollment in the Medicaid expansion which could lead to 500,000 individuals losing health insurance within 18 months, meaning that measure is not currently law.

On August 22, the Ohio Senate met and voted to restore 6 of the provisions previously passed by the House, leaving aside a provision that could allow oil and gas drilling in state and local parks. Legislative leaders in both chambers have kept open the possibility of taking up overrides of other vetoes, including those dealing with Medicaid and oil and gas exploration, so keep an eye out for further updates.

In other news, the legislature will be back in regular session starting the middle of September, so look for more news and action alerts about their activity then.

5. Updates from LWVUS
a.     Sign up for National Voter Registration Day 2017 by Sept 5. to receive free materials
National Voter Registration Day is Tuesday, September 26 and over 300 Leagues nationwide have already signed up to participate! Local Leagues must be signed up by Sept. 5 to receive free materials.  Sign up your League as a partner in this incredible celebration of democracy. All you need to do is agree to host a registration event in your community on 9/26, or otherwise publicize the importance of voter registration. Join thousands of organizations, elected officials, celebrities, and other partners-including hundreds of participating state and local Leagues-by signing up today!  The League has been the single largest on-the-ground grassroots partner  for NVRD since 2012. Let's keep up the trend!

b.   LWVUS Board Nominations Open - Submissions Due Sept. 30
The Nominating Committee needs your help in identifying a pool of qualified candidates for the 2018-20 LWVUS Board and 2018-20 LWVUS Nominating Committee. This is especially important as we choose those who will lead us into the League's second century. Qualifications are listed in a tri-fold brochure and handout, which are available online  here.

Who do you know who would make a great nominee?

Nominations can be made through the short, online Nomination Recommendation Form, which is available  here. And, of course, self nominations are also welcome! Recommendations are due September 30, 2017. Questions? Please contact NominatingCommittee@lwv.org.

6. Election law updates from the Brennan Center
There have been several big election law court decisions and filings recently. Check out these blog posts from the Brennan Center to learn more.
7. All-Member Conference Call for September
Join us for our September all-member conference call on Tuesday,  September 5, 12-1 pm.

Topics:
  • Fair Districts initiative petition update
  • Women's Voices and Voter Participation Forum grants (see info below)
  • Texas Voter ID law struck down
  • Other issues of concern in your area
CALL-IN NUMBER: 866-740-1260 
PIN: 4691505# 
 
The recording of the all-member call will be available in the  LWVO online member area following the call until the end of the month. Please note that the call recording 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. 

8. Please update your local League board contacts
Did your local League hold its annual meeting in the last few months? Don't forget to send the state ( lwvoinfo@lwvohio.org) and national ( rostersupport@lwv.org) offices your updated board roster to ensure notifications, action alerts and other information are distributed correctly.

9. Please give generously to LWVO's Women's Equality Day fundraiser!
In 1971, the United States Congress proclaimed August 26th to be Women's Equality Day, declaring "the anniversary date of the passage of the Nineteenth Amendment as symbol of the continued fight for equal rights."  As we celebrate Women's Equality Day 2017, equal voting rights are still being threatened by gerrymandered districts where politicians feel more accountable to special interests than to their own voters. Voters also face a steady stream of federal and state actions threatening to undermine voter confidence and discourage voter participation. The League of Women Voters has always stood for Fair Elections that ensure every eligible voter has a voice. 

Please support that important work with a generous donation. You can donate online here or mail a check to us at League of Women Voters of Ohio, 17 S. High St., Suite 650, Columbus, OH 43215.

10. Pass-thru Grant Opportunities - Apply today!
LWVO is excited to be able to offer a variety of pass-thru grant opportunities to Ohio local Leagues and At-Large Units.

a.    Women's Voices - Thanks to a grant from the Women's Fund of Central Ohio, we are able to continue the Women's Voices: Training the Next Generation of Women Leaders project. In response to feedback from local Leagues, we are adjusting the program to run over the school year instead of the calendar year to accommodate arrangements with local schools and other youth group partnerships. Click here for the application form.

b.    Voter Participation Forums - Thanks to a grant from the national LWV Public Advocacy for Voter Participation project, we are glad to announce pass-through funds for local Leagues and At-Large Units to hold forums based on the Where Have All The Voters Gone? report on low voter participation from the National Issues Forum Institute. With the election of a new Ohio Secretary of State on the minds of many voters next year, this is a great opportunity to start dialogue and build awareness of issues surrounding voting. Click here for the application form.

c.    Online Voter Registration Outreach to College Students - School is back, and that means college students around the state have new addresses. Help us work with campuses around Ohio to help get their students registered to vote. Please let the state office know if you are interested in participating and if you have relationships with faculty or administration at any local universities, colleges, community colleges, and technical schools. We would like to partner on a joint state & local LWV effort to reach students during the first month or two of the new school year. Sample materials and other support are available from the LWVO office. Click here for the application form.

The League of Women Voters of Ohio | 17 South High Street | Columbus, Ohio 43215 | 614-469-1505