August Opportunities for Action
Help Identify Voting Glitches
To help voting advocates identify possible problems with voting by mail for the Sept. 1 primary and Nov. 3 general elections, please let us know if you run into these or any other problems with mail ballots or in person voting.
  • If it takes more than two weeks to receive your ballot or if you do not receive a ballot after submitting an application.
  • If you never receive an application for a mail ballot.
  • If you are unable to track your ballot (there’s a barcode on it) using this website.  
  • If you have any problems returning your ballot in person to your election officials, either in their office or via a secure Dropbox.
  • If you vote in person, either early or on Election Day, please report any problems you have.
Send detailed information to Nancy Brumback.
If you have questions about the mail voting process, check the Secretary of State’s FAQs.

Poll Workers Needed—Spread the Word!
Many cities and towns across the Commonwealth are in critical need of poll workers, especially those who are bilingual. The new election law allows municipalities to hire poll workers regardless of where they live, their voter registration status, or political party affiliation.

We urge you to encourage members to contact local town clerks/local election officials about their needs, especially in larger cities where needs are more critical. Have them check out Secretary of State Galvin's website to see where poll workers are needed: Elections: Be a Poll Worker. Ask your friends and family to work the polls. Keep in mind that young people, including college students, are prime candidates to work the polls given their more flexible schedules this fall. 

Ballot Questions for November—Update
The Secretary of State approved two ballot questions to appear on the November ballot: Ranked Choice Voting and “Right to Repair” (which would allow non-dealer car repair facilities to be able to access vehicle repair information).

Voter Information for Fall Elections
The League’s Vote411 guide found at VOTE411.org is scheduled to go live on August 10 with candidate and election information for the Sept. 1 Primary and Nov. 3 General Election. Please promote VOTE411 widely beginning August 10. Find a Vote411 widget for your League webpage here.

Our partners at the Massachusetts Voter Table have created a toolkit with timelines and information for educating voters about these changes and have made it available to the League. Take a look at the toolkit here and see how you can use it in your League work.

The Secretary of the Commonwealth’s office has a list of FAQs on voting by mail here, and there’s an application for mailed ballots online here to download and return.

Volunteer for Phone Banks for Census Response and Voter Registration
Feel the need to take action around the upcoming elections? Want to make sure everyone in Massachusetts is counted in the 2020 Census? You can help by phoning residents and voters in hard-to-count/historically disenfranchised communities to encourage them to participate in the 2020 Census and to make a plan to vote safely this fall.

Phone banks are conducted on:
  • Tuesday, 11 am to 1 pm
  • Wednesday, 5 to 7 pm—LWVMA hosts this phone bank!
  • Thursday, 5 to 7 pm

You can sign up to volunteer here. You'll need a computer and a phone; training and a script are provided. Please note you need to sign up for each day you would like to phone bank.

LWVUS Get Out the Vote Toolkit
The LWVUS Education Fund has updated its Get out the Vote Toolkit—with new tips and resources in light of the challenges to reach voters during COVID-19. The toolkit includes research-driven best practices, scripts and sample messages. 

New! DEI Peer Discussion Group
Join your LWV colleagues across the state to learn more about what your local League can do to further its work on issues of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. We will meet online several times a year to share ideas, experiences, and resources. The group will be coordinated by Patty Shepard (Winchester) and Amy Cooper (Central Berkshire County), both of whom are members of the LWVMA DEI Committee. The first meeting will be held in late August. If you would like to participate in this promising new project, please email Patty ( shepard.patty@gmail.com) and/or Amy ( cooper.asc@gmail.com). 
Please also feel free to be in touch with any questions you may have. 

National Voter Registration Day —Sept. 22
Encourage your League to mark this date and help register voters through events such as voter registration drives, book talks, car caravans, and other activities to promote voter registration

Member Recognition at Convention
During the United Nations Caucus at the LWVUS 2020 Convention our own Janice Goodell was singled out by LWVUS UN Health Observer, Elaine Branford (LWV Larimer City CO). Elaine mentioned Janice’s work on educating and lobbying for universal health care for all citizens. Elaine especially cited the programs that Janice ran for her home League in Harvard MA. Janice was one of only three US LWV members singled out by Elaine in her presentation for the 2020 United Nations Caucus. Janice is the Healthcare specialist on the LWVMA’s Legislative Action Committee. Congratulations Janice!

LWVUS: Take action to support funding for the 2020 elections
With the Presidential election only four months away, it is critical that Congress acts to provide funding to our election system that is responsive to the COVID-19 public health crisis, and ensures voting remains fair, accessible, and safe for all. Contact your Senators today and ask them to include $3.6 billion of election funding in our next stimulus bill to ensure our 2020 elections can be administered effectively without compromising your and your community’s health. Help us protect your vote and call your US Senators.

Update on Legislative Process and League-supported Bills
The policing bill ( H.4860/ S.2800) has passed both the House and Senate and is now in conference committee to reconcile the two versions. A major climate bill S.2500, an Act setting next-generation climate policy incorporating provisions of several climate bills we supported, has passed the Senate; a House climate bill ( H.4912) is being considered. Many of the other bills we are supporting this session remain active and will still have a chance of passage since the legislature has extended its formal session beyond July 31.

Legislation Progress Update
Actions taken in July on bills we support.
Bills passed:
H.4860/ S.2800 - An Act relative to justice, equity and accountability in law enforcement in the Commonwealth. Racial justice bill. Different versions passed the Senate and House and have gone to conference committee.
H.591/ S.267 - An Act regarding breakfast after the bell. Passed both chambers and awaiting Governor’s signature.
H.4818 - An Act to Reduce Racial Disparities in Maternal Health Care. Passed both chambers and awaiting Governor’s signature.
Bills reported favorably out of joint committee:
H.3573/ S.1401 - An Act to protect the civil rights and safety of all Massachusetts residents. The Safe Communities Act.
Bills signed by Governor:
H.4820 - An Act relative to voting options in response to COVID-19, signed July 6.
How to Contact Your Legislator:   You can find phone numbers, email addresses and office addresses on the legislature’s webpage for your Senator and Representative.  Go to   www.malegislature.gov  and click on the Legislators tab.  If you don’t know who your legislators are, click  here .
The LWVMA Action Newsletter is distributed to all LWVMA members. Anyone can request the Action Newsletter by clicking  here . Please review this Newsletter for articles of interest to your League and include them in your local Bulletin.
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