Tuesday, June 2 "After Suffrage: The Campaign for the Equal Rights Amendment, 1920 - 2020" presentation with Barbara Berenson, 7 p.m.
Friday, June 5 LWVMA Board meeting by videoconference, 10 a.m. - 12 p.m.
Thursday, June 11 Lotte E. Scharfman Citizen Education Grant application deadline
Saturday, June 13 LWVMA Virtual Council
Thursday, June 25 - Sunday, June 28 LWVUS 54th National Convention by videoconference
LWVMA Council Coming Up June 13
We are thrilled that MIT Professor Charles Stewart will be the keynote speaker for our Council 2020 virtual meeting Saturday, June 13. He will bring us an update on elections during a pandemic, highlighting what we need to do in the next five months and what we should do in the next five years.
Registration is now open for Council 2020 via Zoom webinar. Our session will begin at 10 a.m. Saturday, June 13, with a brief business meeting where we'll elect Officers and Directors, receive a financial update on LWVMA, and hear from our Executive Director about some of the ways LWVMA is working even during these strange times. Professor Stewart's presentation will
follow the business meeting, beginning around 10:30 a.m.
Registration: Please register here in advance for the Zoom Council 2020.  You can register as either a delegate or as an observer.   
Delegates: Each League has an allotted number of voting delegates which correspond to membership numbers as of February 1, 2020. You can review here how many delegates your League can have. Local Leagues will designate who will be their voting delegates.
League business: The only voting to take place at Council will be to elect Officers and Directors. You can read the Nominating Committee's report here.
Local League Gifts: In a typical year we gratefully receive donations from local Leagues to LWVMA at Council. With our major fundraiser postponed from this spring, we would welcome those gifts especially this season. Please consider a donation, perhaps in honor or in memory of a special person in your League. We will recognize those local Leagues during and after Council, so please return  this form to the LWVMA office by June 10 if your League will be making a gift.
Spring Field Service Meetings
Our field service meetings will be held by videoconference this spring. Here's the schedule. Please contact the organizer to make sure you are on the list for the conference link. To see which district your League is in, click here.
Metro South: May 20, 7 p.m.  Karen Price
South Shore/Cape and Martha's Vineyard:  May 21, 10 a.m. Scotti Finnegan
Western:  May 23, 10 a.m. to noon Nancy Polan
Metro Northwest and Central: May 30, 10 a.m. Lora Goldenberg
Merrimack Valley and North Shore:  June 6, 9 a.m.  Amy Smith
Metro West: June 20  10:15 a.m. Sharyn Roberts, Bonnie Carter
Check Your Community's Census Response Rate
You can track the 2020 Census response rate for your community at the Census Bureau's interactive Response Rate map. This can help your League design outreach to increase the count in your area. Check to see if your community has a Complete Count Committee to collaborate with to ensure every household participates in the Census.

Virtual Phone Banks--Help Get out the Count for the 2020 Census
The 2020 Census count and outreach to ensure a complete count in Massachusetts continues. You can help by volunteering to call residents of the lowest self-response communities to ask them to fill out the 2020 Census. MassCounts is conducting virtual phone banks through the end of June every Tuesday from 11 a.m.-1 p.m., Wednesday from 5-7 p.m., Thursday from 5-7 p.m., and Saturday from 1-3 p.m. to call residents of census tracts with the lowest self-response rates. You can  sign up  to join a virtual phone bank. You'll need a computer and a phone; a 15-20-minute training and a script are provided. Please note you need to sign up for each day you would like to phone bank.
LWVMA Webinars--Take a Look!
Many of our members are enjoying webinars while sheltering at home.  Consider these LWVMA webinars coming up:  

100th Anniversary Series
  • Barbara Berenson, After Suffrage: The Campaign for the Equal Rights Amendment, 1920 - 2020, Tuesday, June 2, 7 p.m. Register.
Past webinars are available here, i ncluding the recent interview with Dr. Carolyn Jefferson-Jenkins, president of the national LWV from 1998 to 2002, the only African-American woman to head the League, and Nancy Thomas' presentation on Raising Civic Engagement Among Younger People. 
LWVUS National Convention Update
CBS news anchor Norah O'Donnell will be the keynote speaker at the national League convention, to be held by videoconference June 25-27.  O'Donnell will speak on Friday, June 26, and her remarks will be available later on YouTube.
Registration is now open, with information on how to register  here. Registration is currently open to voting delegates only, but LWVUS is working on a way to allow non-voting delegates to observe.
The latest information on the national convention is available here.
LWVMA urges our local Leagues to select voting delegates to the national convention. You can see how many delegates your League is entitled to here. We plan to hold a videoconference for Massachusetts delegates to the convention in June.
Welcome LWVMA's Summer Intern

Lilah Penner Brown will be joining LWVMA as a summer intern to assist with building out Vote411, the electronic voter's guide LWVMA will be making available to all Massachusetts voters for the upcoming September primary and November general elections.
Lilah has just finished her freshman year at Harvard and has been involved with the Harvard College Project for Justice, Coalition for a Diverse Harvard and the ACLU National Advocacy Institute. She begins her internship June 1.
Help Put Ranked Choice Voting on November Ballot

For Ranked Choice Voting (RCV) to be on the ballot Nov. 3, Voter Choice for Massachusetts, the RCV campaign, must submit a second round of 13,374 valid signatures by June 17. The Supreme Judicial Court has ruled that, given the difficulty of collecting signatures in person during this pandemic, voters can sign the petition electronically.

If you did not sign the RCV petition in the fall or aren't sure whether you did, please take a minute to sign the RCV petition electronically right now by clicking  here. Then share this link with your friends and family: Encourage them to sign the petition and to pass the link along. 

Local Leagues can post the link on their website and social media pages and ask everyone to help put Ranked Choice Voting on the ballot. 
Ask Legislators to Support Vote by Mail

LWVMA and our partners in the Election Modernization Coalition, including Common Cause Massachusetts, MassVOTE, the ACLU, MassPIRG and the Massachusetts Voter Table, drafted HD.5075, An Act Ensuring Safe and Participatory 2020 State Elections in Response to COVID-19, which was filed by Assistant House Majority Leader Michael Moran and Rep. John Lawn, co-chair of the Joint Committee on Election Laws.
Please email your state Senator and Representative now and ask them to support full vote by mail for the November election, sending all registered voters a ballot without the need for an application first. Urge them to act without delay.
HD.5075 calls for ballots to be mailed by the Secretary of State's office to all voters, with no application required and prepaid return postage, at least 19 days before the Nov. 3 election. Ballots will be returned to city or town election offices, which would install secure dropboxes where voters could deposit ballots. In-person voting will be an option, and the bill requires the Secretary to adopt regulations to safeguard the health of voters and election workers at the polls. The bill would also:
  • Expand early voting in person to two weeks before the Sept. 1 state primary election and three weeks before the Nov. 3 election
  • Cut the deadline to register to vote in the two elections from the current 20 days to 10 days
  • Create an online portal for voters to apply for absentee ballots
  • Establish that concern about Covid-19 qualifies as a "physical disability" and permits any concerned voter to vote by absentee ballot
  • Permit local election officials to scan absentee ballots in their offices before election day, rather than deliver them to individual polling places to be counted on election day; no results will be determined or announced before polls close.
The League and other coalition members testified in support of the bill at a virtual hearing held by the Joint Committee on Election Laws May 14. See the coalition press release , with a list of over 100 organizations supporting this legislation.
Candidates for Sept. 1 Primary

The candidates who will be running in the Sept. 1 state primary election will be posted on the Secretary of State's website here shortly after the June 2 filing deadline. There will be a listing "State Primary Candidates" under the 2020 heading.
All state legislators, both Senators and Representatives, must run for re-election in November, and frequently if they have a challenger it will be during the primary election. You can check that list to see if there will be any contested races for state legislators in your districts. Many district-level races are decided in this election instead of in November because only one party has candidates vying for the position. Candidate forums for any contested primary races should be scheduled in July or early August, since early voting for the Sept. 1 primary will be in late August.
Moderator Training

Moderator training was held virtually in early May, and the webinar will be available on our website shortly. Thanks to Jo-Ann Berry and Elizabeth Foster-Nolan.
The voter engagement committee is also meeting with Mass Audubon about how the League can work with them during election season this fall. Last year, Leagues did voter registration events at Audubon facilities.
Options for Local League Annual Meetings

As local League Boards and Steering Committees consider their upcoming annual meetings, they should first decide whether they want to proceed with an in-person meeting, postpone their annual meeting to a future date, or have a remote meeting. Please click here for the LWVMA notice describing options and the availability of LWVMA Zoom conference capability. Please contact Brynne Gorman to use the LWVMA account to schedule your meeting.
Fill Out the Readership Survey

Please fill out this survey on the newsletters LWVMA sends by June 12. We need your help to make any changes, to improve how we communicate with you and to decide how to best use staff and volunteer resources. Ask your League members to complete the survey. And register to win an Amazon gift card!
Scharfman Grant Deadline

The next deadline to apply for a Lotte E. Scharfman Citizens education grant is Thursday, June 11. Details and an application are available here.
Keep Up with National League News

LWVUS sends a newsletter, The League Update, with the latest information on events and news at the national level, every other Thursday. If you would like to be added to that email list, fill out this form.
Add LWVMA Events to Your Facebook Page

A new Facebook feature allows you to add an LWVMA event to your local League Facebook page as an event. This means that visitors to your page can see it on your events list, and interact directly with it to respond, buy tickets (if required), etc.
Previously, your only alternative was to share the event to your local League FB page as a post. But this didn't add the LWVMA event to your events, and as a post, it would get lost on your FB page timeline, so page visitors would be less likely to find it.
Here's a video on how to add an LWVMA event to your League's FB page. To do this, you must be an administrator or editor for your League FB page.
The  League Leader Update is  distributed to local  League  board members and LWVMA  leaders . Anyone can request the  Update  by  clicking here . Please review this  Update  for articles of interest to your  League  and include them in your local Bulletin.