The Voter
League of Women Voters of the Midland Area
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Happy 96th birthday to the League of Women Voters on February 14! The LWV has been Making Democracy Work since 1920, and we're still going strong! 
Feb 17, 2-4pm
All Program Planning
Library Conf Room C

Mar 3, 9:30-11:30am
Board of Directors
Library Conf Rm A

Mar 8, 7am-8pm
MI Presidential Primary

Mar 14-18
Radio Days Broadcasts on WMPX for Sunshine Week

May 18, 6pm
Annual Meeting
Midland Holiday Inn
details to follow
Karol  Walker
Sandra S. Haughton
Educational booklet for new voters
Your Elected Officials
Wednesday, February 17,
2-4 pm
Grace A. Dow Library Conference Room C

We will cover national and local program planning. All members are welcome.
Board of Directors

VP Membership

VP Program



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



Michigan Voter Information Center
We wrapped up the Money in Politics study!

Our consensus results are now in the hands of the national committee, which is tasked with considering the results from all the participating Leagues across the country to update the national position on campaign finance. There was good discussion among the 13 league members participating in the consensus meetings. Thanks to the participants for working on this challenging task, with special appreciation to Judy McDowell, Katherine Redwine, Kim Steinke and Carole Swinehart, who gave overviews of the information for our discussion. 

Sue McCollister, President
League of Women Voters of the Midland Area

Is our public information less than transparent?
The importance of open government and freedom of information is a high-priority issue with the LWV. Our League focuses on transparency in government with our annual Radio Days fundraiser currently in progress, concluding with the broadcast of public service announcements and ads by WMPX during Sunshine Week ,  March 14-18, promoting transparency and openness in our government.

One of numerous issues that have arisen out of the Flint water crisis is the lack of transparency in information from our state government. In a recent article in the Midland Daily News , the writer reported that: 

Michigan is one of two states to wholly exempt the governor's office from public-records requests. He (the governor) said a broader analysis of better government transparency is underway because of Michigan's low ranking nationally, including a look at best practices elsewhere. 

The low ranking referred to is from the State Integrity Ranking,  in which Michigan is dead last in the Rankings overall and gets an F grade for public access to information. It is at least encouraging that such an abysmal report might spur some changes regarding transparency in public information, although very sad that it is taking a public health tragedy to add incentive for action.  As always, we'll await signs of progress.

We're so grateful to our local businesses and individuals who sponsor the PSAs and ads, and to Radio station WMPX for broadcasting them during Sunshine Week while allowing the League to keep the money we raise. However, our state government has a long ways to go before reaching an acceptable level of transparency.

Sue McCollister
Lake Michigan Interleague
Our League is a member of the Lake Michigan Interleague.  Carol Swinehart  is our contact person.

Lake Michigan Interleague
Did you know that your League along with all the other Leagues in Michigan are members of the LWV Lake Michigan Region? This Inter-League organization is
made up of 48 local Leagues within the Lake Michigan watershed and regional planning areas. In addition, the four state Leagues of Illinois, Indiana, Michigan and
Wisconsin pay dues, entitling all of their individual Leagues to receive information and to take part in LWVLMR events. Each state League also appoints two
delegates and two alternates to serve on the LWVLMR Board that meets quarterly.

RUTH CAPUTO, delegate from Kalamazoo, has a PhD in Physical Chemistry. She  currently chairs the City of Portage's Environmental Board and the Programs Committee  for the Kalamazoo Area Wild Ones, a group that promotes the use of native plants. A Master Gardner, Ruth enjoys giving tours of her backyard which contains different types of gardens.

VINA MIKESELL, delegate from Leelanau County, joined the League in Crawfordsville, IN and served as its President and on the LWVIN Board. Vina was instrumental in forming a new League in Leelanau County. She is past president and current editor of the Leelanau VOTER. She is also president of ShareCare of Leelanau, an organization that keeps seniors in their own homes as long as possible.

SUZANNE DIXON, alternate from Holland, served as past Treasurer and Board member for LWVLMR. Currently in her third term as LWVMI Director of Natural Resources and a Board member, she also holds the same offices in the Holland League. Suzanne is a founding board member of the Allegan County Brownfield Authority and is president of a helping agency for the needy.

CHRIS ZILKE, alternate from Berrien and Cass Counties, lived outside of the country for 8 ½ years during her children's early years. Chris participated in three "Global Volunteers" vacations in Viet Nam, Ecuador and Hawaii. Passionate about education, she served on the Bridgman Board of Education for 8 years, 2 of them as President. Currently Chris is President of the Berrien/Cass League.

LWV Lake Michigan Region is an integral part of and operates under the Natural Resources position of the LWVUS. The mission of LWVLMR is to promote political responsibility through informed and active participation of citizens in government and acts on selected governmental issues affecting the Lake Michigan watershed. The group is happy to provide speakers on a variety of topics affecting Lake Michigan. Contact us at and like us on facebook.
2016 Presidential Elections

Your Vote Counts button
The   Michigan Presidential Primary is  March 8.
Information should be available at Vote411 two weeks before the primary. (Feb 23)

You can use the MI Secretary of State to find your ballot.  You will need to enter your personal information, then the system will tell you if you are registered and where to find your polling place . Click on "View My Sample Ballot" to see the list of candidates for each party.   February 8 is the last day to register for the primary election.

The book Electing the President is available to explain the election process to new voters.
 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.