Someone struggled for your right to vote.
Use it.
– Susan B. Anthony
VOTE!
Voting is indeed a right that we secured by fighting hard for it, but more importantly, voting is a responsibility in a democratic political system. 

A healthy democracy requires knowledge and interest of the people. A healthy democracy requires participation and commitment by the people. And a healthy democracy requires organizations like the League of Women Voters to protect democratic principles for the people. Working together in a healthy democracy, these strands inspire civic consciousness in all people.

When our country is divided in so many ways – Republican and Democrat, rich and poor, empowered and disenfranchised, young and old – the League cuts across boundaries to reach out to all to strengthen our democracy, to make it inclusive, and to make it work. 

The League has been a vital resource for Bexar County voters. And the League leadership takes this responsibility very seriously. We continue to lead the way to educate voters on the rights, responsibilities, and procedures associated with voting, especially in this ever-changing election environment. During this public health crisis, the League stepped up its Get Out the Vote efforts in creative ways while maintaining social distancing and keeping ourselves and others safe. You can read about the League’s initiatives in detail in this newsletter. 

I strongly urge you to share the League’s nonpartisan educational and informational resources with your friends, colleagues, on your social media and help them make informed choices. More often than not, voters don’t vote because they don’t know where to find the information. Be a change agent and turn non-voters into voters by sharing the Voters Guide and Vote411.org
It is a very important election with a lot at stake. Let each of us vote and encourage others in our sphere of influence to vote as well.

Madhu Sridhar, President
League of Women Voters of the San Antonio Area
General Election in Bexar County
Vote by Mail
If you are eligible to vote by mail, please take advantage of it. By submitting your ballot by mail, you take yourself out of the lines at voting centers, reducing the wait time for others, and reducing your and others' exposure to COVID-19. 

Last day to apply to vote by mail
October 23*
This is the last day the Bexar County Elections Office can receive an application for a vote by mail ballot for the November 3rd election.  
*The Elections Office DOES NOT recommend waiting until this date. Turnaround time to produce the ballot and delays in mail delivery can affect timely receipt of the ballot by the voter.

New for this election cycle is the ability of voters to track the status of their mail-in ballot. To check where your ballot is in the process, you have to enter your last name and birthdate, and then supply either your driver or state ID number or the last four digits of your social security number.

You can drop your completed ballot off at the Bexar County Elections Office at 1103 S. Frio Street, if you are concerned about putting it in the mail. You will be asked to show an acceptable ID when you drop it off.

If you change your mind about voting by mail and want to vote in person, you can surrender the mail-in ballot when you vote at a polling center. If you forget to bring your ballot, you can still vote a regular ballot, but it will require additional work on the part of the poll worker, which will extend the time it takes you to vote.

The League has produced a brochure that provides information on voting by mail in Bexar County. The Steps to Voting by Mail brochure is available in English and Spanish at the League home page. If you have specific questions about voting by mail, you can also visit the Voter Toolbox > Vote by Mail page at the League website for additional information.
Election Day | Tuesday, November 3, 2020
Early Voting | Tuesday, October 13–Friday, October 30
Remember, you can vote at any polling location in Bexar County during Early Voting and on Election Day. Visit the Bexar County Elections Department website for polling locations and times of operation during Early Voting and on Election Day. 

For this election, there are two full weekends during Early Voting, with the polling sites open at varying times both weekends. During the last five days of Early Voting (Monday, October 26–Friday, October 30), the polling sites will be open 8:00 a.m.–10:00 p.m. 

The Election Day sites will be posted as soon as Early Voting is over. 

If you are voting in person, be sure to bring an acceptable ID with you, along with hand sanitizer, if you have it. For your protection and others, wear a mask.
Ballot Propositions
San Antonio Voters Asked to Decide on
Three Sales and Use Tax Propositions
In the upcoming election, three propositions (City of San Antonio A and B; Advanced Transportation District A) will give San Antonio voters the opportunity to determine the use of ¼ of 1% of the city’s sales and use tax. The issues involved are complicated and require some time to understand.

League members researched the background information associated with each proposition, interviewed activists on both sides of the issues, and wrote an analysis to help voters understand what’s at stake. The analysis includes the current use of these tax dollars (and some background on how we got here), an explanation of the tax impacts if the propositions are approved or not approved, and For and Against positions for each proposition. The analysis is available at VOTE411.org and the Voters Guide.

Believing that more information means a more informed voter and a deliberate choice when voting rather than a guess, the League also presented the virtual forum “Propositions 411” on the three ballot propositions to further inform the public. The forum was moderated by Dr. Francine Romero, and speaking for or against each proposition, respectively, were Kate Rogers and Councilman Clayton Perry for City Proposition A, Councilwoman Adriana Rocha Garcia and Councilman Roberto Treviño for City Proposition B, and Marina Alderete Gavito and Councilman Perry for ATD Proposition A. 

Thanks to Jean Aratingi, Diann Andy, Sue Robertson-Dodd, Elaine Talarski, Marian Edson, Harriet Wiygul, and Madhu Sridhar of the Program Committee for all their hard work on the ballot propositions analysis and on the "Propositions 411" forum.

A video recording of the forum can be viewed at lwvsa.org and VOTE411.org.
VOTE411.org Is Live!
The ballot for the General Election is lengthy, with the usual complement of national, state, and local races for elective office, along with propositions on taxes. With so much to decide, plus the increased risk over time voting in person presents during the pandemic, wise voters make their choices before heading for the polls. 

With VOTE411, you can take your time to study the candidates and their positions, especially in the often overlooked down-ballot races. In addition to the candidate information, voters in San Antonio can study the three tax propositions on the ballot as they affect Pre-K 4 SA, a proposed Workforce Development program, and Advanced Transportation District funding. You can read and make your choices BEFORE you go to vote. 

If you handwrite your choices or print out your selections from VOTE411, you can use your recorded choices as a reference when standing at the touch screen panel of the voting machine. Remember, cell phone use is prohibited in the polling location, so you will not be able to do last-minute research as you vote.

For races in small Bexar County municipalities, school districts, and utility districts, you’ll need to check with these entities for information about the candidates and issues.
Voters Guide
Putting together an information-dense resource like the Voters Guide takes the work of many people. Guided by the experienced hand of Glenda Wolin, League volunteers composed questions, chased down candidates who were late returning their information, and proofread the Guide for errors. They have produced a much anticipated Voters Guide, a trusted resource for Bexar County voters. 


A huge THANK YOU goes to:
  • Alex Papanastassiou, Barbara Baruch, Kim Cauthorn, Nicole Lehmann, Bill Altemeier, and Madhu Sridhar, who wrote the questions posed to the candidates.

  • Cathy Kleifges and Kim Cauthorn who called the candidates, who were late returning their information.

  • Teri Swartz, Kim Cawthorn, and Theresa Poenisch, who proofread the entire Voters Guide

  • The SA Chamber of Commerce for submitting a question on behalf of the business community.

There were 20,000 copies of the Voters Guide printed for the November General Election. Copies were distributed to the San Antonio libraries and BiblioTechs as well as field offices of City Council representatives and County Commissioners.

The libraries may look closed, but they are open for contact-free pickup. Park in the lot, call the library (remember to bring the phone number) and ask for a Voters Guide, and one will be brought out to you.
Get Out the Vote
Over 80 percent of Bexar County residents who are eligible to vote are registered voters. When it comes to casting their ballot, however, many who are registered do not vote. In November 2016, the last presidential election, the Bexar County voter turnout was 57 percent of registered voters. The turnout for the 2018 midterm election fell to 50 percent.
The League hopes to increase voter participation in elections through its Get Out the Vote efforts. For the November election, the League is mailing a postcard to or leaving a door hanger at 30,000 registered voters’ households that are concentrated in areas where voter turnout has been lower than the countywide percentage in recent elections. The postcards and door hangers, designed by Elizabeth Wood-Hull and Harriet Wiygul, contain important election information that will help people navigate the details of the election process. 
Under the leadership of Jill Torbert, Mary Dierolf, and Migdalia Penaloza, an enormous effort fueled by over 100 volunteers has been undertaken, and more volunteers are needed! If you, a family member, colleague or friend, can help block walk, please go to the League’s signup pages and select a day and time that is convenient. A great big THANK YOU goes out to everyone that has already signed up to help.        
Another volunteer opportunity is available right at the end of your fingertips! Go to the League’s website lwvsa.org, where you will find a treasure trove of information about voting and share the information and the website with everyone you know! Additionally, on the League’s home page, you can enter your address into the VOTE411.org form to see information about the races and candidates that will be on your ballot.

By sharing this information, you will be providing a wonderful service to those who are close to you and to your community. 

Don’t let November 3rd arrive without helping to strengthen democracy by getting someone to the polls with all the information they need to be an informed voter. The League has made this easy!
The League in Action
Hard Won, Not Done
The 100th anniversary of the adoption of the 19th Amendment was August 26th. To celebrate the occasion, the League, and co-sponsor Can We Talk?, produced the virtual event Hard Won, Not Done to honor the past and to acknowledge the work still to be done. 

The guest of honor was Dr. Victoria DeFrancesco Soto, with a follow-up discussion moderated by Erika Prosper Nirenberg. San Antonio’s poet laureate Andrea “Vocab” Sanderson, with Alyson Alonzo, performed a song written especially for the event.

A video recording of the event and a video of “Hard Won” by Andrea Sanderson are available at the League website.
Meals on Wheels
League board members Mary Dierolf and Glenda Wolin, shown with Jose Lerma of Meals on Wheels, deliver 4,000 Steps to Voting by Mail brochures and election flyers for distribution with meals to Bexar County residents. 
Voter Registration
At the Pearl
Lynn Yakubik, Gina Sandlin, and Diane Simpson are masked and ready to register voters on National Voter Registration Day, a League effort organized by Elizabeth Wood-Hull.
Ralph Domas assists with a drive-thru voter registration at the Pearl.
At the Ismaili Jamatkhana
The League of Women Voters partnered with the Ismaili Jamatkhana and their VDRs to offer drive-thru voter registration. There were three tented "stations" that cars pulled up to. VDRs offered registration forms, reviewed the forms when completed, and gave registrants their receipts and voting information. 

Thanks to Ellie De La Cruz, Meg Domas, Teresa Rendon, and Allen Rindfuss for working the event organized by Elizabeth Wood-Hull.
Postcards
Under the leadership of Andrea MacRae, each volunteer for the postcard outreach was responsible for addressing 100 postcards, applying the postage, and mailing them. The League asked each volunteer to add a small note, encouraging the recipient to vote. Martha and Jim Lankford (shown here) went the extra mile and sent out 200 postcards. Thank you to everyone who participated.

A second round of postcard outreach has kicked off, and there are a few more slots open to participate if you're interested in joining the effort.
Welcome Our Newest Members!
Louise Shaw
Angela Bilbe
Susan Jackson
Jacelyn Bell
Paige Parsons
Cheryl Pasa
Claire Oxley
Daphne Rye
Larry Rye
Karen Shebaro
Bassim Shebaro
Rosaland Anderson
Yvonne Orozco
Margaret Pace
Karin Kasper
Alene Lindley
Diana Saenz
Susan Ives
Christina Wright
Loretta Prifitera
Cheryl Hamilton
Kimberly Cauthorn
Clay Cauthorn
Julie Nyren
Horace Brown, Jr.
Ann Brown
Sandra Thomson
Fred Schellenberg
Margaret Schellenberg
Maria Greene
Susan Yerkes
Amy LaPresto
Sandra Ogogor
Ekene Ogogor
Libby Castillo
Velma Willoughby Kemp
Kenneth Willoughby Kemp
Nicole Garza
Lucinda Juarez
Gretel Sanchez
Dr. Greta Hawkins-Mathis
Allison Elder
Melanie Cawthon
Marcie Ripper
Katherine Cornforth
Mary Suttle
Jose Martinez
Thanks also to all of our renewing members!
Coda




Some volunteers will put a get out the vote sign anywhere!
The League, under the guidance of Libby Castillo and Elizabeth Wood-Hull, has increased its presence on social media platforms. Please take the time to visit and follow, share, and like the League posted content.