The success of democracy doesn't depend on a few persons who do great things, but upon many persons who do small things faithfully.
-- Maud Wood Park, first president of the League of Women Voters, 1923 .
It’s about the vote. If it weren’t so important, there wouldn’t be so much energy, time, and effort expended to deny American citizens access to it. Our history is replete with examples of concerted efforts to deny the full franchise of citizenship. It takes enormous effort to deflect these efforts and effect change. 
 
Vote by mail in Texas is still tied up in the courts. A federal suit by the Texas Democratic Party is pending a decision from the U.S. Supreme Court. The Party asked earlier this month to lift a stay imposed by the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, which would allow a lower court’s decision to stand and let every voter in the state cast a mail ballot. 

It also asked the Supreme Court to hear its full case before the November elections. In the suit the plaintiffs claimed that the section of the law dealing with age eligibility for voting by mail violates the 26th Amendment to the Constitution by allowing it only for voters age 65 and older. A response to the request is expected before the end of June.
 
A federal suit filed in April by six Texans making a similar claim to the Democrats’ federal suit is pending.

Five states - Colorado, Hawaii, Oregon, Utah and Washington - automatically send all registered voters mail-in ballots . There are 29 states where you can apply for a mail-in ballot and do not need an excuse. In reaction to COVID-19, other states are moving in the direction of providing mail-in ballots to registered voters. Only 16 states, including Texas, have qualification requirements to receive absentee ballots. 

We will keep you posted of any further developments with the lawsuit.

Madhu Sridhar, President
League of Women Voters of the San Antonio Area
Primary Runoff Election in Bexar County
Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash
Voting Centers Safety Procedures
The following safety measures for election officials and voters have been posted on the Elections Department Facebook page.

  • All officials will have face masks, face shields, gloves, and hand sanitizer.
  • There will be a plexiglass shield on the qualifying tables as an additional barrier. 
  • ALL sites will have social distancing, with floor markings, and there will be one voting unit per table (not the usual two). 
  • No more than 10 people will be allowed in the actual voting area at a time. 
  • For voters, face masks are recommended. 
  • Voters will be provided hand sanitizer and offered a choice of multiple implements for no contact voting: food prep plastic gloves, finger cots, or a pencil (use to sign in and then use the eraser end as a stylus on the ExpressVote).
These are important and necessary. They also underscore why it is in voters’ interest to vote by mail, if eligible. If you are not eligible, the next best choice is to vote during the Early Voting period, which has been extended for the runoff. It is best to wait a few days after the start of the Early Voting period to avoid an initial rush. if you can, w hen you do go to vote, choose a time that is usually off hours at voting centers, usually mid-morning and mid-afternoon.
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 reducng your, and others, exposure to COVID-19. 

Last day to apply to vote by mail
July 2*
This is the last day the Bexar County Elections Office can receive an application for a vote by mail ballot for the July 14 runoff.  
*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.

Please visit Voter Toolbox > Vote by Mail at the League website for more information on voting by mail.
Primary Runoff Election Early Voting
June 29 - July 10

July 14: Primary Runoff Election Day
Vote at any voting center in Bexar county.
Meet the Candidates
Broadcast Event with
MJ Hegar and State Senator Royce West

MJ Hegar and State Senator Royce West are the Democratic runoff candidates for the U.S. Senate seat in the July 14 runoff election. The winner of the runoff will be competing this November against the incumbent, John Cornyn, who ran unopposed in the Republican primary. 

On July 2, Hegar and West will participate in a “Meet the Candidate” event that will be broadcast on KLRN. Sponsored by LWVSA, LWVTX, and KLRN, the candidates will appear separately and answer the same set of questions. The program starts at 7:00 p.m.

T.J. Mayes, host of KLRN’s On the Record , will moderate the event. 
Check out the updated website!
Please check out the new and improved website for the San Antonio League ( www.lwvsa.org ). Intended as a comprehensive resource for voting and election information for voters in Bexar county, the redesigned website also serves as an information resource for and about the San Antonio League. Questions and comments about the new website are welcome. Visit Who We Are > Contact Us .
LWVSA Annual Meeting
On Saturday, May 30, the San Antonio League met for its annual meeting. Because we could not meet in person, we used Zoom to gather and conduct business. We reviewed the work of the previous year (we were busy!), adopted the budget for next year, elected a slate of officers for board positions, and accepted the proposed study on income inequality in the Bexar county area. And we accomplished it all in an hour and a half. 

We may not have had the opportunity to meet personally, but we did get to see each other, albeit on screens, and visit informally (through Zoom chat). And we took care of chapter business. On the whole, a successful meeting.

A list of the board members for 2020-2021 are available on the website at Who We Are > Leadership.
Economic Inequality Study
The League of Women Voters defines its positions on issues after thorough study of those issues, work that is approved by the membership and carried out by League members. The San Antonio League is now beginning a study of economic inequality in the Bexar county area. This issue has been in the news for the past several years, but its importance has been magnified by the current health crisis, amplifying its timeliness.

This will be an intense effort over at least the next year. We can use any help we can get. If you would like to become better informed on the effort or if you would like to volunteer, please call or write Ernie Wittwer, the study chair. His contact information is ernie.wittwer@gmail.com or 608-415-2609.

Membership Dues
In May of this year, the IRS approved 501(c)3 status for the San Antonio League of Women Voters. With this change, your membership dues are now tax deductible.
VOTE411 Wins a Webby
The VOTE411 website won the Webby People's Voice Award for Best Government and Civil Innovation Website. The website was nominated, with others, by the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences, but the public selected the winner. All Webby winners were restricted to a 5-word acceptance speech. You can watch Virginia Case’s (CEO, LWVUS) acceptance speech* at the website at News and Events > News

*America wins when everyone votes.
The Nineteenth
This year is the 100th anniversary of the adoption of the Nineteenth Amendment, the amendment that extended the franchise to women. Make no mistake, women were not given the vote. The right to vote was wrested away from entrenched power by dint of hard work by two generations of women. On August 18, 1920, Tennessee became the 36th state to ratify the amendment, but the day the amendment became law was August 26, 1920, when Secretary of State Bainbridge Colby certified the ratification.

The San Antonio League, in partnership with Can We Talk, will celebrate the centennial anniversary of the Nineteenth Amendment this August, but because of COVID-19, the celebration will be virtual. The how and where details are still being worked on, but information will be forthcoming. Watch your mailbox as more information becomes available.