Wednesday, July 17th is LWVMA Lobby Day for Election Reform

Please plan to join with our coalition partners in a Lobby Day at the State House Wednesday, July 17, in Nurses Hall to ask your legislators to support laws modernizing the way Massachusetts handles voter registration and elections, in particular the omnibus election reform bill, S.327.

Among the key provisions of this bill are early voting, an online site for voters to check their registration status and polling place, online voter registration, and random audits of polling places.

Election reform legislation almost passed last year; we need to make sure it succeeds this year!

Visit www.lwvma.org for more information.

Response and Discussion on the recent Supreme Court decision on the Voting Rights Act (VRA)

LWVUS President Elizabeth MacNamara wrote in her recent Leaders’ Update:

As pleased as we were with the Supreme Court’s ruling in Arizona v. ITCA last week, we are equally disappointed with the Court’s holding in Shelby County, AL v. Holder. By cutting the heart out of the Voting Rights Act, the Court has weakened our ability to keep our elections free, fair and accessible to every eligible voter while at the same time emboldening those who seek to create barriers to voting.

Already, states formerly subject to Section 5 preclearance are rushing to implement voter photo ID laws and discriminatory redistricting plans. The fight to protect the vote now involves not just the state legislatures, but Congress as well. Here at the LWVUS, we will be evaluating all our options, but it is important that League members take every opportunity to remind their members of Congress that voting rights are not a partisan issue and equal opportunity to participate in the greatest democracy in the world deserves the same bipartisan support that it has had since 1965.We have many tools available to us, as League leaders, to engage our members and our communities such as social media and email blasts, websites and newsletters. We need to create a national groundswell of support for protecting the right to vote.  

The Shelby County decision places the Supreme Court on the wrong side of history and it is up to us, as voters, to make sure that the decision is only another bump in the long road to fair and equal access to the polls. In the end, our fight to protect voters is always going to depend on voters getting informed and informing their elected officials that voting is the most precious right the Constitution guarantees.

With renewed conviction, let’s get out there and power our voices to power the vote in 2013, 2014 and beyond.

For more information, check out the article on the LWV national website regarding the VRA decision by clicking here.  On Point, by WBUR, also had an interesting discussion of the VRA from a southern perspective:  On Point. And Atlantic Cities also just came out with analysis.

 

 

Voter Registration Efforts Continue Through the Spring and Summer

In the recent weeks, LWVN registered 178 high school students from Newton North and South to vote! A very special thanks go to Sharyn Roberts, organizer and chair of the voter registration drive, along with volunteers Jo Corro, Marlene O’Brien, Tami Roberts, and Sue Rosenbaum. Great job everyone!

Voter registration work is a never-ending job, with our volunteers working at the recent village days and upcoming summer Farmer’s Markets at Cold Spring Park.  If you can help, please contact info@lwvnewton.org.

Voter Information for the Tuesday, June 25th Special State Election for US Senate and Special Municipal Election for Alderman-at-Large (Ward 1)

The League of Women Voters of Newton (LWVN) would like to remind new and absentee voters of the following:

New Voter Registration:  If you have recently moved or turned 18 years old, the deadline to register to vote in the Tuesday, June 25th Special Election is Wednesday, June 5th, at 8 pm. 

The City of Newton Election Commission office is open to accept new voter registrations in person until Wednesday, June 5, 2013, at 8:00 pm.  For a mail-in new voter registration form, click Register by Mail.  Voter registration forms are also available at the Newton Free Library. 

Absentee Ballots for 2013:  Voters who want to vote absentee must reapply annually.  If you voted by absentee ballot last year and wish to do so again, then you need to reapply for a new absentee ballot for the 2013 year, since your former absentee ballot application ended as of December 31, 2012.  Please be sure to note whether the application is for one election or for the whole calendar year.

If you wish to apply for an absentee ballot application by mail, please allow time for the absentee ballot application to travel in the mail both to you and then from you back to the Election Commission office.  Absentee ballot applications may be delivered in person to the Election Commission office until 12:00 noon, Monday, June 24th, 2013.

If you would like to download an absentee voter registration form in English or Spanish, or a form to be filed by a family member, please click here and choose the document you need in the box on the right side of the page.

If you voted in person in the November 6, 2012, Presidential Election, or in the Special Senate Primary Election this year, and have not changed your address, then you are all set. 

The Election Commission office is located at Newton City Hall, 1000 Commonwealth Avenue, Newton Centre, next to the City Clerk’s office.  If you have any questions, they can be reached by telephone at 617-796-1350.

 

LWV Newton Candidates’ Workshop: “Don’t Stand There…Run!”

2013 is a Municipal Election year…

  • Are you running for public office this year – either as an incumbent or for the first time?
  • Have ever thought about running for public office?
  • Has someone asked you to be a campaign manager, treasurer, or advisor?
  • Or are you a voter who is interested in hearing about the ins and outs of local elected office and running a campaign?

Then join the League of Women Voters of Newton for an informative and lively workshop providing guidance and advice about how to run a campaign for municipal public office in Newton.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013, from 7:00-9:00pm, at the Brigham House, 20 Hartford Street, Newton Highlands.

Each speaker will spend 10-15 minutes on topic, then answer questions from the audience. Our speakers are:

  • Jason Tait (Director of Communication & Public Education, MA Office of Campaign and Political Finance) – on MA rules & regulations
  • David Olson (Interim Executive Sec’y, Newton Elections Dept; Newton City Clerk) on Newton dates & filing details
  • Claire Sokoloff (retiring Chairperson of Newton School Committee) on what School Committee job entails
  • Stephen Linsky (retiring Newton Alderman) on job of Alderman
  • Melanie Graham (editor of Newton Patch) – how to effectively interface with media interests and opportunities.

(20 Hartford Street, in Newton Highlands, is just off Lincoln St, next to a city parking lot & near the Newton Highlands Green Line T-stop.)

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