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Newsletter - October 15, 2020

LWVIN  | Published on 10/21/2020
 
VOTER SUPPRESSION AND REDISTRICTING REFORM
LWVIN has moved Redistricting Reform to the back burner to simmer while we focus on voting in the General Election. But every aspect of this election has created difficulties, uncertainties, anxiety, and frustration—all contributing to voter suppression. To counter the psychological as well as the logistical barriers to voting, we can arm voters with information and awareness. Raising awareness of renewed voter suppression efforts can energize voters to actually vote. But it can best work at the local league level and with local partners.

With funding from the LWVUS Fair Maps campaign, we are making grants available to local leagues to advertise and host screenings of Uncivil War, Suppressed, and/or Line in the Street. The local showings would provide an opportunity to network in local communities and further educate voters about the way to engage in the election as well as to set the framework for local participation in map drawing once the census data is returned.

Linda Hanson will be sending each local League president a zip file with information about the documentaries,images, PR flyer, postcard, and a mock-up poster that can be adapted to include local league information, date, time, and links..


Get everyone you know or can contact through extended networks to VOTE!  Voter turnout could change some seats in the IN legislature!
 
POLL WATCHING HOTLINE
1-866-OUR-VOTE(866-687-8683)
1-888-VE-Y-VOTA (en Español)
1-888-API-VOTE (Asian multilingual assistance)
1-844-YALLA-US (Arabic)

Voter intimidation is a significant concern in some locations, even in Indiana. Official poll watchers must be credentialed by each county, but their task is indoors. COVID and long lines at some polling places can exacerbate tension.

LWVUS is an active partner of the National Task Force on Election Crises, a cross-partisan collection of more than 50 experts dedicated to ensuring a free and fair 2020 general election. LWVUS is hosting a de-escalation training on October 29. You can register for that here: Protecting Democracy: Active Bystander Training.

In Indiana,Common Cause is leading the Election Protection organizing efforts, focusing primarily in Indianapolis. Volunteer here: https://protectthevote.net/

Two of our Voting Rights Coalition members, Common Cause Indiana and Vote Safe Indiana, with Lessonly and IN Tech For Progress have launched a pilot project tracking wait times in Marion Co. vote centers, beginning Oct 24th through Election Day. The goal is to spread the vote by reducing lines and to prevent voters from walking away in one o four largest voting counties in Indiana. Approximate wait times will be published toindyvotetimes.org

Volunteers need not be from Marion County. Volunteers will be outside polling places in two 2-hour shifts of one's choosing at early voting and 6 or 12 hour shifts for Election Day. If you are volunteering on Election Day, you will be paired with an Election Protection volunteer who can assist with voter questions. Each volunteer will have training including how to track lines and voter protection training. This pilot may serve as a model to expand elsewhere in future elections. Volunteer sign up is here:https://www.intechforprogress.org/election2020

If you are not in a position to volunteer, use your social media to post these LWV messages:
  • Voters have the right to cast their ballot without fear or intimidation.
  • Voters can confirm the election rules that apply where they vote at VOTE411.org.
  • If you experience problems voting this year, on or before Election Day, call or text 1-866-OUR-VOTE – that's 1-866-687-8683. Trained election protection volunteers are standing by to help you navigate any voting problems, from registering to vote to casting your ballot.
LWVUS has just launched a candidate pressure campaign asking voters to contact their candidates who haven’t responded and ask them to respond. More information can be found here: https://www.vote411.org/candidate-contact
 

HOW TO TRACK YOUR ABSENTEE BALLOT

Your Voter Portal at IndianaVoters.IN.gov allows you to track your absentee ballot. Your County Clerk or Election Board is responsible for updating your information and will note when your application was received, its status, the date when your ballot was mailed to you, and the date it was received. The method of sending and receiving (online, mail) will also be noted.

If you have applied for and not yet received your absentee ballot, check the application status. If it indicates something other than "approved," the county election board should contact you to cure the problem.

Similarly, if your ballot is rejected due to failure to sign or because of a mismatched signature, you will be notified by the county election board and will be given an opportunity to cure this problem.

 
GRANTS AVAILABLE FOR LOCALS TO DO YOUR WORK

The grant application form is available on LWVIN.org under Resources-Treasurers
  • 100TH CELEBRATION
    • Since COVID has played havoc with 100th celebrations, the Board has extended the deadline for $100 grants for the 100th celebrations through August 2021
  • FAIR MAPS - VOTER SUPPRESSION/REDISTRICTING
    • Fair Maps funding comes to LWVIN from the LWVUS grant
    • Eligible expenses: social media marketing, flyers, a brochure to be mailed, postage, screening fees (if any), and $50/league to host a zoom showing.


  • PROGRAM GRANTS
    • The annual $300 grant is available to each local league to conduct your work.
LWVIN VIRTUAL WORKSHOPS
The topical workshops were well received and we have heard a few requests to continue this format, either using Zoom or, once meeting in person is a viable option, employing a hybrid model with both in-person and remote attendees. The Board would like your feedback! CONTACT US through LWVIN.ORG
  • Did you like the topical workshops (as a change from the multi-topic regional ones)?
  • What about the virtual format?
  • Scheduling (time of year, time of day)?
  • What topics would you like for future workshops?
INVITATION TO ATTEND STATE BOARD MEETINGS
All members are invited to attend the LWVIN Board Meetings. They are currently being held by Zoom the second Saturday of each month, 10:30am-12:00pm EDT. If you wish to attend, please contact us through the website, LWVIN.ORG.

OCTOBER 10 INDIANA LEAGUE BOARD MEETING NOTES
from Secretary Sandra Grant
Club Express, the new technology tool for Local League's websites and member management, is rolling along and now has six leagues live (includinglwvin.org). Interesting note: visits to the lwvin.org website were over 1,000 for September. Curious about ClubExpress? Email Tom Gardiner at tkga@comcast.net.

The LWVIN Board voted to rescind our previous board position eliminating Members-at-Large (MALs), noting we still strongly encourage local membership instead.

The statewide Membership committee will be refining their goals and is working to help form a new league in Johnson County.

Many local Leagues around the state are holding public forums, engaging with high schools, generating funds (Porter noted $500-800 with their recent garage sale). Many non-election activities, including much planning on various committees, will start after the election.
DEI (Diversity, Equity and Inclusion) is prevalent throughout League, with the LWVIN Committee working on goals and materials, and many local leagues sponsoring learning events, series and materials.

All on the board agreed we will plan for the 
Annual Convention this coming spring to be virtual.
Indiana women voted for the first time on Nov. 2, 1920, choosing a president, a governor, a senator and a host of state and local officials.

Women showed up in large numbers, often bringing their children whom they took with them into the booth or handed off momentarily to other voters in line. The Indianapolis News noted that men voted early, on their way to work, while “by 8 o’clock, with breakfast over, the dishes washed, and the house straightened up a bit, Mrs. Voter was on the way to vote.” (Factory workers, men and women, voted around noon, when they were let out of work to go vote, according to reports.) In Indianapolis, high turnout was reported in Black and German-American precincts. One woman voter was too short to reach the levers; another got in a car crash on her way to the polls but undeterred, patched up at the hospital, took a short rest, and still made it to the voting booth that afternoon.

New Albany women showed up wearing “I will vote by 10” pins, having pledged to show up to the polls in the morning. South Bend reported that nearly all of the 38,477 women registered actually showed up to vote. In Lafayette, nuns from Saint Elizabeth Hospital “marched in solemn procession to the polls.” In Greenfield, the first voters to show up at eleven precincts were women. 103-year-old Sarah Cannon of Washington arrived in a wheelchair and got help with her ballot due to poor eyesight.

In the words of Terre Haute journalist Ida Husted Harper, “For the first time in all history, the members of the United States Congress in their deliberations on all questions will have to take into account the opinions of women, and when their minds revert to their cherished constituents they will have a vision of women sharing the seats of the mighty.”

These and so many other indelible stories were captured in newspaper reports at the time, providing a poignant window into the meaning of this first vote for thousands of Hoosier women. We hope you carry these stories with you into the voting booth this fall.

Thank you to historian Anita Morgan, whose research was adapted by the Indiana Women's Suffrage Centennial Commission to create this article.If you’d like to discover more stories like these, including what took place in your hometown, dig into the Hoosier State Chronicles.
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