Empowering Voters. Defending Democracy
October 2020
President's Message

Carry ON!! We are almost there…..I have only 4 URGENT messages:


#2 Upcoming: Election Protection: Active Bystander Training!
October 29 at 3:00 pm: Protecting Democracy: Active Bystander Training. Join the LWVUS Organizing team for our “Protecting Democracy: Active Bystander Training” as we outline de-escalation techniques to safely address tense situations at polling places to ensure every voter can exercise their right to vote safely. Click here to register! 

#3 Talking Points: Curbing Public Expectations for Immediate Election Results
With the increase in absentee ballots expected in 2020, tallying votes will take more time, and it is highly likely ballots will be counted late into the night all over the country. Use these talking points when helping the public and voters feel comfortable in the likely delayed election results.
  • Voters should not expect all election results to be called or announced on Election Day as in previous elections, and that’s okay.
  • A delayed result with an increased number of mailed ballots means the system is working as it should to ensure the integrity of our election process.
  • A surge in mailed ballots requires our election officials to adapt their ballot counting practices, and it is important for voters to be patient. A complete and accurate ballot count is more important than a fast ballot count. 
  • With the increase of absentee voting in 2020, it is essential that every vote is counted and every voter’s voice is heard. We should all prepare for many election results to be announced after Election Day

#4 Join the state League and LWV of NYC for an important forum on what to expect and do after Election Day
October 28 at 6:30 pm: Path to the Presidency: What to Expect After Election Day
Register now for an important panel discussion co-moderated by LWV of NYC Co-President Diane Burrows and Vice President Crystal Joseph with speakers:
  • Dr. Kimberly Wehle, law professor, author, lawyer and former CBS News legal analyst;
  • Dr. Mark Meirowitz, Professor, SUNY Maritime College; and
  • Liz Bander, LWVUS Board Member (from LWV of WA)
Let’s talk about scenarios, timetables and what local Leagues and members can do after election day. More info coming in a separate email to all members soon! Click here to register!
Local League News
LWV of Albany has organized a discussion of the 19th Amendment and the challenges that lie ahead in voting rights, with some of the most accomplished women in the New York State legal field. Guest speakers include:
  • Hon. Leslie E. Stein '81, Associate Judge, New York Court of Appeals
  • Hon. Christina L. Ryba '01, Justice, Supreme Court of New York
  • Prof. Mary A. Lynch, Kate Stoneman Chair in Law and Democracy; Director, Domestic Violence Prosecution Hybrid Clinic
  • Prof. Ava Ayers, Director, Government Law Center; Assistant Professor
Program details and a link to registration can be found here. Presented by the American Constitution Society, Women's Law Caucus, and the Government Law Society at Albany Law School. 

LWV of St. Lawrence MAL Unit was highlighted on the radio show, North Country Matters: Get Out the Vote In 2020. Kathleen Stein, the president of the St. Lawrence County League of Women Voters, returned to the show to discuss a number of issues around Election 2020 with NCM host Donna Seymour. There are three ways to vote this fall: by absentee ballot, in-person during the nine days of early voting (Oct. 24 - Nov.1) or on Election Day, Nov. 3. They went over the process of getting and filling out an absentee vote in detail because many voters are choosing that option due to concerns with Covid-19. They also updated the progress of the 2020 Census count in the county which continues until Oct. 31. (Recorded on Zoom on October 6, 2020)

LWV of New Rochelle's book discussions explore ‘Votes for Women’ and the Long Struggle for the 19th Amendment this fall. The League, funded by a Humanities NY ‘Reading and Discussion’ grant, is sponsoring four virtual “Votes for Women” themed book groups starting this fall. This is one of many ways planned to honor the August 26, 1920 final certification and passage of the 19th Amendment to the United States. The first book is Seneca Falls and the Origin of the Women’s Rights Movement by Sally McMillen and was discussed with facilitation by New Rochelle City Historian Barbara Davis on September 30, 5:00 pm on Zoom. The book traces the events leading to and the decades following the Women’s Rights convention at Seneca Falls in 1848, and its Declaration of Sentiments which demanded women’s rights including the then shocking demand for the right to vote. Three more book discussions will follow on dates to be announced and include African-American Women in the Struggle for the Vote, 1850-1920, by Rosalyn Terborg-Penn; Elizabeth Cady Stanton: An American Life, by Lori D. Ginzberg; and A Woman’s Crusade: Alice Paul and the Battle for the Ballot, by Mary Walton.

LWV of Rochester Metro Area was approached by Christina Xydias, Associate Political Science Professor at Bucknell University, to participate in her research on women and politics. Her work focuses on mechanisms for advancing women’s rights and interests. If her proposal is accepted and funded by the National Science Foundation, she intends to conduct two non-partisan workshops about running for office. One workshop would be for girls and the other for mature women. The workshops would be conducted in late 2021 or 2022 when the threat of the Coronavirus has (hopefully) passed. We look forward to working with her on this exciting project! 

Hats off to Jennifer Mebes Flagg, board member of LWV of New Castle, Joy Rosenzweig, and Susan Schwarz (also League members) —our local heroes for their work on the Fair Campaign Practices Committee. See great article here:

LWV of Westchester Youth Corps created their first PSA - Voting Plan of Action. Please circulate this link on your websites and social media. GOTV! Great job by the future defenders of our democracy!