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Voter Newsletter - Fall 2023


Dear Friend,


Welcome to our Fall Voter Newsletter! Read on to learn about our youth-led efforts to empower the next generation of voters through a series of dynamic youth voter service events, plus opportunities to get involved in impactful initiatives that will shape the future of our communities in Oregon.





LWVOR Advocacy Fund Promotes Both IP 14 and IP 9


By Norman Turrill, President, LWV of Oregon Advocacy Fund


The LWVOR has endorsed both Initiative Petition 14 (IP 14) and Initiative Petition 9 (IP 9). IP 14 would end gerrymandering in Oregon by creating an independent redistricting. You can learn more about IP 14 by going to the People Not Politicians (PNP) website. IP 9 would end big money dominating candidate campaigns in Oregon by setting strict contribution limits and revealing dark money sponsors of campaign advertising. You can learn more about IP 9 by going to the Honest Elections website.


To qualify for the 2024 general election ballot, IP 14 must collect some 160,000 valid voter signatures by July 5, 2024, less than a year from now. IP 9, because it is a statutory measure, must collect some 120,000 signatures by the same deadline.


This signature gathering phase is well underway. These petitions will accomplish their goals next year with your help, provided that they have more petition circulators and more money.


The LWVOR Advocacy Fund is now organizing county coordinators who will identify volunteer petitioners and send them to events like street fairs and markets where many people gather. Please volunteer at a link below if you would like to help.


Also, you may now download and print your own IP 14 petitions by carefully following the instructions here. If you will be petitioning in public, then you must also print and carry a complete copy of the IP 14 text.


You know the drill to have an initiative succeed in Oregon:

volunteers and more volunteers

gathering of qualifying signatures by circulators

signature validators (at home and online!)

donors!


PNP is a broad coalition of organizations covering the whole political spectrum. The coalition organizations comprise together some 400,000 members. If each of these members just downloads, prints, signs and returns a petition with their family and friends, then IP 14 would have more than enough signatures to qualify for the 2024 ballot! Do that today!




Recall Study Team Opportunity


by Annie Goldner, LWVOR Issue Positions Director



LWVOR 2023 Convention delegates voted to undertake a study on recall elections. LWV of Lane County proposed the two-year project, and now works with LWVOR support and resources. Why do we want to study recall elections?


A recall election enables voters to remove an elected official from office through a referendum before the official's term of office has ended. LWV Oregon supports the recall process as provided in the Oregon Constitution. However, the studies leading to our position on Initiative, Referendum, and Recall (Adopted 1988; Revised 1996; Educational Update 2001) did not specifically examine the recall process itself. This means we are not able to weigh in on whether or not the process is working as it should.

The state-mandated timeline for recall elections has implications for voter education and turnout, which directly ties into the League’s goal of protecting and expanding voting rights to ensure everyone is represented in our democracy. How will we work on this issue? There will be small tasks and larger ones, including:


  • Research relevant League positions and actions in Oregon and across the country

  • Research the history of recall in Oregon.

  • Survey articles and research by legal and policy organizations focused on democratic processes.

  • Interview election officials and topic experts.

  • Discuss and learn with League colleagues. Synthesize, write, and edit results.


Becoming part of a study committee is a great way to learn about an issue, gain a better understanding of League process, and make a positive difference. We hope you will consider joining the folks below in this effort and they will help you find a right-sized task. Contact Keli Osborn to join the team.


Alice LaViolette, LWV Marion/Polk, aklaviolette@comcast.net

Rhonda Livesay, LWV Lane County, technologydir@lwvlc.org

Linda Lynch, LWV Lane County, lindalynch28@gmail.com

Keli Osborn, LWV Lane County, kelimosborn@gmail.com




Youth Council Spotlight: Chris Walker


By Chris Walker, League of Women Voters of Oregon Youth Council Vice President and Off-Board Liaison


I’ve just finished my internship in the U.S. House of Representatives, and it is a wonderful opportunity for civic-minded youth. My experience with the League of Women Voters of Oregon Youth Council helped prepare me for the role by inspiring me to think critically about why people, especially young people, vote or care about politics. Also, it has made me care even more about Oregon voters, who I was delighted to hear from while interning. My tasks included:

  • Answering constituent calls, hearing the important beliefs, opinions, and questions of the district's constituents.

  • Attending briefings and writing up memos that are used by members of the office for forming policy.

  • Performing outreach for bills and letters— calling up other offices and sending emails to do so.

  • Guiding tours for people living in the congressperson's district who were visiting. I showed the capital building, one of the beautiful centers of American democracy.

  • Becoming familiar with Microsoft Office - which really, I had not used very often before my internship.

  • Learning all I could (everyday, full time).


Thank you for your support of the Youth Council!




OSME Update for October 2023



We are excited to share that the League of Women Voters of Oregon (LWVOR) will be hosting Oregon Student Mock Election (OSME) for both the May Primary and November General Elections in 2024. The League is partnering with educators across the state to provide nonpartisan information and materials, giving students a greater understanding of participation in the Oregon electoral process, now and in the future. OSME helps students recognize the real world relevance of civics education. Are you interested in helping us contact educators in your area? Can you help us find civic education volunteers in your area? Email mockelection@lwvor.org.



Since spring school schedules always fill up quickly, we ask that you mark your calendars with these important dates and deadlines for the upcoming May 2024 OSME:


  • Monday, April 8 – OSME registration begins

  • Tuesday, April 30 – Last day to register to vote in the Oregon Primary Election

  • Tuesday, May 5-10 – Student Mock Election Week

  • Friday, May 17 – OSME results released to the public

  • Tuesday, May 21 – Oregon Primary Election Day


Please share them with potential participating educators along with the following information:

On the LWVOR.org website, educators can access the free, year-round, and award-winning Civics Education Curriculum. In addition, we will provide the following two lesson plans, which are specifically relevant to the 2024 May Primary:

  • Parties and Primaries – Introduce your students to each of the 10 recognized Oregon parties and help them understand the impact of a closed primary on minor-party voters.

  • Ranked-Choice-Voting (RCV) – Introduce your students to the process of RCV. This is appropriate for students in either social studies or math classes (requires an understanding of using percentages).

The lessons include several suggestions for classroom activities, many links to resources, and information about how to prepare students for the election.


We are looking for LWV members across the state to put us in contact with classroom teachers and administrators, both public/private and middle/high schools, along with charter school and homeschool educators. We need a name and email address for a contact person in each school and they need to have ours. Please email mimi.alkire@gmail.com if you have contact information for schools in your area.


If you are able to drop off materials to local schools, we will provide you with flyers to take to schools, along with information for how they can register their students for the mock election.



October 7 Fall Workshop Youth Council Panel Presentation


By Diana DeMaria, LWVOR Youth Outreach Director


Email Diana DeMaria at youthoutreach@lwvor.org to be added to the local League contact listserv, request printable materials for your voter registration activities or newsletter articles, and be invited to drop in on youth outreach meetings when your schedule permits.


Review this year’s Youth Council Panel slideshow here on our Fall Workshop resources page.


Meet the Youth Council. Looking to book a LWVOR Youth Council Member at a meeting or event? Book a speaker here.



LWVOR Events: Fall Workshop


The League of Women Voters of Oregon held its first hybrid Fall Workshop event on the first Saturday in October. This Voter Service-oriented event was held to prepare League members for the upcoming election work in 2024.


Workshop attendees heard from a wide array of speakers, including LWV Liaison Alexis Juday-Marshall (an Oregonian now living in California) and Luana Chaires, Digital Relational Organizing Manager from LWVUS who spoke of the benefits of Outreach Circle/League in Action as a tool to further member engagement and voter education efforts. The Membership and Leadership Development group (MLD) offered an overview of their work in using MLD coaches to make a difference in addressing membership goals while Peggy Bengry (former Voter Service chair and current Vote411 Ballot Measure chair) spoke to the exciting work involved with engaging in Voter Service activities.


Molly Woon, Oregon Elections Director, served as the workshop’s keynote speaker and offered an engaging and informative perspective on the Oregon election office’s efforts to serve voters in Oregon. The Elections Director is responsible for the administration of the Oregon vote-by-mail system as well as overseeing state initiative, referendum, and candidate processes. Woon spoke to the current efforts of the election office’s efforts to improve transparency and greater education across the state.


LWVOR’s Youth Council held a panel to conclude the event. They spoke to the challenges facing young voters today and the goals to create a young LWV member pipeline in local and state Leagues nationwide, connect League of Women Voters to existing youth civic engagement around the country, and create more opportunities for young LWV members to participate in League activities.


For an overview of the program and a copy of the recording, as well as copies of the Youth Council slide show and other information, please visit our LWVOR Fall Workshop resource page.





Upcoming Events



Legislative Process Day 2023

Registration open, get your tickets today!

Nov 07, 10:00 AM – 1:30 PM

Hybrid Event

250 Winter St NE, Salem, OR 97301


Youth Voter Summit

Registration opens soon

Jan 19, 2024, 10:00 AM

Hybrid Event

250 Winter St NE, Salem, OR 97301


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