THE VIRGINIA VOTER
LEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERS® OF VIRGINIA
Volume 55, Issue 1 Summer 2008
For full details on events
see web site League of Women Voters of Virginia
and select ‘ Calendar’. Summer Workshops
August 2008 Saturday, August 23, 2008 8:30 a.m. — 4:30 p.m.
22 LWV VA Board
23 LWV VA Workshops Historic Richmond YWCA Building (6 North 5th Street, Richmond)
26 Equality Day, Ratified
19th Amendment Join us for a great day.
26 1st Presidential Debate The LWV VA provides this training & networking opportunity to help you
Univ. of Mississippi grow your League. You will leave with information, handouts and a sense of
what is happening in League.
2 VP Debate, Wash. Univ. Workshops
6 Last Day to Register for
Redistricting: Creating an Action Plan for Your Community
Nov. General Election
7 2nd Presidential Debate Restoring the Civil Rights of Felons (preparing for Consensus)
Belmont Univ. TN Money Matters – League Treasurers
15 3rd Presidential Debate
Hofstra Univ. NY Voter Service
Local League Presidents/Vice Presidents
4 Election Day Speaker
9 Equal Suffrage League LWVUS Board Member Carol Reimers - Grooming New Leaders
Founded in VA 1909
15 NCA Eleanor Roosevelt Panel Discussion - Redistricting
Tour in DC Delegate Joe Bouchard,
Prof. Mike McDonald, George Mason Univ.,
December 2008 Rev. Doug Smith, Executive Director of VA Interfaith Center on Public Policy,
2 LWV VA Board John Stone, Vice Pres. Bon Secours Hampton Roads Health System
3 Women’s Roundtable
Pre-session More information and registration form included in this newsletter
16 ‘Restoration of Felons’ Cost $15 includes lunch
Rights’ Consensus Due
The VIRGINIA VOTER is published by the League of Women Voters of Virginia (LWV VA).
The League of Women Voters of Virginia, a non-partisan, political organization encourages informed and active
participation in government, works to increase understanding of major public policy issues, and influences public policy
through education and advocacy.
President: Olga Hernandez president@LWV-VA.org Editor: Doris Tillman votereditor@LWV-VA.org
Telephone/Fax: 703.831.8595 Website: www.LWV-VA.org
From the President’s Desk LWV US Convention 2008
Olga Hernandez, President
LWV US convention in Portland, Oregon
Having attended LWV US convention and was attended by 17 Virginia delegates from all but
planning for a great workshop have taken lots of four of our local Leagues. We also claimed the
energy and time this summer. We are also working organizer, Natalie Testa, Executive Director Nancy
on updating the state membership handbook with Tate, Nominating committee member, Anne
updated material for new members. Our legislative Sterling, and prospective parliamentarian Mary
directory has proven to be very popular and we are Swain. We learned a lot and had much fun in the
going to print more copies for the General Assembly beautiful city of roses although the weather was a bit
session of 2009. cooler than expected. We presented Nancy with a
This issue is loaded with voter service resolution to commend and acknowledge her work
information as this year has proven to be a banner as the Executive Director of the national office as
Presidential election year. I encourage all Leagues well as being the President of the Arlington League.
to use the opportunity to reach out to the public and The delegates voted on a new study on the
encourage others to join us. Remember the trick to National Popular Vote initiative that is being
growing membership is to ask people to join us. proposed as a way to allocate votes by congressional
Take the opportunity to have membership brochures districts nationally. The board was also directed to
at all voter registration events and Ask, Ask, Ask! explore moderating a Presidential debate.
Although we tried and worked with the
Cheers, Oregon League we could not convince the
Olga convention to concur with our proposed
Redistricting position. They did however concur
********************************* with our proposal to add the judicial branch to the
Save the Date – December 3rd LWVUS stated principles as printed in “Impact on
Women’s Roundtable Pre-Session and Issues”.
Luncheon The PMP amount was again raised as the
LWV US, like many other institutions, is feeling the
The Women’s Roundtable Pre-session,
rising costs of managing a large organization. Again
luncheon and forum will take place on December 3rd
membership is the key and the initiative to recruiting
at the state Capitol Building. Registration forms will
more members can alleviate the need to keep raising
be posted on the website in the fall.
funds from fewer people.
****** VOLUNTEER NEEDED **** A full report on the happenings at
convention can be found on the LWV US website,
Nominating & Referral Committee www.LWV.org.
LWV VA is in need of one person to serve Our blinking Virginia is for Lovers pins
on the Nominating & Referral Committee to were again a sensation identifying our delegates to
complete the term of Robin Gilbert whose term all other attendees. If you did not attend, consider
expires May 2009 and who is leaving due to family being a delegate for the 2010 convention which will
circumstances. We have the job of recommending a be held in Atlanta.
slate of officers to be elected at our convention in
2009. It takes a lot of people to keep our League up *********************************
and running, so I do hope all will think about serving LWV VA Fundraising
on the Nominating & Referral Committee now! A fundraising letter from the state League
If you are interested in serving, please will be coming to you in late August. Please be
contact Betsy Mayr at 703-624-3924 (cell), 703-777- generous as this supports our voter service efforts.
9425 (h) or firstname.lastname@example.org.
THE VIRGINIA VOTER Page 2 Summer 2008
Workshops – August 23rd their civil rights. You will find out what exactly is
The traditional fall workshops will be held meant by the term civil rights—it is more than just
in the summer this year. We will meet at the YWCA the right to vote! You will find out how the handling
in Richmond on August 23rd. Workshops on the of granting civil rights in Virginia is different than
Restoration of the Civil Rights of Felons consensus, most states. You will learn of the number of felons
instructions for local League Treasurers, Leadership in Virginia that have lost their civil rights. Hopefully
development and a panel on Redistricting will be each local League will have one or more members in
held. We will also have a strategy session on attendance so you will be prepared to tackle the
redistricting reform. See the registration form in this questions this fall.
publication. Reservations and payment are due ******************************************
August 14th! The Transportation Dilemma
Lynn Gordon, 1st V.P. and Action LWV VA
Focus – Redistricting Despite two special sessions this summer,
Our top priority for the 2009 General the General Assembly has once again not
Assembly session will be redistricting. Accordingly, accomplished anything to resolve the transportation
we will need all of our members, working in funding issue. Depending on whom you talk with
coalition with other organizations, to encourage the and what newspapers you read, the reason for this
grassroots to speak out loudly and clearly to our varies. But the bottom line is that it is the
legislators that we want an independent commission. responsibility of the citizens of the commonwealth.
To help prepare us for this push that is needed, we Some newspapers throughout Virginia have written
have put together a wonderful panel to open Summer in the past few days that the Republicans in the
Workshops on August 23rd. This panel will consist House are playing politics given that we have a
of Del. Joe Bouchard, Prof. Mike McDonald, Rev. Democratic governor. The way to stop the political
Doug Smith, and John Stone. Joe Bouchard, maneuvering is to replace the current legislators with
representing part of Virginia Beach, is a freshman ones who will not put political maneuvering above
delegate in the General Assembly and has a Ph.D. in the needs of the commonwealth. That would require
Political Science. Prof. Mike McDonald is a more people running for office and more people
political science professor at George Mason voting but would have to wait until the 2009
University in northern Virginia with a special November election. Others say that nothing will be
interest in redistricting. Respectively, they will done until there is a groundswell and legislators hear
discuss the political aspect and the academic aspect loudly and clearly from LOTS of their constituents
of redistricting to us. Rev. Doug Smith, executive that something absolutely must be done NOW.
director of the Virginia Interfaith Center on Public Chances are it is a combination. We, as members of
Policy (a member of the Virginia Redistricting the League of Women Voters of Virginia, have a
Coalition of which the LWV VA is also a member) role to play in both. We need to do everything we
will discuss the religious and lower income aspect to can to ‘Get Out the Vote’ in every election. We also
the discussion. John Stone, Vice President of Bon need to encourage everyone to pick up the phone
Secours Hampton Roads Health System and a and call their legislators, write or e-mail their
member of the Future of Hampton Roads, another legislators, write letters to the editor, attend town
member of the Virginia Redistricting Coalition, will hall meetings when held by legislators wanting to
discuss the business aspects of redistricting. know our thoughts, and find other ways to make it
Later in the day, we will also have a clear to the legislators that they must do something
workshop where we will work on designing action NOW. We can’t wait until traffic totally comes to a
plans for our respective local Leagues. standstill or until people start losing jobs because the
Focus - Restoring the Civil Rights of Felons. ports (both ocean and air) begin losing business due
In Virginia to the transportation problems. Make a commitment
This workshop will help prepare you for the to yourself and the commonwealth now that you will
consensus meeting to be held this fall on Restoring do everything you can to place pressure on our state
Civil Rights of Felons. During the workshop you legislators to find a way during the 2009 General
will learn the differences between misdemeanors and Assembly session to resolve the transportation
felonies and how these impact on a felon regaining funding issue.
THE VIRGINIA VOTER Page 3 Summer 2008
Voter Service News
Get Out the Vote
Between now and November is the busiest League Partners
time for Voter Service activities! Virginia is LWV US has partnered with several
considered a battleground state for the first time in organizations nationally to do voter registration.
44 years, this is the perfect opportunity to raise our They include the Junior League, AAUW, YWCA,
visibility in our communities and fulfill one of our and National Association of Community Health
core missions. The State Board of Election has Centers. Also, Healthcare United has approached
launched a campaign “Ensure the Vote” to spread the LWV VA and asked to partner with local
the word about what can be done to make the Leagues on voter registration. Contact information
election go smoothly. Posters and more information has been sent to local League presidents and voter
on this effort are on our website. All local Leagues services chairs. Take advantage of these
need to make sure voter information is available for opportunities not only to register voters, but also to
citizens, and those who want to vote have easy become more visible in your communities and
access to being registered to vote in November, and attract new members. Have LWV membership
that newly registered voters have the information information/brochures available at all voter
they need, and actually turn out to vote. League registration events and ask them to join!
Voters Guides, What’s on the Ballot documents, and
the LWV US voters’ cards are a few ways to “Get Senate Debate Update
Out the Vote” throughout the state. Please make As of July 15th we are half way there. The
sure your websites are updated regularly. James Gilmore campaign has accepted the LWV VA
Leagues should also contact local registrars invitation to a debate to take place between
to offer to assist registration at local events, in high September 16th and October 6th. The Mark Warner
schools and at local colleges between now and the campaign has yet to respond to our invitation. LWV
close of registration on October 6th. Spreading the VA, as well as our partners, WCVE and WTVR in
word on where to register and obtain applications for Richmond, are hopeful that Governor Warner will
absentee ballots (something registrars are respond positively. If that is the case we will go
encouraging people to do if they qualify under any forward with an event similar to the Webb-Allen
of the listed reasons), and what the deadlines are for event in 2006. It will be live and available for
registration will help all citizens participate in the broadcast free, not just on cable, throughout the state
November election. We also need to encourage all over affiliated and non-affiliated TV and radio
potential voters to check their status and poll stations. More news will be forwarded to local
location before the October 6th deadline incase Leagues if and when the Warner campaign agrees.
corrections are needed. Remember that registration It takes two to debate and we hope Governor Warner
is important, but turnout is the bottom line. Let will not let this opportunity to talk to and educate
voters know your local League web sites and the Virginians be wasted.
LWV VA www.LWV-VA.org website will have
information on important election dates, non partisan Dates to Remember
Voters’ Guides, and www.VOTE411.org is a place Deadline to register for the November
to go to find further national non partisan voter election: October 6, 2008
information. Any program that local Leagues can do Deadline to request an absentee ballot to be
to turn registrants into actual voters is the key! mailed to you: October 28, 2008
A reminder, a new state law which went Deadline for absentee ballot to be returned
into effect on July 1st requires organizations to local registrar: Election Day by close of the polls
registering voters to provide registrants a receipt. in the jurisdiction where voting
Before doing a voter registration event check with Election Day: Tuesday, November 4, 2008
your local officials to make sure what is required. polls open 6:00 am to 7:00 pm.
THE VIRGINIA VOTER Page 4 Summer 2008
Poll Worker Shortage What Volunteer Time is Worth
The State Board of Elections (SBE) is Olga Hernandez, President
expecting a record turnout in November. This is The value of a volunteer has reached $19.51
good news; but it brings with it a downside… not per hour nationally according to Independent Sector
enough poll workers to staff the polls. As of April (IS). In Virginia the per hour rate is $20.06 as of
they anticipated a shortfall of up to 10,000 poll 2006 the last year the state breakdown is available.
workers statewide! Please consider volunteering to Volunteers don’t do it for the money but for the
work at the polls on November 4th. What could be sense of contribution to a cause or interest greater
more “League like”? Contact your local than themselves. The new estimate helps put into
registrar’s/board of election’s office and volunteer. perspective the enormous contributions provided by
It is a very long day, but nothing can be more the nation's volunteers. We thank, acknowledge and
important. Several years back, with LWV VA appreciate all our wonderful member volunteers!
support, the General Assembly passed a bill that We couldn’t accomplish our mission without your
allows poll workers to split shifts, shortening an support.
otherwise 14+ hour day. While few jurisdictions IS calculates the hourly value of volunteer
have embraced this option, if you approach the time based on the average hourly wage for all non-
registrar/board of election with a partner with the management, non-agriculture workers as determined
possibility of guaranteeing a shared responsibility by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, with a 12 percent
they may be willing to allow them to “job share”. increase to estimate fringe benefits.
Jurisdictions where split shifts have been tried have The information is obtained from the
found it to work successfully. Local Leagues may Independent Sector website. For more information,
also want to highlight the need for poll workers visit the website: www.independentsector.org
through letters to the editor and/or approaches to Choose "Giving and Volunteering" and then click on
local businesses to encourage workers to volunteer. "Dollar value of volunteer time."
Coordinate any efforts with your local registrar’s Be a Volunteer put your time into
office, of course. something rewarding!
Debate Watching Party Help Needed
As we get further into the election season Finance Director: We are looking for a
consider hosting a debate watching party with other Finance director to handle our LWV VA fundraising
League members. The Presidential Debates are efforts. If you are interested please contact Olga
scheduled for September 26th, October 7th and Hernandez, 703-831-8595 or president@LWV-
October 15th. The Vice President debate will be on VA.org.
October 2nd. Our potential Senate debate is to be VA Water Advisory Commission: A
determined, stay tuned! slot is open on the VA Water Advisory Commission.
******************************************* They meet periodically in Richmond. If you are
interested in this please contact, Olga Hernandez,
Web Information 703-831-8595 or president@LWV-VA.org.
The LWV US is in full gear with
Online Social Websites Developer: If
www.vote411.org. Please check out this wonderful
you are fluent in Facebook and or Myspace and can
website and make sure your League’s Voters Guides
help the LWV VA be present in these portals please
are uploaded to the site. Encourage friends and
contact, Olga Hernandez, 703-831-8595 or
family to use this site for their voter information
needs. All Leagues should have a link to this
website on their web front page.
Insurance Help: We need a
knowledgeable person familiar with insurance
Our website www.LWV-VA.org has a new
matters to review the LWV VA current policy and
look, please visit and familiarize yourself with what
coverage. Please contact Olga Hernandez, 703-831-
we have online! Three other VA Leagues are now
8595 or president@LWV-VA.org if you can help.
also using the League Easy Web program.
THE VIRGINIA VOTER Page 5 Summer 2008
Membership in League of Women Voters
Reminder: For all MALs (Member at Large) units and unaffiliated statewide MAL members, it is
time to renew your membership. The fiscal year runs from July 1st to June 30th each year. If you have questions
about membership status, please contact your local League membership chair.
Join: If you are not a member of the League of Women Voters and would like to join. Please visit our
website at www.LWV-VA.org and select JOIN. Our membership form is available by selection “Join Now”.
Contribute: The LWV of Virginia appreciates the donations of members and nonmembers. Your
contributions will allow us to do more to inform voters and advocate for our positions. For donations to be tax
deductible they must be made to the “LWV VA Education Fund”, those funds can only be used for educational
purposes. Thank you for including the League in your charitable donations. Send your checks to:
LWV VA, 6415 Emerald Green Court, Centreville, VA 20121-3824.
I want to support the important work of the League of Women Voters of Virginia. Enclosed is my
City __________________________________ State ______________ Zip _______________
Email ________________________________ Phone ________________________________
Change Service Request
LEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERS® Nonprofit Org.
OF VIRGINIA US Postage
6415 Emerald Green Court PAID
Centreville, VA 20121-3824 Williamsburg, VA
Permit No. 99
Volume 55, Issue 1