THE VIRGINIA VOTER

Volume 55, Issue 1                                                                                         Summer 2008

Calendar Highlights:
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.
September 2008
  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.
October 2008
 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
November 2008
 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                   Editor: Doris Tillman
  Telephone/Fax: 703.831.8595                                      Website:
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                
         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

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 website will have
information on important election dates, non partisan      Dates to Remember
Voters’ Guides, and 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:
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
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
        The LWV US is in full gear with
                                                                 Online Social Websites Developer: If 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 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 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 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
   Summer 2008

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