Voter Service Goals
The Voter Service group manages voter registration events at various venues. Some events are at the request of the public such as community groups and schools. For some events, we initiate securing a spot for our team or accept invitations. We also moderate local candidate forums, usually at the request of a community organization. And the same with speaking to groups on the Pros and Cons of local and state issues. We welcome your volunteering with any of these opportunities, or if you find one of your own, please contact Sara Nicolson prior to engaging with anyone outside of League.
May 2020 Voters Edge Update from Judy Conner
Voter’s Edge is a voter resource site and an integral educational program for the League of Women Voters. The website is used by voters to research the legislative priorities of their local, state, and federal candidates. With the primary election behind us, it was obvious that Voter’s Edge was a much-used tool for voters when researching their options.
Here is what I learned while working with candidates to get their information onto the Voter’s Edge site for the primaries.
Most candidates no longer maintain telephone numbers for their campaigns. Much of our outreach to candidates was done directly to their social media accounts, and or email. Most candidates needed four to ten invitations to place their info on Voter’s Edge. In other words, consistent contact and nudging was required.
The incumbents seemed to be the least likely to put their updated info on the site. Their info used was from past elections.
We need to use every member of the League who has contact with a candidate to make sure they know about Voter’s Edge and encourage them to participate.
How you can help Voter’s Edge get ready for the November 3rd election? The work for the November elections will begin mid-July. There should be several online training sessions. If you would like to learn the web-based software used to put content on Voter’s Edge, please send me an email. Also, if you know of candidates who are running for office in November, please let them know about Voter’s Edge.
If you have questions about volunteering for Voter’s Edge, please contact Judy Conner HERE or 408-476-8056.
Census 2020 Update from Sandy Mory
COMPLETE YOUR CENSUS
Many of our plans to be Census Ambassadors have been put on hold because of the Corona Virus. But, there are still ways to encourage everyone to respond! It has never been easier to respond to the census on your own whether online HERE, over the phone, or by mail—all without having to meet a census taker. If any adjustments need to be made the Census Bureau will communicate these changes broadly and promptly. More than 14 million households have already responded to the census. America is stepping up to shape our future and ensure families and communities are counted.
How You Can Safely Promote Census Response
• Post a blog or video message encouraging census response.
• Send notices to your email lists to encourage response.
What else can you do to assure a complete and accurate count? Make sure you complete your Census form. Talk up the Census whenever you can. Complete your Census by April 1. Let’s make sure Everyone is Counted! Questions? Contact Sandy Mory HERE.
2020 Census Calender
March 12 Invitations to participate mailed
March 16-24 Reminder letters – participate in the Census
March 20-April 3 Reminder postcard
April 8-10 Hard Copy Census mailed
April 20-27 Final postcards mailed
May 13 Non-response follow-up begins
EOM July Santa Clara County completes its census tally
News from Voter Service Chair Sara Nicolson
Make Every Day Count!
Well, we did it. We showed up. We held candidate forums. We presented the pros and cons. We updated Voters Edge. We tabled. We handed out bookmarks and our new Voters Edge business cards. We worked at vote centers. We volunteered at the ROV sorting mail-in ballots. We got the word out there. And, we deserve a break!
OK, well this wasn’t quite the way we hoped for a break, but indeed we are on break. As the story goes, God created the world in six days and rested on the seventh. I have always appreciated that sentiment and enjoy a good break after lots of hard work. In reality, the earth has been on a very long trajectory of development and humans have been here just a short time. So, I consider those seven “days “as seasons.
We are now experiencing a new season. A period of uncertainty and an opportunity to reflect on what we want our world to look like moving forward and how we can participate in that vision. Carol Watts and I recently, had a very productive discussion of goals for the voter service team moving forward, once our break is over. For now, it is best just to rest, enjoy every small thing we hold dear and appreciate the beauty that surrounds us. Enjoy the break.
Happy March, fellow League Members. By the time you read this, we will either be in the last few days of voting in the 202O Presidential Primary Election or all done with ballots still being counted. It’s been a busy month for the Voter Service Team. Martha Beattie has presented at least three times on ballot measures in San Jose and Santa Clara (Measures E and C) to many appreciative and engaged crowds.
Sara Nicolson and Voter Registration/Education team members and partner volunteers have tabled and presented in a number of forums.
With the major changes to the Voters Choice Act, our public outreach and education campaign was huge. We partnered with other community organizations via VEOC (the Voter Education Outreach Committee) in partnership with the Outreach Team at the County Registrar of Voters (shout out to Rachel Jung and Natalie Goolsby). We presented at the Morgan Hill Senior Center, Gavilan College Census Outreach Event, Morgan Hill City Council Meeting, Everybody Counts event at the Mexican Heritage Plaza, in partnership with Somos Mayfair and 3 events at San Jose State University. First, there was a three-person panel about the Voters Choice Act that included our own Gloria Chun Hoo, San Jose State University Political Science Professor Mary Currin-Percival and Santa Clara County Registrar of Voters Shannon Bushey and attracted approximately 150 students.
Sara gave a workshop at San Jose State on Voting and Advocacy and tabled a town hall event with 7 enthusiastic San Jose State University students/volunteers and our favorite 16-year-old high school volunteer: Ethan Percival (my go-to for technical support). The event was hosted by SJSU President Dr. Mary Papazian, and featured Zoe Lofgren, Anna Eshoo and our own Secretary of State; Alex Padilla as the panel participants.
We have also been busy doing outreach to local organizations like Community Solutions, Go Kids and Somos Mayfair as well as engaging members of the public anywhere and everywhere, in a mass effort to inform the public about the major changes to our in-person voting method, as well as information as to why everyone received a ballot in the mail and what to do with it.
Hats off to a phenomenal team. Heading into March, Sandy Mory is leading the way with our continued Census 2020 outreach efforts. Keep an eye out for your postcard in the mail with instructions on how to participate online, or wait for the paper version to show up mid-April and as always please help spread the word about these important Civic responsibilities.
One, Two, Three .......
One - as the March primaries are quickly approaching, the voter service team has been busy with hosting Candidate Forums, writing Pros and Cons and registering new voters and informing the voting public on the changes to how we vote has changed this year in Santa Clara county.
LWVSJSC AND LWVSW held a successful Candidate Forum for State Senate District 15 on Saturday, January 18. We had a respectable turnout even with the Women’s March the same Day. Many thanks to Richard Sanders from Little Branham Neighborhood Association who approached LWVSJSC. Thank you to Sandy Mory for coordinating with Eleanor Yick and Sue Cooney from LWVSW. Many thanks to the volunteers from our League who were there to do whatever was asked: Gloria Chun Hoo, Moderator, Ann Clark, and Martha Beattie, Question Sorters, Robin Hayr and Martha Hull, Greeters and Trudy La France, Janet Hagquist ready to step in as needed. Thanks to Robbie Sisco and Reeya Patel for assisting in videotaping the event and providing an information table on Voter Registration, the Census, and the Voter’s Choice Act. President Carol Watts represented us well by welcoming the participants and offering closing comments. It was a great team effort by all involved.
And if one voter forum isn't enough, another was held just 12 days later for San Jose City Council seat, District 10, co-hosted by the Jewish Community Relations Council, again with good support from league members.
Martha has been reviewing upcoming ballot measures and preparing Pros and Cons in our area. Watch the video above for the Pros and Cons for Measure E: New Real Property Transfer Tax --
City of San Jose Municipal Code Amendment
Majority Vote Required
THE QUESTION: To fund general City of San José services, including affordable housing and helping homeless residents move into shelters/permanent housing, shall an ordinance be adopted enacting a real property transfer tax, exempting transfers under $2 million adjusted for inflation.
After being invited by the Youth Activism Club of Harker High School in San Jose, Sara Nicolson, Robbie Sisco, and Pam Johnson spent two lunch periods assisting a student-led team in Voter Registration and Information. They were greeted and treated very graciously, including "free" lunch from an exceptional cafeteria. Incredibly mature, organized and talented, sixteen-year-old Natasha Yen, who created the club was joined by her fellow members in reaching out to students by eblast and in person, encouraging them to register or pre-register. Together we registered/pre-registered 65 new young voters.
Reeya Patel, our newest and youngest member (a senior in high school) who has
been actively working with the Voter Registration Committee and outreach team,
joined Sara in supporting the "Miss CEO: Building Your Brand" event at the Tech
Interactive, on Saturday, January 25. The goal of the workshop was to teach high
school girls how to prepare for internships, jobs, and other exciting summer
opportunities, navigate the application process and practice winning interviews as
well as connect with dream mentors and other valuable resources. We were able to
provide general information on the importance of voting, voter registration services
and of course, information on the VCA and Census, to attendees and the general
public visiting the Tech that day.
Primaries are coming, the Census is coming, and the November Presidential election is coming. Fellow members, this is a BIG year! It takes a whole lot of grassroots efforts to encourage participation in our democracy at ALL levels. We are so grateful for the continued efforts of league members in working towards our goals of Empowering Voters and Defending Democracy.
Happy New Year! Well, it is finally here: The big year of elections and voting changes. As members of the League, we are that grassroots group that helps to keep our neighborhoods and communities informed about how and where to vote, and where to find the facts.
Voter’s Edge (formerly Smart Voter) here, provides all voters the information they need to be prepared at Election time. Ballots will be sent out 29 days before Election Day (March 3 for the Presidential Primaries), which means you will be seeing them in your mailboxes around February 4. The Santa Clara Registrar of Voters Outreach team, led by one of our members Rachel Jung, has done a phenomenal job in getting the message out there about the new Voters Choice Act (how and where we will vote this year in Santa Clara County), but can always use our efforts as well. They have a solid plan of continuing this effort with additional information we will see in newspapers, on news shows, postcards in our mailboxes, and more community outreach. If you need more information on the election and voting practices, contact the Registrar of Voters here.
From our side, we will be hosting 2 candidate forums in January. For San Jose residents who live in City Council seat, District 10 (currently held by Johnny Khamis) you will be interested in the forum on January 30th at 7 pm, at the Almaden Community Center at 6445 Camden Ave. The second fourm is for State Assembly Seat, District 5 (currently held by Jim Beall). This will be held on Saturday morning, 10:00 am January 18 at the Campbell Community Center, 1 W Campbell Ave. Unit C-31, Campbell, CA 95008.
Our Voter Registration Team is gearing up to host tables at various venues to register and educate prospective voters. We will have opportunities to table at libraries, colleges, and other public spaces. If you would like to participate, let us know by contacting me here.
If you prefer to work from the comfort of your home, there are a number of ways to support Voter Services. We are looking for people willing to make phone calls to arrange some of these events. Contact Sara Nicolson for a script and information on whom to call.
Also, make a list of friends, family, and organizations in Santa Clara County that you are affiliated with, and have a one on one conversation or short presentation/announcement about the changes the Voters Choice Act is bringing.
WE NEED YOU!
All I want for Christmas are some dedicated volunteers.
It is 105 days until the March Primaries, where registered voters will go to the polls to select their choice for the candidate of their party that will run for President of the United States. We also have a few BIG local elections and will be hosting our first two candidate forums on January 14 and 18. California Assembly Seat District 15 has been held by Jim Beall for 10 years. This elected position has TERM limits. His term is up and a number of local figures are vying for the seat. We are joining the Southwest League by hosting a Candidates Forum for California State Senate District 15 on Saturday, January 18th, at the Campbell Community Center. And we will host another Candidates Forum on January 14th for City Council District 10 at the Almaden Community Center. This Forum is in partnership with the Jewish Federation of Silicon Valley. Whether you just want to come and listen to the candidates or participate, there are a number of ways to help spread the word from the comfort of your own home. Contact Sandy Mory, HERE our League Vice President who organizes the Candidate Forums to find out how you can help.
The goal of the Voter Service arm of the League of Women Voters is to educate and register as many qualified citizens as possible. The newly formed Voter Registration committee will be meeting monthly to plan multiple outreach efforts towards this end. Your participation in making phone calls, arranging times, places and groups to talk with as well as tabling events, educational workshops and hosting candidate forums before the election are invaluable to our success.
If you joined the league, because you believe in a strong, healthy democracy, now is your chance to put your time where your values are. The impact of sitting at a table that touts: REGISTER TO VOTE HERE cannot be diminished. Additionally, all long-time registered voters NEED the information on the significant changes to HOW, WHERE and WHEN we vote, due to the new Voter’s Choice Act implementation. And finally, we are including information and educating EVERYONE about the upcoming 2020 census. A full and accurate count of who is living here has a direct impact on the funding we need to support critical services for ALL, as well as ensure proper districting and congressional representation. Please contact Sara Nicolson HERE to volunteer!
Do you ever wonder how it all gets done? The house gets bought, decorated, maintained. The children are born, nurtured and off to college. The groceries selected, meals made and our bodies nourished. What about our democracy? How does that get done?
The basis of a democracy or a democratic republic is citizen participation. For over the first 100 years of the United States history, only white male property owners over the age of 25 were allowed to vote. As time went on and education increased we evolved. These pre-requisites changed to where today a person 18 years old of any race, gender, background or ownership status can contribute to shaping the laws and choosing the representatives that make the laws and create the communities, states, and country we call home.
It’s no secret that California is, in general, a BLUE or predominately Democrat-run state, from the Governor’s office, through the legislature down to the major metropolis’ that this state is known for. Despite the large numbers of congregants, there are hundreds of small communities dotted throughout the state of Republican-held leadership and majorities.
And yet, when you add up all qualified voters in the state the real majority lies in those who are non-participatory, disengaged or disillusioned with the state of our government. Why? Why, when various groups of men and women throughout our history have worked tirelessly, often through violent measures to secure the right to vote for the masses, do the masses not participate? What will it take to engage the disengaged, inform the uninformed and inspire the uninspired to educate themselves about the laws, representatives, and systems that shape their daily lives?
October saw the San Jose League Voter Services out at Day on the Bay, updating and educating attendees about the Voters Choice Act, registering people to vote, and informing many on our widely used Voter’s Edge website.
In preparation for the March Primaries, our league will be working with Southwest League to host the Candidate Forum for District 15. If you'd like to learn more about Candidate Forums and/or participate, please contact Sandra Mory at firstname.lastname@example.org.
November is the month of Thankfulness. Let us remember our veterans and all those family and community members that collectively worked, fought or died to maintain our democracy and way of life. And remember, if nobody buys the groceries, dinner will not be served, if the dirty clothes are left unattended things can get smelly really fast, and if the house isn’t maintained it will fall into disrepair. Join the league any way you can in helping keep our democracy strong.
Engage, Educate, Inspire
September 24, National Voter Registration Day is a relatively new holiday in our nation’s history. Established just seven years ago, the League of Women Voters has taken this opportunity to kick off a yearlong effort to engage, educate and inspire eligible citizens to 1) register to vote, 2) get the facts and 3) VOTE at election time.
This past month we had 13 teams of 2-3 people hosting voter registration tables in San Jose, Morgan Hill and Milpitas. Approximately 50-60 people registered with a handful of others taking forms home, being informed about how to register online, and armed with knowledge about the Voters Choice Act and Voters Edge, the league’s online tool to review candidates and ballot measures in their district.
Santa Clara County Registrar of Voters is modernizing voting and providing voters with greater flexibility and convenience.
The key to next year’s elections for both the primaries, held on March 3, 2020 and the General Election held in November, is the Voter’s Choice Act. On April 9, 2019 the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors elected to enact the Voter’s Choice Act for Santa Clara County. Believe it or not, HOW elections are run and governed is a county by county decision across America. Read more HERE.
Starting with the March 3, 2020 Presidential Primary Election
Every registered voter will receive a Vote By Mail ballot starting 29 days before Election Day
Voters can vote at any of the Vote Centers in Santa Clara County
Approximately 22 Vote Centers will open for 11 days including Election Day and approximately 88 Vote Centers will be open for 4 days including Election Day for a total of 110 Vote Centers throughout the County on Election Day
Vote Centers will offer more space, additional services, and new enhanced voting equipment
Read more about Voter's Choice HERE.
Be part of educating the public by passing this information on whether in conversation at social events, by email, social networking sites or volunteering at a Voter Information Table/Event each month.
For more information on how to get involved HERE. Or, contact Sara Nicolson, Voter Services Director.
As students resume their studies at all levels, so do volunteers gear up for an active year ahead.
As members of the League of Women Voters, we embrace our duty to educate and register new and disengaged citizens on the power of the vote. We kick off our voter outreach this month on National Voter Registration Day, Tuesday, September 24. We invite you to join us in this effort. Please volunteer to register voters HERE. There will be two 1 hour training sessions offered on Saturday, September 14 at 10 am or Wednesday, September 18 at 7 pm. Contact me, Sara Nicolson email@example.com to signup for this training.
Primary Elections will be held on March 3, 2020, and General Elections November 3, 2020. Our team will be busy hosting Candidate Forums of local races, including San Jose City Council and State Assembly District 15 (currently held by Jim Beall) and Pro’s and Con’s presentations.
We are also teaming up with the 4 Other leagues in Santa Clara County, the county superintendent's office, and the office of women’s policy to launch a pilot program of pre-registering high school juniors. This previously tested successful outreach will be a one-day registration event in multiple high schools in the Sunnyvale area. Stay tuned for more details of opportunities to serve in this effort.
I look forward to working with you this year as we continue to build our Voter Service team. Please volunteer to become a part of this important League public outreach by contacting me: firstname.lastname@example.org
According to Alex Padilla, California Secretary of State, on April 9, 2019, the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors unanimously voted to adopt the Voter’s Choice Act for the 2020 elections. Under this modern election model, every registered voter in the county will automatically receive their ballot by mail and have options for how to return their ballot, by mail, to any ballot drop box in the county, or at any vote center in the county convenient to them. Santa Clara becomes the tenth county to adopt the Voter’s Choice Act.
“In 2020, nearly half of California voters will enjoy more options for when, where, and how to cast their ballots through the Voter’s Choice Act,” said Secretary of State Alex Padilla. “Voter-centric elections rooted in community engagement makes our democracy stronger. I look forward to working with elections officials, citizens, and civic organizations in Santa Clara County to deliver a modern voting experience.”
This offers our League the opportunity to focus on new voter education this upcoming year. Not only can we help educate the public about this progressive approach to voting, but we can also support the ROV to get out the vote!
I personally want to thank all of the League volunteers who helped Voter Service this past year, in volunteering at events or behind the scenes. We attempted a lot and we accomplished a lot. But there is so much more to do in this never-ending charge to Make Our Democracy Work! We hope we can count on you again.
Sara pre-registering students at the Harker Academy