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.
News from Voter Service Chair Sara Nicolson
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.
On April 18th your League volunteers helped to register over 160 New Citizens at their swearing-in ceremonies at the Heritage Theater in Campbell. This is a once a month event where one of the several Leagues in Santa Clara County is asked to send members to assist the Registrar of Voters. Each League is scheduled for two of the year's ceremonies. Our League participated in January and this past week. However, each of the Leagues has agreed to help out the others if requested. We thank the members of the Southwest League for joining us. It is always an exciting event.
This time, we were able to tell these new citizens that they did not need to make a decision about receiving their ballot by mail. Since the Santa Clara County Supervisors opted to implement the Voter's Choice Act, all registered voters in Santa Clara County will receive their ballots by mail - automatically, even if they had chosen not to receive the ballot by mail for past elections. Voters will have the choice of mailing back their ballot at the expense of the County, dropping their ballot in one of the drop boxes that will be set up within the County or going to a Voting Center within the County. Read more here.
At a time when we are hoping to 'get out the vote' more effectively, we are happy to see this come along. We hope to see an uptick in the numbers of voters actually voting as a result of this new approach in our County. We shall see the impact of the earlier than usual California primary election in March 2020 as well. Read more here.
Then we as a League can fine-tune our focus to Make Democracy Work!
OAK GROVE HIGH SCHOOL STUDENT RESOURCE FAIR: On April 19th, League members participated in the Oak Grove High School Student Resource Fair by registering voters and presenting information about our democracy. Our members enjoyed meeting students as they came to the gym, encouraged them to vote in the 2020 election and to start paying attention since candidates and ballot information is coming out. Younger students were informed that they could pre-register to vote and that they would need their Social Security number, driver's license or California ID. Voter's Edge bookmarks were handed out to many students for them and their families and our members explained why the site was important. Events like this happen because our members have established a long term relationship with the organizers of these events, so we are invited each year to attend. This is an excellent example of how we can get involved....become a contact to develop that special relationship with a school or community organization. Once they see what we bring to the table, we usually can count on them to invite us year after year! Thank you to our members who participate year after year.
Managing Voter Registration Events
Managing Pros and Cons Presentations