Action and Advocacy Interest Groups Are Underway

Linda Rice, Action and Advocacy Coordinator

You can join one (or more!) of these groups! 

Become an interest group member to become more engaged with our League mission: Empowering Voters, Defending Democracy.

 

At its October 3 meeting, the LWV-WA board adopted a policy presented by Action and Advocacy Coordinator Linda Rice to guide interest groups. The policy describes what advocacy efforts members may undertake in support of positions that the League has reached through research, dialogue and consensus. The policy, including guidelines for interest groups, can be accessed here.

Several local League interest groups have formed to focus on League priorities. Each group will meet regularly to conduct research in depth, track relevant legislation introduced in the General Assembly (GA), and advocate, either in support or opposition, with our legislators during the GA session. Interest groups may organize panel discussions on topics of general interest that the group identifies. Fall reception attendees had an opportunity to join individual groups; some committees are complete, others actively seek additional members.

Nine members have joined the Election Integrity Committee; no more are needed. I chaired the recent state study on Behavioral Health that resulted in an expanded state position; our knowledgeable committee will continue its advocacy work.

The Education interest group, Loretta Hannum, Susan Nelson, Laura Tripp, and Sudie Watkins, will select a chair at their first meeting; additional members are welcome.

Christine Payne is the point of contact for advocacy on Gun Safety legislation.

Jo Solomon is our League liaison to the LWV-VA Redistricting Committee. The state League has been an active partner with OneVirginia2021 since its inception in 2013.

The League supports passage of the Equal Rights Amendment, and your involvement in VAratifyERA.org would be welcome.

Contact Linda Rice with questions.

To Vote or Not to Vote

Mary Ann Moxon, Public Relations/Outreach

Why do Americans choose to vote—or choose not to exercise that most basic right? And how do we as League members help to reduce the divide between voters and nonvoters?

Mediocre voter turnout has become the trend in America despite warnings that “democracy is not a spectator sport.” Voter turnout in the U.S. is among the lowest in the world, having declined sharply since 1900. Many people consciously choose to stay on the sidelines of democracy; others find formidable obstacles to exercising their right to vote.

Reasons are many: people say they are too busy, don’t like their choices or don’t know enough to vote. Many are focused on getting to work or paying their rent. In many states voter ID restrictions keep people from voting. Too many do not realize that midterm elections also carry enormous political stakes. For example, governors and state legislators elected this fall will determine redistricting decisions following the 2020 census.

Young first-time voters may show up at the polls on November 6. But many youth are suspicious of politicians and political parties – as are many other citizens. 1914 was the last time that more than half of eligible voters turned out for a midterm election. Only 33 percent of eligible voters voted in the 2014 midterms; among18-29-year-olds about 20 percent cast a ballot. Polls focused on “likely voters” predict that just 37 percent of young voters will vote in the upcoming midterms.

There is a “renaissance of political engagement” among some Americans experiencing a new civic spirit—calling their elected officials more often, marching in opposition to or in support of causes, donating money, running for office and joining organizations such as the League of Women Voters. Partisan and racial gerrymandering has energized many voters in Virginia and other states where voters are demanding that they pick their legislators, rather than legislators picking their voters through gerrymandered district lines.

The League of Women Voters, NAACP, numerous churches, campus groups like Vote21 and political parties have worked to register voters for the fall elections. On National Voter Registration Day, September 25, a record 800,000 new voters registered. But far surpassing that is the number of voters who have been purged from voting rolls in many states or barriers imposed to reduce participation at the polls.

So what can League members do to further our mission to Empower Voters and Defend Democracy? Encourage friends and family to be informed voters by seeking opportunities to hear directly from candidates. Promote the League’s online resource, Vote411.org, where voters can compare candidates’ responses to questions. Offer to assist in getting voters to the polls. Work to reduce onerous ID requirements. Long-term, support making Election Day a national holiday. And to those cynics, who believe that their one vote does not matter, remind them that a tie election in 2017 saw the Virginia House of Delegates majority determined by the drawing of a name.

Virginia Senate Candidates: Survey Answers

Every election, the League of Women Voters sends identical questions to candidates for office. See the responses of the Senate candidates for Virginia here. Go to vote411.org for more.

The following formatting is excerpted from The League of Women Voters of Fairfax Voters’ Guide. VOTE411.org’s content is duplicated in this publication.

U.S. Senate for Virginia

The U.S. Senate term is six years. Each state is represented by two Senators who have staggered terms. There is no limit to the number of terms they may serve. Senators serve their constituents as they offer legislation, serve on committees, debate new bills and amendments to previous legislation. They also serve to advise and consent on matters such as ratification of treaties and confirmation of high-level positions, including U.S. Supreme Court Justices. Senators must be at least 30 years old, have been a U.S. citizen for the last nine years or longer, and inhabit the state they seek to represent. A Senator’s salary is $174,000. See the Virginia Department of Elections website for all the races and candidates: vote.virginia.gov

Biographical Info of the Candidates for US Senate:

Tim M. Kaine
Party: Democratic
Website: http://timkaine.com/
Education: University of Missouri – B.A. in Economics; Harvard Law School
Experience: Civil Rights Lawyer; Richmond City Council; Mayor of
Richmond; Virginia Lieutenant Governor; Virginia Governor; Democratic
National Committee Chairman; and US Senator of Virginia on the Senate Armed
Services; Foreign Relations; Budget; and Health, Education, Labor and Pensions
Committees.
Facebook: facebook.com/SenatorKaine/
Twitter: @timkaine

Corey Stewart
Party: Republican
Website: www.coreystewart.com
Education: Juris Doctorate, William Mitchell College of Law; B.S., Foreign
Service, Georgetown University
Experience: Corey Stewart is the at-large elected Chairman of the Prince
William Board of County Supervisors. Previously, he served as the Virginia
Chairman for the Donald J. Trump for President campaign. He is an International Trade Attorney in private practice.
Facebook: facebook.com/CoreyStewartVA
Twitter: @CoreyStewartVA

Matt J. Waters
Party: Libertarian
Website: www.mattwaters.com
Education: BA George Mason University MS Reformed Theological
Seminary (2019)
Experience: Business owner/entrepreneur, 10 years Vice President
National Non-Profit Organization Senior Officer, Advertising Agency
Facebook: facebook.com/WatersForUSSenate/
Twitter: @VASenate2018

Questions & Answers
I. What policies and resources do you propose to ensure election integrity and security in the United States?

Tim M. Kaine: The recent Omnibus bill that passed earlier this year included an additional $307 million for the 
FBI’s work to secure the 2018 U.S. midterm elections and fight against future Russian cyberattacks. The bill also provided $380 million for the Election Assistance Commission to increase cybersecurity for state voting systems and protect elections against foreign interference. We need to ensure that we are doing everything we can to protect our elections systems from cyberattacks. In addition, we need to ensure we are protecting all critical sensitive information from being hacked, such as: health, education, and banking infrastructure. States hold the majority of sensitive information. Virginia has been at the forefront of ensuring that we are taking all steps necessary to protect our infrastructure from any potential attack. I also strongly support states and localities taking the necessary steps to back up their elections with paper ballots.

Corey Stewart: I fully support voter ID laws, which serve to prevent various kinds of election fraud: impersonation fraud; registration under fictitious names; voting in more than one state; and non-citizen voting.
States that have enacted this commonsense reform found no depressing effect on voter turnout.

Matt J. Waters: The Constitution is clear on the issue: 15th & 19th Amendments secure the right of citizens to vote. Congress has the power to enforce this via legislation.

II. What policies, e.g. tariffs, taxes, tax cuts, do you propose to promote economic security for all Americans?

Tim M. Kaine: We must invest in Virginians, value diversity, and grow the talented workforce that makes our economy thrive. I introduced bills to support families, by increasing tax credits to lift families out of poverty, and increasing the federal minimum wage to $15 over a 7-year period. We lost an opportunity to pass a tax reform
bill that would put middle-class families and small businesses first. Instead, Republicans jammed through a bill that will raise taxes on millions of Americans. We must give more of the benefits to the middle class instead of big corporations. I introduced an amendment to this bill to provide long-term middle class tax relief and reduce the amount the bill adds to the deficit. Republicans blocked my amendment. I also have strong concerns with the President imposing tariffs on our major allies, resulting in steep tariffs being imposed on Virginia products. I have urged the President to reverse course and make it clear to our allies that we are honest brokers.

Corey Stewart: President Trump’s tax cuts have already done much to promote economic security for all Americans – with black, Hispanic, Asian and youth unemployment now at all-time lows. I would vote to make these tax cuts permanent. I additionally support President Trump’s efforts to renegotiate unfair trade agreements with other nations, in the best interests of American workers.

Matt J. Waters: One-hundred percent of US taxpayers’ income from January 1 to April 18 goes to local, state and federal government. The government takes 33% of our property on an annual basis–more than most Americans spend on food, clothing and shelter combined. The Libertarian Party believes taxation is theft; that the government’s role is to do three things and three things only: protect our right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness (or property). Personal federal income taxes were not allowed in the US until 1913 and the passage of the 16th Amendment. As Senator, I propose repealing the 16th Amendment, abolishing the IRS, and giving every American taxpayer a $12,000 pay raise. This ultimate measure will lead to major reforms in the
contract between government and the people.

III. What is your position on using a citizenship question on the 2020 Census survey?

Tim M. Kaine: I am opposed to asking individuals whether or not they are citizens on the 2020 Census survey because it will result in fewer people being counted or participating in the process. The rhetoric coming from this administration is sending fear into communities of color and this could lead to a distortion of who is residing in the U.S. Data collected by the Census is essential in bringing federal dollars and determining the political representation of our communities. The federal funds are distributed to state and local government to support schools, health care, housing, and other vital public benefits. There are about 300 federal programs that use Census data to determine how and where the money is spent. The Census occurs once every ten years and it is critical that we get a complete and accurate count. For these reasons, I oppose including a citizenship question on the 2020 Census survey.

Corey Stewart: I support reinstating the citizenship question on the 2020 Census survey. Electoral seats should be determined according to the population of actual citizens, not total population size.

Matt J. Waters: This is entirely in the purview of the Congress according to Section 1 Article 8 of the Constitution.

IV. What are your proposals for an immigration policy?

Tim M. Kaine: In 2013, the first major bill that I voted on was an immigration reform bill that was bipartisan and included a pathway to citizenship for many individuals living in the U.S. I supported the Senate’s 2013 comprehensive immigration reform bill that would reform our visa system, protect Dreamers and TPS recipients, and protect our borders. This country is a nation of immigrants who have played an integral role in our society, have brought the skills and talents to make the U.S. globally competitive. Our immigration system has unfairly kept millions of people who contribute to the United States living in the shadows of our society. I have been a strong and loud critic of this administration’s treatment of Dreamers, proposals to limit legal
immigration, travel bans, and all attempts to separate families. Earlier this year, I worked with my colleagues in the Senate to find a solution to protect Dreamers, create a pathway to citizenship, while protecting our borders.

Corey Stewart: Immigration should be managed in a way that benefits our nation. I would end the Visa lottery in favor of a merit-based system. We should have zero tolerance for illegal alien crime. I favor the prosecution of state and local officials who brazenly flout our nation’s immigration laws by declaring “sanctuaries” for illegal aliens. Finally, I would vote to fund construction and maintenance of a true wall, to stem the flow of migrants and contraband across our southern border.

Matt J. Waters: I support reforming the current Immigration system/laws and review the three major agencies responsible for Immigration: U.S. Customs and Border Protection (“CBP”); U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (“ICE”); and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (“CIS”). I support DACA. I do not support the
Wall for financial and results oriented reasons (It won’t solve the problem). I believe we need to change the laws on chain migration. 70% of all immigration to US are relatives coming to live here. I would advocate moving to a merit based system based on skills and America’s labor needs. I support E-verify, and tighter border security. I also support renewable work permits for non-US citizens working in the US, as this will raise salaries of non-US citizens such that they would not undercut current worker salaries.

V. What do you propose to ensure high quality, affordable and accessible health care?

Tim M. Kaine: I believe that access to health care is a right for all Virginians and I strongly support the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and Medicaid Expansion in Virginia. I have fought against “repeal and replace” of the ACA, and threats to Medicaid, Medicare, and CHIP (Virginia’s “FAMIS” program). The ACA prevents individuals from being denied health insurance if they have a pre-existing condition, and provides access to preventive care that will
help reduce the cost and incidence of chronic diseases. Since passage of the ACA, more than 300,000 Virginians have gained access to quality affordable health care through its federally-run exchange. I have supported legislation to continue to expand health care coverage and make important fixes to the ACA. I also introduced the Medicare-X Choice Act which would create an affordable public option, so Americans could choose whether to purchase one of the existing private plans on the exchange or a Medicare-X public plan.

Corey Stewart: Obamacare has failed to deliver on its promises, as too many individuals and families have learned the hard way. I strongly favor health savings accounts, as well as the restoration of short-term and low cost
“no-frills” plans. We should allow insurance plans to be sold across state lines (more competition is healthy). Ultimately, we need a free market, consumer-driven health care system that puts the needs of patients first.

Matt J. Waters: 1. Since Obamacare was passed in 2014, the cost of insurance for self-employed has skyrocketed. I would join with the dozen governors who have sued the Labor Dept to allow small businesses and the self-employed to form association health plans (AHPs). 2. Promote Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) that put consumers in the drivers seat for current and future healthcare costs. HSAs eliminate the gatekeeper that tells the consumer what is allowed or not under their plan. These plans have shown to reduce overall health costs. Generally, I would advocate for the government to get out of the healthcare business. The government track record on health care is easily seen in the VA Hospital and impending bankruptcy of Medicare and
Medicaid. I favor allow companies to compete for consumer business not unlike other businesses, and for customers to choose between multiple health care offerings, or none at all.

VI. What policies do you propose to reduce gun violence?

Tim M. Kaine: I was Governor of Virginia during the shooting that took place at Virginia Tech, killing 32 individuals, and injuring 17. I issued an executive order and signed a law requiring courts to report all involuntary mental health commitments to the database used to check the criminal records of gun buyers. I also signed other mental health reforms and vetoed bills that would have increased the presence of firearms in the public sphere. As a U.S. Senator, I support requiring a completed background check for every gun buyer who purchases a gun from a federally-licensed gun dealer. I am a cosponsor of legislation to close the gun show and private sale loopholes, require private sales go through a federal firearms licensee, and penalize states that fail to make data available to the national background check system. I am also a co-sponsor of the Assault Weapons Ban, which bans the sale, transfer, manufacture and importation of military-style assault weapons
and high-capacity ammunition magazines.

Corey Stewart: Firearms themselves are not the problem, as John Lott has thoroughly documented in his book, More Guns, Less Crime. We can – and we must – do more to reduce gun violence, without trampling on the 2nd
Amendment rights of lawful Americans. I strongly favor attacking the root causes of violence, through education, smarter policing, and improved mental health care. In addition, we should hire armed security
personnel – perhaps retired police officers – to protect our nation’s schools.

Matt J. Waters: For voters concerned about gun violence, I too share this concern. Of the 38,000 gun related deaths in 2016, 25,000+ are suicides by mostly white men, age 25-65. Black on black violence contributes to an
additional 8,000 gun related deaths annually. Combined, these statistics represent over 87% of the gun related deaths in America. If we desire to reduce gun violence in America, we must address medical depression and we
review the War on Drugs policy (DEA) that may be a leading cause of violence in urban areas. As Senator, I will call for an end to the War on Drugs, and the elimination of the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA). This will help
drive down black on black violence, and ultimately save lives. Regarding depression and other causes of suicide, this is an area that is best left to families, specialized non-profit organizations and the medical profession to
treat.

VII. What are your legislative priorities?

Tim M. Kaine: My campaign is focused on access to good paying jobs, education, health care, and true equality for all. Virginia has a strong military presence and as the father of a marine, my priorities in the Senate are to
ensure that the U.S. stays out of unnecessary wars and if we engage that we are successful. I along with Senator Corker are leading an effort to replace the 2001 and 2002 authorization for use of military force with an updated AUMF against al-Qaida, the Taliban and the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. I have fought against the repeal of the Affordable Care Act and believe that we need to continue to improve access to affordable quality health care. I introduced legislation, Medicare-X, a public plan that would provide another option for low-cost health insurance choices and create more competition in the marketplace. Finally, career and technical education (CTE) has always been a passion of mine and I believe CTE can strengthen the links between the
classroom and the workplace.

Corey Stewart: In the United States Senate, I will fight tirelessly to:
• Lower taxes, grow the economy, and bring back jobs
• Build the wall, end sanctuary cities, and crack down on criminal illegal aliens
• Defend 2nd Amendment rights, while attacking the root causes of violent crime
• Fully repeal and replace Obamacare
•Rebuild our military and support our veterans

Matt J. Waters: We must stop out of control government spending. The $22 trillion debt is the single greatest threat facing this country. We are adding $1 million a minute to the debt. To eliminate it, we must enact 1.Reform Entitlements, 2. Cut Government Spending (military/domestic and foreign programs/agencies) and 3.Eliminate the personal federal income tax (this will force cuts in spending, and return property to the American
taxpayer).

Disclaimer: The contact information provided in “Voters’ Guide” was furnished by the campaigns to the League of Women Voters of
the Fairfax Area (LWVFA), obtained from the Fairfax County Office of Elections, or official websites. The LWVFA is not responsible for any
changes or inaccuracies in the listings; the information was current as of October 21, 2018. This is not an official publication for any
campaign or candidate, but information only. The LWVFA can be reached at 703-658-9150, on the web at www.LWV-Fairfax.org, on our
Facebook page, www.facebook.com/lwvfairfax, twitter.com/LWVfairfax, or at LWVUS www.vote411.org.

New Local Action and Advocacy Policy

The Williamsburg League is developing a new Action and Advocacy Policy, drafted primarily by board member Linda Rice. Scroll down to read it or click here to open in a separate tab.

 

 

LWV-WA Action and Advocacy Policy

October 2018

 

 

 

Definition:    Action includes both advocacy and lobbying.  Lobbying is an attempt to influence specific legislation, either proposed or already introduced. LWV-VA has an official lobbyist who is given authority to speak on behalf of the state league.

However, members of local Leagues can advocate for an issue(s).   Advocacy consists of activities that educate legislators on particular issues which affect their members and helping them find solutions to persistent problems. When League members visit legislators, they need to indicate that they are expressing their views as individuals and not officially representing the League.

 

Examples: 

Advocacy

  • Telling your member of Congress how a federal grant your organization received has helped your constituents.
  • Educating a member of General Assembly about the effects of a policy on your constituency.

Lobbying

  • Asking your member of Congress or the General Assembly to vote for or against, or amend, introduced legislation.
  • Emailing a “call to action” to your members urging them to contact their member of Congress in support of action on introduced legislation or pending regulations.

Preparing materials or organizing events in support of lobbying activities

 

Why Does Advocacy Matter?

When done effectively, advocacy influences public policy by providing a conduit for individuals and organizations to voice an opinion.

These efforts can, in turn, sway public opinion, garner press coverage, and ultimately provide policymakers an opportunity to respond to constituents’ needs.

 

Roles and Responsibilities – LWV-WA Action and Advocacy Coordinator (AAC) and Coordinator Chairs (CC)

 

  1. Action/Advocacy
    1. Identifies needs for action/advocacy by monitoring newspapers, websites, e-newsletters, observer reports, etc. (AAC and CC)
    2. Prepares and presents action/advocacy proposals for board approval (AAC)
    3. Coordinates action/advocacy campaigns (AAC)
    4. Prepares and issues “Calls to Action/Advocacy” for members via appropriate channels including: (AAC and CC)
      1. Email and/or constant contact
      2. Facebook
    5. Encourages members to take action/advocate as individuals (AAC and CC)
    6. Prepares statements, letters, news articles, panel discussion etc. and works with PR chair or appropriate board members on distribution (CC)
    7. Attends LWV-VA meetings in Richmond, as able, and encourages LWVWA members to attend: (AAC and CC)
      1. Pre-session Roundtable meeting, usually the first Wednesday in December.
      2. Women’s Legislative Roundtable meetings, usually every Wednesday during the legislative session.
  • League Lobby Day, usually the first Wednesday in February
  1. Scheduling meetings with legislators
  1. Coordinates LWVWA testimony to the JCC County General Assembly Delegation (AAC)
  1. Suggests items to be included in president’s testimony and prepares or assists with writing the testimony.

 

  1. State-wide Action/Advocacy  – Identifies needs for action/advocacy in the following ways:
    1. Reviews LWV-VA website on a periodic basis (more often during the General Assembly session) for items that LWVWA should take action on or members should be informed about. (AAC and CC)
    2. Monitors Legislative Information System (LIS) and Richmond Sunlight and other appropriate media outlets. (AAC and CC)
    3. Tracks legislation on the Virginia General Assembly website to determine action opportunities. (AAC and CC)

 

  1. Public Outreach – Coordinators and committee members should:
    1. Convene panel discussions open to members and the general public about issues such as but not limited to election integrity, education, gun reform and redistricting.
    2. Identify speakers with expertise in the above issues or other issues.
    3. Use video resources to enhance public understanding of the above issues or other issues.

 

 

 

 

W&M President Rowe praises civic engagement

William and Mary president Katherine Rowe was the featured speaker of our fall membership meeting. Read the Virginia Gazette Coverage here!

by Amelia Heymann
aheymann@vagazette.com

 

Katherine Rowe, president of the College of William and Mary, said the school was celebrating 100 years of women at the college. Rowe said while changes were happening at the college, Virginia, its home, rejected the ratification of the suffrage amendment in 1920. The Commonwealth did not symbolically ratify suffrage until 1952.

“In alignment with these centennials, we find the opportunity to reflect on that generation who brought the franchise for women, particularly the women of that generation,” Rowe said. “I want to say that in our current generation of students now, I see a generation that is prime to make a similarly great impact on the world.”

Rowe discussed student civic engagement and was named the first honorary member of the Williamsburg Area League of Women Voters at its fall membership meeting Wednesday night.

One of the reasons Rowe said she felt the current generation of undergraduate students were poised to make an impact on the world was because they were more engaged with their communities than past generations.

“The world is here all the time and (students) are in it,” Rowe said. “There is no more bubble of college anymore…for better or for worse.”

She added while students are more aware of the immense challenges they have inherited, they are also are still optimistic about searching for solutions. Rowe said she is especially inspired by undergraduates’ sense of responsibility to build better communities.

“This generation of undergraduates are going to be the critical partners in sustaining our democracy,” Rowe said. “So we need to be listening and learning from them as they too need to be listening and learning from us.”

A member of the audience asked Rowe how the League of Women Voters could attract a younger and more diverse membership population. Rowe said she suggested simply asking younger voters what they thought.

“As a teacher, I would partner with students in the class because they knew things about what their learning process was like that I didn’t know, and if I engaged them as partners I would always come to better solutions,” Rowe said. “So my answer to you is ask, and you will get fantastically exciting ideas.”

Another member of the audience asked Rowe about the college’s Neighborhood Relations Committee. She said most people in the surrounding neighborhoods used the committee to complain about issues with college students. The woman asked Rowe if the committee could be used to create more positive interactions between the community and students, rather than just being used as a sounding board for complaints.

Rowe said she enjoyed the idea another person had brought up that evening, which was inviting college students over for dinner to get to know them.

“You have chosen to live right next to a college campus. It has its challenges, it has extraordinary benefits, so I would think about how we can embrace the vitality of that 18-22-year-old moment,” Rowe said. “And it starts with a nice dinner at midterms.”

At the end of the night, Mary Schilling, president of the Williamsburg Area League of Women Voters, named Rowe the first honorary member of the Williamsburg League.

Rowe reflected on her first memory of voting from when she was 6 or 7 years old. Rowe’s said she was allowed by to follow her mother into a voting booth by their local League of Women Voters. There Rowe looked up curiously as her mother cast a ballot.

“It was thrilling to be able to watch an adult vote,” Rowe said.

Later in life, Rowe said she volunteered for the Judge of Elections in Philadelphia.

“It was inspiring to be part of a democratic process,” Rowe said. “I owe a lot to the League of Women Voters, and to everyone who has helped to foster a commitment to (civic) participation.”

What’s on my ballot?

Check these links to see what’s on your ballot for Williamsburg, James City County, or York County.

You can vote absentee in person in your county’s voting office, or request an absentee ballot to be mailed to you. Scroll down to see where your county voting office is located.

 

York County:

(757) 890-3440

City of Williamsburg:

(757) 220-6157

James City County:

(757) 259-4949

Absentee Voting: Final Countdown!

Absentee voting is great if you know you will be unable to vote because of a commitment on Election Day.

Deadline to register to vote, or update an existing registration, is Monday, October 15, 2018. Check your voter registration at the official state site.

01jan12:00 am12:00 am

Deadline to request an absentee ballot to be mailed to you is Tuesday, October 30, 2018. Your request must be received by your Registrar by 5:00 p.m.

Deadline to vote an absentee ballot in-person is Saturday, November 3, 2018. Please check with your registrar for office hours.

York County Registrar’s Office is open Saturday, Oct. 27, 2018 and Saturday, November 3, 2018 from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. for absentee voting.

City of Williamsburg is open Saturday, October 27, and Saturday, November 3, from 8:30am to 4:30pm, for absentee voting.

James City County is open Saturday, Oct. 27 and Saturday Nov. 3 from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. for absentee voting.

You cannot vote absentee on Monday, November 5, right before the election, unless it is a specific type of emergency, so don’t wait till then!

Source: Virginia Elections Site

Absentee Application

You will need to fill out this piece of paperwork before casting your absentee ballot. You can do it at the office; you can even download the form here and bring it with you.

York County:

(757) 890-3440

City of Williamsburg:

(757) 220-6157

James City County:

(757) 259-4949

 


COMPLETING AN ABSENTEE BALLOT APPLICATION
– https://www.elections.virginia.gov/casting-a-ballot/absentee-voting/index.html

Am I eligible to vote absentee?
Check Here

You may vote absentee if you are unable to go to the polls on Election Day because you …

  • are a student or the spouse of a student outside the City of Williamsburg
  • will be away from the City of Williamsburg on business
  • will be at your workplace for 11 or more hours between 6:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m.
  • will be away from the City of Williamsburg on personal business or vacation
  • are unable to go to the polls because of illness or disability
  • are the primary caretaker of a confined family member
  • have a religious obligation
  • are confined awaiting trial are confined having been convicted of a misdemeanor
  • are an election official
  • are on active duty in the military
  • are the spouse or dependent residing with a member of the military
  • are an overseas citizen whose most recent United States residence was in [Williamsburg, James City County, or York County]

COMPLETE IN-PERSON

Before visiting your local registrar’s office, check your registration status or call your registrar’s office (phone numbers available on Virginia voter registration application). Also review the application to insure you have all of the information necessary to complete the process. If you are not already registered, you will have to wait five days after registration before you can be issued an absentee ballot (exception for military and overseas voters only). If you have a Virginia DMV license or ID card, you can register online using our OAB application.

  • Within 45 days prior to the election in which you wish to vote, visit your local registrar’s office to vote absentee in-person.
  • At the registrar’s office, fill out an Absentee Application. You must show an acceptable form of photo ID. To view a complete list of acceptable IDs, please visit our Voting In-Person page.
  • After completing the application, you will be allowed to vote absentee in-person using a voting machine in the registrar’s office. Accessible equipment and/or curbside voting is available upon request.

An application completed in person can be made up to three days before the election in which the applicant wishes to vote and completed in the office of the local registrar. The applicant signs the application in the presence of a registrar or the secretary of the electoral board. Some large localities offer satellite locations for in-person absentee voting. Check with your local registrar for locations and times.

An applicant generally cannot both register to vote in person and vote absentee in person at the same time. If you register to vote in person, your absentee ballot cannot be issued until five days after you are registered. The only exception is absent military and overseas voters eligible under a federal law.

Registered voters who vote absentee in person are subject to the same rules that apply to voting at the polls. If acceptable identification is not provided, a provisional ballot will be offered and the voter is allowed until the following Friday by noon after the election to provide a copy of acceptable identification to the electoral board. Provisional voters receive a notice to remind them of the deadline and right to attend the electoral board meeting.

 

Sources:

Williamsburg Election Office
Official State Elections Site

 

W&M President Rowe to Speak at Fall Meeting

by Phoebe Kent, The Voter co-editor

The Williamsburg League’s fall program features The College of William & Mary’s new president Katherine A. Rowe. The October 10 event at Legacy Hall begins at 4:30 pm. A reception will follow President Rowe’s remarks.

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In July The College of William & Mary began an exciting new chapter; its 28th president is a recognized leader, teacher, scholar, and entrepreneur – and its first woman president. Prior to William & Mary, Rowe held a number of leadership positions in higher education.

From 2014 to 2018, she was provost, dean of the faculty, and Sophia Smith Professor of English Language & Literature at Smith College. She is deeply interested in design thinking, entrepreneurship, and the digital humanities and has been nationally recognized as an innovator in higher education. During her tenure, Smith transformed its liberal arts curriculum, greatly increased diversity in faculty hiring, launched one of the first statistical and data sciences majors at a liberal arts college (and the first at a women’s college) and broke national fundraising records for women’s colleges.

Prior to joining Smith, Rowe spent 16 years at Bryn Mawr College as an English professor, department chair and director of the Katharine Houghton Hepburn Center for leadership and public engagement. Before that she was an assistant professor of literature at Yale. Rowe is cofounder and former CEO of Luminary Digital Media, which developed a series of educational apps enhancing student engagement and learning of classic Shakespearean texts.

Rowe earned a bachelor’s degree in English and American literature from Carleton College and a master’s and a PhD in English and American literature from Harvard. She has completed graduate work in Cinema and Media Studies at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. Her areas of research and scholarship include Shakespeare, Milton, Spenser, Medieval and Renaissance drama and media history.

Rowe has coached Ultimate Frisbee and led multiple teams to state championships in Pennsylvania. She was a World Ultimate Club Finalist and a Women’s Nationals Finalist. She and her husband Bruce Jacobson have two adult children, Danny and Beah.

Unanimously elected by William & Mary’s Board of Visitors in February, President Rowe was officially sworn in on July 2. She describes her goal for her first semester as one of “sustained, strategic listening” to all elements of the community. We are indeed fortunate to have this early opportunity to meet and hear her.

Six Takeaways from the LWV National Convention

by Les Solomon, Membership Co-chair & LWVUS Convention Delegate

 

Creating a More Perfect Democracy was the theme of the 53th National LWV Convention. More than 1000 League leaders attended the four-day convention that included excellent speakers, workshops, and thoughtful, methodical debate.

My key takeaways:

1. The LWV National is on sound footing. Two years ago, the financial health of LWVUS was not good; this year, they reported an amazing turnaround with more than $5 million in the black, thanks to strategic planning and a rigorous donor campaign.

2. Membership diversity is a key to sustainable growth. The League’s ongoing Transformation Journey and accompanying Roadmap provide evidence that demographically, the League must change. This initiative was seen as so important that all delegates participated in a seminar, Using Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Lens to Strengthen Social Impact and Collaboration.

3. There is so much energy at the local level to Empower Voters, Defend Democracy. I found the following sessions to be most interesting, many funded by LWVUS grants:

a. Immigration Sharing Session: Immigration policies should promote reunification of immediate families; meet economic, business and employment needs; and be responsive to those facing political persecution or humanitarian crises.
b. Youth Voter Registration: Learn Winning Tactics. Learn strategies for planning registration events that get the biggest bang for your volunteer buck and help empower young people!

4. Interesting Brochures (contact me for more info)

a. Engaging Members: Moving individuals onto & up the leadership ladder.
b. The Voter Girl Project: A youth citizenship project with the Girls Scouts.
c. National Popular Vote
d. Did you know that the US deports some veterans? #Deportedveterans
e. Why We Should Abolish the Electoral College: Since 1970, the LWV has believed that the Electoral College should be abolished in favor of a direct popular vote.

5. New LWVUS Statements:

a. Mission: Empowering Voters, Defending Democracy.
b. Vision: We envision a democracy where every person has the desire, the right, the knowledge, and the confidence to participate.
c. Value: We believe in the power of women to create a more perfect democracy. (The Value Statement raised some interesting questions regarding diversity.)

6. August 26, 2020. Get ready to celebrate the centennial of women’s suffrage marking a century after the ratification of the 19th Amendment. Our featured speaker at the banquet was Elaine Weiss, author of The Women’s Hour: The Great Fight to Win the Vote.

Thank you for the opportunity to be one of your delegates to the 2018 LWVUS Convention.