Next Wisconsin Election: November 3, 2020
Plan ahead. Stay safe. Make your voice heard on Election Day.
Absentee Ballots Are Being Mailed to Voters Who Have Filed Requests
If you need help voting,
please contact us!
Click on the green "Helpline" button to the right.
Check Our Voting Information Page for Complete WI Election Information.
Please Join Our Virtual Lunch & Learns
October Lunch & Learn
Tuesday, October 13
11:30 AM - 1 PM
Creating a Healthier Multicultural Community -- What Can you Do?
Diana DiazGranados, Public Health Advocate
Co-Creator, Creating a Healthier Multicultural Community Project
Promoting Better Understanding of Racial Understanding and Justice in our Communities
Creating a Healthier Multicultural Community requires a community who is willing to not only talk the talk but also walk the walk. This session will focus on actionable steps that each of us can do to support this effort.
In preparation for Ms. DiazGranados's talk, the Program Committee is suggesting two books our members might want to read beforehand. First is “Waking Up White and Finding Myself in the Story of Race” by Debbie Irving. If you have read it, a second suggestion is “So You Want To Talk About Race” by Ijeoma Oluo. The committee felt that reading one or both of the books, if possible, in preparation for the meeting would help to further our self-education and stimulate further discussion.
Members of the public are invited to join the free live Zoom meeting by registering through the link below. A recording of the program will be available for viewing on our website following the live Zoom presentation.
Please register in advance for this webinar:
Directions for joining the Zoom Webinar:
1) Click on the button above to register in advance for this webinar. Fill in the required information on the registration page.
2) After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing a link to join the Zoom webinar that says "Click Here to Join."
3) Save your email confirmation, and use that link to join the meeting on 9/15. You can join on a computer or a mobile device. Our audience will not appear on your screen, but you will have access to a Q&A feature to enter questions that will be shared after the program with our speaker.
Speaking of Democracy
Join the Conversation at LWVLA Book Club
Wednesday, September 30, 6:30 - 8:00 pm
ALL ARE WELCOME!
So it is now time to get back into the book club mode after taking off our Covid respite. We will attend by Zoom! I think we have gotten more used to Zoom meetings even though we might not love them. The link to join this meeting on your computer or mobile device will be in the next news update, along with instructions on how to join the meeting.
We will decide on the next two books and dates. I know Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson has been suggested a number of times and has gotten good reviews. Hope to virtually see you then!
Biased: Uncovering the Hidden Prejudices That Shape What We See, Think, and Do by Jennifer Eberhardt.
From one of the world’s leading experts on unconscious racial bias come stories, science, and strategies to address one of the central controversies of our time. (notes from Amazon)
Tuesday, September 22, 2020
Welcome: Julie Nelson, Great Rivers United Way
Moderator: Lee Rasch, LeaderEthics-Wisconsin
Registering & Voting: The FactsRusty Cunningham, La Crosse Tribune
Host: Dustin Luecke, WXOW-TV
Panel discussion with current Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul (D) and former Wisconsin Attorney General JB Van Hollen (R)
Can we trust all votes will be processed correctly, received on time and counted?
Host: Martha Koloski, WKBT-TV
Panel discussion with Reid Magney, Wisconsin Elections Commission, Ginny Dankmeyer , La Crosse County Clerk
What is being done in this area to ensure the integrity of each and every vote?
Host: Scott Robert Shaw, WIZM
Q& A: To submit a question for the panelists, email email@example.com or text (608) 785-7914.
Closing: Lee Rasch, LeaderEthics-Wisconsin
This event is supported and endorsed by: .be., Great Rivers United Way, La Crosse Area Chamber of Commerce, LeaderEthics-Wisconsin, League of Women Voters of the La Crosse Area, University of Wisconsin La Crosse, retired political science professor Joe Heim, and the Valley View and Downtown Rotary Clubs. Media partners are: La Crosse Tribune, WIZM Radio, WKBT-TV, and WXOW-TV.
Vote Safe Project – Your Vote Counts
A Virtual Discussion on the Voting Process & Safety
LWVLA Leaders Consider Suffrage and the 19th Amendment
On Limited Suffrage: A Letter to the Editor
by Robin Schmidt, LWVLA Vice-President
La Crosse Tribune, August 6, 2020
While Aug. 18, 2020, is the date on which we celebrate the centennial for women’s right to vote, it is, in reality, the celebration of white women’s right to vote.
Many efforts to limit African-Americans' right to vote persisted for another 45 years throughout the country, especially in the south. Poll taxes, literacy tests and other bureaucratic efforts were used to keep black women, in particular, from voting.
On Aug. 6, 1965, President Johnson signed into law the Voting Rights Act that abolished those types of discriminatory voting measures.
The legislation also provided for the appointment of federal examiners to register voters and required the federal government to pre-approve changes to voting practices or procedures in areas that were “covered” as defined by a formula stipulated in the law.
According to Ourdocuments.gov, “By the end of 1965, a quarter of a million new black voters had been registered, one-third by federal examiners.”
So on Aug. 6, the League of Women Voters recognizes the importance of all women having the right to vote and celebrates those who worked to make this happen.
Not only do Black Lives Matter, but black votes matter and we encourage all eligible citizens to register and vote in the upcoming elections. Visit myvote.wi.gov or lwvlacrosse.org for more information on how to register and vote.
Celebrating the 19th Amendment, a Letter to the Editor
by Mary Nugent, LWVLA President
La Crosse Tribune, August 23, 2020
100 years ago bells rang and women celebrated the hard-fought ratification of the 19th Amendment. Since the founding of this country, women have fought for the right to be equally represented in their governance. Finally, in 1920, after decades of suffragist protests and marches, of being beaten and jailed, of being ridiculed and spat upon, women were granted the right to vote.
We know now that the 19th was just a start to the struggle for equality. Immediately after passage, some states enacted barriers to the vote such as poll taxes, literacy tests and knowledge quizzes. Asian, Native American and Black women had to demand additional law changes in order to be able practice their right to suffrage. For some, this took another 45 years, until passage of the landmark Voting Rights Act in 1965. Still today, the fight for equal pay, representation and social parity continues.
But for now, let’s celebrate the positive changes that the 19th Amendment fostered. American women can now own property, have credit, choose a career, and be heard in courts, all impossible in 1920.
Celebrate the passage of the 19th Amendment at noon on August 26, with the League of Women Voters of the La Crosse Area as we ring bells, toot horns and shout hurrah throughout our community. Take a moment to remember those remarkable suffragists who fought long and hard to make their voices heard. And on November 3, make your voice ring out and vote.
Mary appeared in a story broadcast on WKBT, News 8000, to commemorate the ratification of the 19th Amendment. She tells the story of Ada James's request to her father which resulted in Wisconsin's being the first state to officially ratify. View here.
In partnership with the National Conference on Citizenship, the first-ever report on Wisconsin’s civic health has been released. With the release of this report, Civic Health in Wisconsin: Connectedness in Context, Wisconsin joins 30 other U.S. states in measuring civic health, laying the groundwork for tracking changes and improvements.
"Civic health” is a term that refers to the degree to which citizens participate in their communities, from local and state governance to interactions with friends or family. Civic health also relates to the overall well-being of neighborhoods, communities, states, and the nation.
This publication also marks the beginning of a Wisconsin civic health initiative, which will mobilize these data to strengthen and catalyze civic engagement efforts in Wisconsin communities. You can read the whole report here.
LWVLA Members Provide Voting Information on WPR's Newsmakers
As members of our League's Voters Services committee, Chris Haskell and Pam Thiel were the guests of moderator Ezra Wall on NPR's Newsmakers show on July 17 and 18. Chris and Pam provided a comprehensive overview of what voters need to know about voter registration, absentee voting, Vote411 as a voter information resource, and the work of our League in the La Crosse area. You can listen to their interview here.
LWVWI Files a Brief to Prevent Purge of Registered Voters
On Monday, July 13, the League of Women Voters of Wisconsin (LWVWI) filed an amicus curiae brief in the Wisconsin Supreme Court to protect voters from being erroneously removed from polling lists of registered voters.
“Attempts to utilize data that is known to be flawed are attempts to suppress votes, plain and simple,” said Debra Cronmiller, LWVWI executive director. “The League of Women Voters of Wisconsin will continue to protect voters by ensuring those who are validly registered are not inappropriately removed from the polling book.”
LWV Upper Mississippi River Region News
The May 30 UMRR Annual Meeting focused on Chicago's Impacts on the Mississippi. Our speakers were Debra Shore and Kelly McGinnis - their talks were illuminating, insightful and inspiring.
Videos of both talks are available here. (Scroll down.)
The League of Women Voters joined more than 50 organizations on an amicus brief in Bostock v. Georgia & Harris Funeral Homes v. EEOC. The LWV president Chris Carson issued the following statement in response to this important ruling:
“Never again can a person be discriminated against at work due to their sexual orientation or gender identity. This landmark victory provides long overdue protections for LGBTQ people in education, housing, and healthcare. We cheer the efforts of LGBTQ activists who have long fought for legal protection on behalf of their community.
“While we celebrate this milestone, we know the fight continues. This decision affords much needed nondiscrimination protections within the workplace, yet we recognize that the LGBTQ community still faces numerous challenges, including the threat of hate crimes and identity-based violence—with higher rates of violence against Black trans women.
“The League of Women Voters stands with the LGBTQ community in celebrating this step toward progress, and we will continue advocating for equal protection under the law.”
League Joins Letter Urging Increased Election System Security
Recent news reports have disclosed troubling weaknesses in commercially marketed voting systems and disturbing conduct by voting system vendors, raising significant questions. Voting system vendors have operated with little oversight and no regulation for decades. Given the gravity and urgency of this issue, LWVUS joined partners urging Senate committees to hold a hearing on election system security. Read our letter here.
LWVUS Developed Guidance on Protest Participation
This past week, people from throughout the country exercised their First Amendment right in support of the Black Lives Matter movement. Members planning to participate in other protests in the coming weeks may not really be sure how to “show up” at a public demonstration. For that reason, LWUS developed a resource for you on How to be Good Allies at the Protests.
LWVUS Joins Letter to UN Human Rights Commission
The LWVUS UN observers joined a coalition letter asking the United Nations Human Rights Council to conduct an inquiry into the recent violence against African Americans. New justice reform legislation is also being introduced, and LWVUS will be evaluating these bills for opportunities to lean in.