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September 2016 Meeting

Voter Service
Volunteers are needed for voter registration and candidate forums in September and October. We are again collaborating with Lawrence LWV on several voter registration events. Please consider donating a few hours of your time to support voter service in this busy presidential election year. Read more:
Jennifer Howard will be distributing voter registration information to the Trenton Downtown Association (TDA) who will place it at their table for the weekly Farmer's Market at Mill Hill. She also plans to distribute information at the Levitt AMP Trenton Music Series concerts at the Capital Green public space on Barrack Street.

FYI – Nancy Hall stated that all mail-in ballots are counted in NJ elections.

Other voter service events include:
August 3 - Sandy Smith attends a voter registration training session sponsored by Planned Parenthood and answered questions that arose regarding registration.

September 8 – On behalf of Planned Parenthood, Sandy Smith and a Planned Parenthood staff member train members of the Universalist Unitarian Legislative Ministry of NJ to do voter registration. Volunteers from the UU will help with our League’s voter registration events.

September 17 – Chrystal Schivell presents “How to Vote” at Hillsborough Public Library.

October 8 – With the assistance of Sandie Rabinowitz, Jennifer Howard presents “Serving NJ Voters – 2016 and Beyond” at West Windsor Library ,10AM.

October 21 – Sandy Smith speaks about the history of voting rights to Women in Retirement at the Princeton Senior Center,10:30AM.

Voters’ Guides – This year the LWVNJ is implementing a web-based system, VOTE411.org, to develop Voters’ Guides and make them available to the public. The team of Chystal Schivell (Voter Service chair), Patricia Casey, and Sandy Smith are covering 11 races: Middlesex County Freeholder and County Sheriff; Montgomery Township Committee and BOE; Plainsboro Township Committee; Princeton BOE, Council and Mayor; South Brunswick BOE and Township Council; and West Windsor-Plainsboro BOE. 

Letters to the Editor to create awareness of VOTE411.org will be distributed to local newspapers. Posters and business cards will be available to advertise VOTE411.org at voter registration and other League events – please contact Sandy Smith at sa2smith@comcast.net.

Please let your friends and neighbors know that the Voters’ Guides will be available online at VOTE411.org in early October. The Voter Service committee will also look into posting the guides on our website, lwvprinceton.org.

Given the time-consuming effort to find each candidate’s email address, the voter service committee requested that LWVNJ consider signing up with an online search company. Melissa Scott will follow up.

Chrystal requested that all members provide questions for candidates throughout the year, as issues arise. Conducting a separate meeting next summer to develop candidate questions was discussed.

Forums – This year we are sponsoring three forums:

October 4 (7 PM) – Princeton Mayoral Forum, Witherspoon Main;

October 6 (7 PM) – Princeton BOE Forum, Monument Main;

October 20 (6:30 PM) - 12th Congressional District Forum, The College of New Jersey.

Chrystal would appreciate volunteers to help with any of the forums. As always, the forums will be videotaped and posted on our website so please get the word out!

LWVNJ Fall Forum and Workshop: Voter Registration in the 21st Century
Saturday, October 8, 9:00 am – 1:30 pm
Rider University, Daly Dining Hall
2083 Lawrenceville Road, Lawrenceville, NJ 08648

Learn how online voter registration and automatic voter registration have been working in other states and the benefits of implementing them here. The day will feature two panel discussions of voting experts engaging in an in-depth exploration of voter registration modernization. Staff from the Brennan Center for Justice will explain these technologies and New Jersey experts will talk about how these updates can improve voter outreach and engagement.

Registration is $25 until September 28. A late fee applies after that date. Registration and coffee begin at 9 am and the program begins at 9:30. Lunch will be served. To register for this forum, go to The League of Women Voters of New Jersey website, or contact Pat Thompson at phone number 609-394-3303 or email address contact@lwvnj.org.

Treasurer’s Report
Ellen reported that our League is in good financial shape. Funds are available for voter service activities. A membership list is posted on the Members Only page of the website. Members who cannot access the page may ask Ellen for a list.

LWVNJ Update
Lee reported that a message will be coming regarding LWVNJ’s non-partisan policy; local Leagues can accept LWVNJ policy or develop a stricter policy. Likewise, the NJ bylaws are being updated to include the changes to membership criteria decided at the LWVUS convention as well as other items. A message about the two questions on the ballot for the upcoming election will also be issued, with pros and cons regarding casinos in northern NJ, and the diesel fuel tax.

For advocacy, there are several items in the legislature regarding voting, ethics and redistricting. The government committee and our lobbyist are following and providing input in accordance with League positions. Women and Family Issues committee has completed a draft of the consensus study on Campus Sexual Assault.

Anniversary Celebrations
The LWV of the Princeton Area will reach our 90th anniversary in 2017, and the LWVUS will celebrate the centennial anniversary in 2020. Celebration of our 90th anniversary can be combined with our annual dinner meeting. Plans for possible collaboration with the Lawrence LWV to have an event in 2020 for the centennial were discussed.

Next Business Meeting
Our next business meeting will take place on January 10, 2017 from 7-9 pm at the Suzanne Patterson Building in Princeton. We will discuss and come to consensus on the LWVNJ Campus Sexual Assault Study. Information will be sent to you prior to the meeting. As time permits, we will also discuss updating our bylaws; for example, LWVUS voted at the Convention in June 2016 to approve giving full membership to members age 16 and up, with full voting rights for all League business.