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League Newsletter March 2015

LWV logo
The League of Women Voters
of the Princeton Area
 Volume 29  Issue 8
  March 2015

   In This Issue

    Focus on Voter Service

    Voter Registration

    Voter's Guides

    Voter Education

    Annual Appeal and Callathon

    LWVNJ Convention

   Annual Meeting and Dinner

  2015 Calendar


    April 14, 7 - 9 PM
        Suzanne Patterson Building

    June 8
         Annual Meeting and Dinner


The League of Women Voters
of the Princeton Area

welcomes information
about issues

in our League area and
encourages comments at


2015-2016 Focus on Voter Service
The League's focus for 2015-16 is Voter Service, and there was a good turnout and some very welcome volunteers at the March meeting's Voter Service Workshop offered by Chrystal Schivell, Voter Service chair.

Voter Registration

Voter registration photoJoan Bharucha, who years ago took the initiative to register voters at theWest Windsor Farmers' Market every Saturday in September, enjoys the farmers' market's leisurely pace, which allows her to explain the steps in registration and to encourage voting.  Because West Windsor and Plainsboro are growing communities, Joan's services are needed by the many newcomers, and she feels rewarded. Ellen Kemp and Rita Ludlum, who live in retirement communities that constantly welcome newcomers, said that their registration drives were also successful and satisfying.
League members are encouraged to initiate their own drives—
whether alone or with another member or friend—wherever they see a need. All that's needed is permission to be on the premises and forms that you can pick up from your county clerk or that Chrystal can provide.
Although Chrystal will no longer be organizing registration drives, the Princeton League plans to help the Lawrence League with its drives at Mercer County Community College. Sandy Smith, our liaison, will be looking for volunteers for both daytime and evening next fall.

Voter's Guides
Chrystal explained the steps involved in compiling a Voter's Guide, which is like a virtual debate. It contains the written responses of all candidates to League questions and is published either in newspapers or on the League website or both. Sandy Shapiro reports there were over 1,700 visitors to our website in the fall of 2014—evidence that voters look to League for non-partisan information about candidates.

Chrystal stressed that volunteers can set their own schedule and that, because correspondence with the candidates is done by email, identical messages can be copied from the templates she will provide and quickly sent to all candidates. Sandy Smith, who has compiled Voter's Guides for West Windsor and Plainsboro, estimated that she spends about an hour per candidate over the course of four weeks in correspondence and compiling the responses that result in the Guide.
Chrystal hopes that we will have enough volunteers to produce Guides that cover not only the municipal and school board elections in West Windsor, Plainsboro, Princeton, Montgomery, and South Brunswick, as we have in the past, but to increase our coverage to include the freeholders in the three counties encompassed by the Princeton League. Please contact Chrystal. To read the handout, distributed at the workshop, that details the steps in compiling a Guide, click here.

ter Education
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Simona Brickers from the Lawrence League spoke about the need to convince registered voters to actually vote. She tackles voter apathy everyday—at MCCC and in the checkout line at the supermarket.  Her advice: Ask everyone if they vote and, if not, why. Listen to their reasons. Know enough about government—local, state, and national—to counter their apathy on a personal level; for example, explaining to students the role of government in determining student loans. 
Chrystal hopes to compile a list of specific, personal reasons to vote based on Joan's and Simona's experiences with non-voters during registrations. Voter education is as important as registration and might be an area that League members explore more fully in 2015-16.

Monthly Meetings
Please join us at the next meeting of the LWV of the Princeton Area, Tuesday, April 14, from 7 - 9 PM, at the Suzanne Patterson Building in Princeton. The May and June monthly meetings have been cancelled. Please join us at our Annual Meeting and Dinner on June 8 (see below).

LWVNJ Annual Appeal and Callathon

phoneA reminder to all those who are helping with Callathon to turn in completed forms to Lee Forbes. It’s important to write a personal note at the bottom of each form, so that our League is given credit for contacting the donor. We’ll earn a percentage of donations.

LWVNJ Gala and Biennial Convention
A Gala will take place in Hamilton, NJ on Friday, May 1, followed by the 61st Convention at Mercer County Community College on Saturday, May 2. Registration will be available online within the next few weeks. Our League is entitled to 4 voting delegates, in addition to Lee Forbes who is a LWVNJ Board Member. We’ll be honoring our 50-year members with a tribute in the program book. Check the State website,, for more information.

LWV-Princeton Area Annual Meeting and Dinner
Our annual meeting and dinner will take place on Monday, June 8, at the Salt Creek Grille in Princeton Forrestal Village. Please save the date for this enjoyable evening. More information will be distributed after we decide on a speaker.

Summaries of LWV-Princeton Area monthly meetings may be found at

Reminders about upcoming events will continue to be sent by email, but everyone should go to the League website and click on rss-button Subscribe to be sure of missing nothing.