September 2018 Meeting
Lee Forbes opened the meeting with a welcome and round of introductions of our returning members and three of our new members who attended the meeting: Cindy Gordon, Marianne Mencher, and Carin Lin.
Ellen Kemp reported that having received $1,000 from dues and $287 from Callathon, the League had a total income of $1,500 and now has $5,500 in assets. She anticipates fewer expenditures this year because without an LWVUS convention, we will not have the expense of sending representatives. The report was approved.
Lee reminded members to visit our website to find details of several upcoming events, such as the tribute to Carrie Chapman Catt at the Monroe League at 1:00PM on Sept. 25.
LWVNJ has requested volunteers to help with a fund-raising mailing during the week of October 8 at the League office in Trenton. Volunteers should let Pat Thompson know when they are available.
The Education Committee needs a member from Mercer County. Most meetings are held by phone. Lee explained that study and advocacy now take place in statewide committees: Education, National Resources, Fiscal Policy, Immigration, Government, and Women and Family Issues. Visit our website for details and to join.
Chrystal Schivell and Sandy Smith will appear on “Cue the Lights,” a student-run program on Princeton Community TV. They will describe the history and mission of the League and explain voter service. Keep an eye on the website for broadcast dates and links to the video.
Sandy reported that the voter registration form now includes an option that allows registrants to sign up for a Mail-In Ballot for all future elections until they request otherwise, thus eliminating the step of having to apply separately for a mail-in ballot. Sandy asks everyone who registers voters to use the new form, dated August 2018, but notes that we may have to print forms ourselves since the counties do not yet seem to have enough.
Sandy also reported that the Application for Vote-by-Mail Ballot has changed, with the result that voters no longer have to apply yearly for a primary ballot. Voters can check “All future elections,” which now includes the primary, or choose “Only one” which singles out General, Primary, etc. Voters who, in the past, automatically received ballots for the General Election were given until September 14 to opt out. Jennifer will, as a private citizen, contact the Mercer County Clerk for reassurance that mail-in ballots will not be overlooked in the Hamilton Post Office as they were a year ago.
A student at Princeton University reached out to us to register at Rockefeller College on National Voter Registration Day, September 25. Members are encouraged to organize their own registration drives; Sandy can provide guidance. Sandy will also contact members on her list of volunteers as needed.
Chrystal reported that the League will cover not only the Senate and Congressional races but also the county-level races in every county in New Jersey. She herself did Essex and Cape May. There is still time for volunteers to cover municipal and school board races in towns which have no League, like Ewing or Hamilton. Sandy Smith covered Lawrence. The more races we cover, the more valuable VOTE411 becomes. Thanks to Jeanne Turner, Kathleen and Madeleine Moriarity, Marianne Mencher, and Jennifer Howard, all races in the Princeton Area are covered.
We discussed ways to publicize VOTE411: business cards, flyers, etc. Jesse Burns asks that local Leagues coordinate their efforts.
A forum for candidates for Princeton Board of Education is planned.Watch your email for date and place.
Sandy reported that the Speakers’ Bureau is ready to respond to requests. If someone will volunteer to lead the Bureau, we could begin to solicit engagements.
LWVUS and LWVNJ Updates
A new mission statement from LWVUS, “Empowering Voters. Defending Democracy,” is now posted on our website. A new logo from LWVUS is forthcoming, but we will use our current logo until then. The goal is to unite all Leagues under one logo.
Jennifer urged members to read about Convention. Virginia Kase is the new LWVUS CEO. The League’s tax status may be changed, but there is no word yet. LWVNJ will look into it in the spring.
The League extends condolences to Beverly Kestenis on the passing of her partner and to Jan Narayan and to former member and LWVPA president Letitia Ufford on the passing of their husbands.
Sandy suggested that we consider giving a yearly scholarship of $300 to a student who has helped with local League activities. We’ve worked with several students this year: one who organized March for Our Lives, one an intern who created races for Salem and Cumberland Counties. We can discuss this at our next meeting on November 13.