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Date: 10/4/2021
Subject: LWVT Action News!
From: Grace Chimene



Action News!
President's Message:
Grace Chimene
 
 
Dear ~~first_name~~,

The Texas League issued a statement 2020 Elections Were Above Reproach, No Need for Partisan Review in response to partisan pressures on the acting Texas Secretary of State (SOS) to order election reviews of the 2020 election in 4 Texas counties (Harris, Dallas, Tarrant and Collin). Phase one of the Texas Secretary of State's Audit Plan  includes the normal election official activities that occur for each election such as testing voting machine accuracy (also called tabulation), cybersecurity assessments, and voter roll maintenance. Phase two which will occur in the Spring  includes a “Comprehensive Election Records Examination.”  

We are confident that the 2020 elections were well run, safe and secure because the League pays attention to the election code and monitors the process. While we believe election audits of the 2020 election are a “needless waste of time and taxpayer money,” for the League it is an excellent opportunity to shine a light on the safe and secure election processes Texas has in place. 
 
Watch Facebook and Twitter for our "Did You Know" series on the election audit process in Texas. When you see them please share them! We need to get this information out to the public.
 
Thank you for your support and continued action to empower voters and defend democracy in Texas!
Grace Chimene
Your Texas League in Action!
Redistricting Update
 
The newly released House map proposal would reduce the number of districts in which communities of color could elect candidates of choice by six (6), possibly more. The proposed map bears all the hallmarks of intentional racial discrimination. Moreover, it was released a mere four (4) days before the upcoming hearing is set to take place, making it extremely difficult for the public to notify their communities about the map, let alone determine its potential impact. For the full picture on redistricting see Stephanie Swanson's blog on the League's Redistricting webpage. Stephanie is a League Board Member and the League's Census & Redistricting Issue Chair who has been tirelessly organizing around the state for a transparent and inclusive redistricting process.

Voting Rights & Election Law Update
 
Possibly the most high profile bill in the regular session and in two special sessions, is now to be "reconsidered" because it is claimed to have a penalty reduction that mysteriously escaped the scrutiny of the Lt. Governor, Attorney General and Governor.  No matter that the Governor waited seven days to sign the bill -- in a ceremony out of Austin (in Tyler) with almost all of those most involved in the bill's development.
 
When recorded, there was no indication voting rights bills would be considered in Special Session #3. Nothing was in the Governor's call issued prior to the September 20 session start. That changed September 30, with an addition calling for increasing a penalty for "illegal voting." There is also the future possibility of another action calling for statewide scam reviews of the 2020 presidential ballots similar to those in Pennsylvania and Arizona. Bills on both subjects are being heard today in the Senate State Affairs Committee, even though the election review is not yet on the Governor's call. For more details check out the blogs on the League's Voting Rights and Election Laws webpage. Issue Chair extraordinaire Cinde Weatherby updates her blog weekly. 

2021 Texas Constitutional Amendment Election Voters Guide are Online!
 
On November 2nd, Texas voters will decide on whether to add eight amendments to the Texas Constitution. The League’s Voters Guide presents unbiased explanations of, and arguments for and against, the proposed amendments in plain language. Our one-stop shop for election information, including the Voters Guide, is VOTE411.org. Or, you can click here to view the Voters Guide in English or here to view it in Spanish. Learn more here.

Constitutional  Amendment Videos to Share
 
Once again, LWVTX has rounded up a group of students and League members to produce very short videos that explain the proposed amendments in plain language and include pros & cons. League board members and volunteers create fair and balanced coverage of the proposed amendments by reviewing enabling legislation, using a variety of resources and reaching out to authors and/or sponsors, supporters and opponents; and use understandable and unbiased language. Click on links below to see the individual videos. The YouTube playlist in English is here and here is the YouTube playlist in Spanish: Elecciones de Enmienda Constitucional.
 

1: Raffles 

2: County Government

3: Religious Services

4: Judges

5: Judges

6: Caregiver Visits

7: Property Tax Exemption

8: Property Tax/Military

 
A special thank you goes out to the all-volunteer crew of LWVTX board members and League members who researched, edited, translated, explained the propositions on camera, and completed the post production so we could get these out for you to share! Help get the word out!  

You Can Help the LWV Texas plan for the future! 

 Take five minutes to complete the 2021 Strategic Plan Survey

 

The Board of Directors of the Texas League plans to assure that the League has a vibrant and impactful future in Texas. The goal of the 2021 strategic planning process is to determine actions which will continue to build a modern League positioned to grow and sustain our mission to empower voters and defend democracy. We want to ensure that the League responds quickly and effectively to the future needs of the organization and the political environment. We want to hear from our members, supporters, and partners to include your thoughts in the planning. It only takes 5 minutes! Click on button below.

Strategic Planning 5 Minute Survey!

LWV New York City Video of "Voter Suppression in 4 Battleground States" Webinar

 

Held on September 21, "Voter Suppression in 4 Battleground States" features Grace Chimene, representing LWV Texas, as well as League representatives from Arizona, Georgia, and Michigan.  To see the video of the program, click here.  

Local Leagues in Action!
2021 National Voter Registration Day in Texas and More! 

Building on their long term partnership with Dallas College, LWV Dallas registered students, faculty and staff at five Dallas College campuses!

LWV Fort Bend registered voters at Wharton County Junior College.  One student League member posted on their FB page: "We had soo much fun registering students and others! We also were able to give them lots of info about the upcoming election. It was really a joyful day!"

Student volunteers from the Gay Straight Alliance, ASL Club, Canyon Hispanic Alliance and Black Students Union spent their lunch breaks talking to other Canyon Lake High School students about the importance of voting, asking those turning 18 to register and commit to vote, and providing nonpartisan election information. An LWV Comal Area VDR registered any one needing to register.
plant with thank you note
LWV South Central Texas (formerly Lavaca County) visited all the counties in their newly expanded area to introduce themselves and thank them for their efforts on behalf of the citizens of their county. They visited Lavaca, Colorado, Gonzales, DeWitt and Fayette counties. In the League's most recent County Website Review, Colorado County was awarded an outstanding election site rating. 

LWV Austin Area Video of “Democracy in the Spotlight” webinar. 
 
 LWV Austin Area and LWV Texas presented Democracy in the Spotlight; The 87th Texas Legislative Session on Sept. 25, 2021. Panelists included Harvey Kronberg, Quorum Report publisher, Hon. John Bucy, State Representative (dist. 136), Isabel Longoria, Harris County Election Administrator, Thomas Buser-Clancy, ACLU senior Staff Attorney.  Click here to see the video of the program. 
LWV Wilco - Livestreaming on Facebook from Multiple Locations! 
 
To encourage the community to come out an get registered to vote LWV Williamson County leader Christine Attoun did two live broadcast broadcast from the  Austin Community College - San Gabriel and the Georgetown Public Library. See the videos on their Facebook page

LWV Corpus Christi members at the Capitol
LWV Corpus Christi in Action on Redistricting
 
LWV Corpus Christi members visited the Capitol to talk with their legislators to discuss the League talking points on redistricting: Texas deserves a  redistricting process that is fair, open, transparent and open to the public. For more details on the League's position click here. 
hand filling out voter registration info
LWV Baytown Hosts Mayoral Election Candidate Forum
 
Less than a year in action, the newest Texas League, LWW Baytown, sponsored a  Mayoral Candidates Forum at Lee College.
Your Texas League in the News!
~~first_name~~, you can find the reporting on LWV Texas on our new website! Check out the new website and the Texas League in the News section. 
The League of Voters of Texas
1212 Guadalupe St. Unit 107  Austin, Texas  78701
512-472-1100