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LWVAL Newsletter

The Voter
Summer, 2015 Edition
published August 25, 2015,
now online!





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The Voter
Spring 2015 Issue

Published March 28, 2015
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Happy Birthday to the 19th Amendment!
Ratified Aug. 18, 1920
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The League of Women Voters has worked for many
decades for women's suffrage. See this nostalgic
19th Amendment slide show.


Women received the right to vote with the ratification of the 19th Amendment on August 18, 1920. It was first introduced in Congress in 1878. Alabama ratified the amendment on Sept. 8, 1953. The vote was not, in fact, assured for all until the National Voting Rights Act of 1965. (That act has been under attack and weakened in recent years. We hope you will join the LWV in restoring the #VRA!)

Flash back now with School House Rock's take on the 19th Amendment!

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LWVAL 2015 First Special Session Legislative Report

Reporting on the First 2015 Special Session
of the Alabama Legislature


Legislature adjourns without passing state general fund budget. Second Special Session expected before Oct. 1 start of the fiscal year.


Alabama Legislative Session in the News:



An Open letter to Alabama Speaker Mike Hubbard
Alabama needs sustainable, equitable, long-term solutions to our state's fiscal problems, not short-term quick fixes. And let there be open discussion during the budget making process so that citizens are aware and can express their views, not announcement after deals are made behind closed doors. On July 27, 2015, LWVAL sent this open letter to Alabama Speaker Mike Hubbard expressing the League's views. The letter was also copied to Senate Pro Tem Del Marsh, to the chairs of the four budget committees in hard copy, and emailed to others on the committees.

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LWVAL reported on bills introduced during the 2015 first special session of the Alabama legislature. We will cover the second special session when it is convened. The report will include notice of each bill introduced along with the bill's sponsors, a summary of the bill, complete bill text, current status of the legislation, LWVAL's position on the legislation, and LWVAL's action. Action Alerts urging citizens to contact their legislators are posted in this report at times when their voice will be most effective. The LWVAL Action Team watched for legislation that concerns LWVAL 2015 Legislative Priorities, League Principles, and LWVAL issue positions.

On July 9, 2015, Alabama Governor Robert Bentley called for a special session of the legislature to convene on July 13 in order to pass a General Fund Budget for the coming fiscal year. See this news article by Mike Cason on al.com for more information about the call. The legislature failed to pass this budget during the regular session which ended on June 4. The legislature failed to pass the budget during the first special session which adjourned August 11, 2015. Gov. Bentley is expected to call a second special session soon to pass a general fund budget. The new state fiscal year begins on October 1, 2015.

Following were the rules for the First Special Session as posted on the official website of the AL Legislature (
www.legislature.state.al.us):

"Special sessions of the Legislature may be called by the Governor, with the Proclamation listing the subjects which the Governor wishes considered. These sessions are limited to 12 legislative days within a 30 calendar day span.... In a special session, legislation must be enacted only on those subjects which the Governor announces in his proclamation or "call." Anything not in the "call" requires a two-thirds vote of each house to be enacted."


The reform package the governor outlined agrees with several budgetary reforms the League of Women Voters of Alabama has been advocating for years (e.g., un-earmarking, ending the deduction of some federal taxes from state income tax). We are reviewing details of the
formal call.

The League of Women Voters of Alabama will keep members and the public informed about legislation introduced during the second special session in the
LWVAL Special Session Legislative Report, updated weekly.

LWVAL's coverage of the 2015 regular legislative session and the 2015 first special legislative session remain posted for your review.


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See LWVAL 2015 Convention News,
including Criminal Justice Symposium video/audio and audience questions to the panelists.


Thank you to all who made the LWVAL 2015 Convention in Auburn, AL, May 1-3, 2015, a success, especially to the LWVAL Board and LWV of East Alabama who made it all happen!

Thank you, also, to our special guests and panelists who came from far and wide to share their expertise and insight:

  • Terry Dunn, former PSC Commissioner and recipient of the LWVAL 2015 Transparency in Government Award, and his family and staff
  • Peggy Appler, LWVUS Board Member and Liaison to LWVAL
  • Haley Richards, LWVUS Shur Fellow to all Alabama Leagues
  • Alabama Department of Corrections (ADC) Commissioner Jefferson S. Dunn and
  • ADC Deputy Commissioner Jefferey Williams,
  • Assistant Executive Director of AL Board of Pardons and Paroles Darrell Morgan
  • Managing Attorney Maria Morris of the Southern Poverty Law Center’s AL office
  • Jefferson County Circuit Judge Teresa T. Pulliam
  • Victims of Crime and Leniency (VOCAL) Founder Miriam Shehane and
  • VOCAL Executive Director Janette Grantham
  • Criminal defense attorney Joel Sogol,
  • Executive Director Bennet Wright of the Alabama Sentencing Commission, and
  • Retired Jefferson County District Judge O. L. "Pete" Johnson

And last, but not least, thank you to all the
delegates whose careful deliberation and input are essential to the ongoing excellence of our grassroots organization!

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LWVAL announces 2015 Transparency in Government Award, calls for nominations

Get a LWVAL Transparency in Government Award nominating form.
Link to this
media advisory here.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 20, 2015

CONTACT: Gina Finnegan
ginaofinnegan@gmail.com 251-656-0130

MEDIA ADVISORY – LWVAL Announces Transparency Award

Mobile – The League of Women Voters of Alabama announces its first ever transparency award, honoring political leaders who have championed open and inclusive government in Alabama.

"Like many states, Alabama has some work to do to truly let the sun shine on its workings," said LWVAL Co-president Leonette Slay. "But we also know that we have political leaders who have demonstrated remarkable integrity and courage in their push for open and honest government. We want to celebrate and recognize those individuals. It is so often thankless work."

Citizens and political organizations are encouraged to submit their nominations for the award. The state league leadership will consider all applications, which can include local and state political leaders, elected or appointed. LWVAL will also accept recommendations for citizens and members of nonprofit organizations who have championed transparency in government. The nomination form is available at the LWVAL website
www.lwval.org. The deadline is March 21, 2015.

Honorees will be recognized at the Alabama league's biennial state convention on May 1-3, to be held in the Auburn/Opelika area this year.

"Transparency is just a core piece of who we are as a nonpartisan, political organization. We hope we can prompt more public officials to understand their role in serving the citizens of Alabama through open government by making this award part of the state's political scene. It
matters, and it makes a difference," said LWVAL Co-president Scarlett Gaddy.

Nominations should be mailed or e-mailed to: League of Women Voters Awards Committee, Post Office Box 40602, Mobile, Alabama 36640 or
lslay@lwval.org.

The League of Women Voters, a national, nonpartisan, political organization, encourages the informed and active participation of citizens in government and influences public policy through education and advocacy.

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Back to LWVAL Convention 2015 news.



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First Call to LWV Council 2015 has been issued. Our state League may send two delegates. Read more...

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Recently in League


We asked for your gift to the
League of Women Voters
of Alabama
on #GivingTuesday, December 2
but it's never too late!


***
GIVE TO LWVAL ***

#GivingTuesday@LWV2

Great gift idea!

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Does your mother really want another scarf? This holiday season, show your love by honoring her on #GivingTuesday, Dec. 2nd with a gift to the League of Women Voters of Alabama. ANY woman would appreciate this thoughtfulness - a daughter, a niece, a neighbor who has shown you much kindness, a coworker or friend whom you deeply respect. Great gift idea for the special men in your life, too! With your help we will continue to strengthen our democracy by hosting candidate and issue forums, registering voters, observing government operations, and so much more. Please give to the LWVAL on #GivingTuesday or anytime! (Membership in the LWVAL is a very thoughtful gift for your loved one, too!)

Happy Holidays to you and yours
from the
League of Women Voters of Alabama!


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[Election information remains posted for
your review and until archived.]

Thank you for voting, Alabama!

Election News & Results


Five Proposed Constitutional Amendments on all Alabama Ballots on November 4


In the general election on November 4, 2014, there will be five proposed amendments to the Alabama state constitution on every ballot in Alabama. The voter is asked, "Shall the following Amendment to the Constitution of Alabama be adopted?" followed by the "PROPOSED AMENDMENT WHICH APPLIES STATEWIDE."

The League of Women Voters presents an analysis of each of these five proposed amendments. For each amendment, this paper presents the background of the amendment, a list of supporters and their argument for the amendment, and a list of opponents and their arguments against the amendment. This analysis is a public service of the League of Women Voters of Alabama Education Fund. Every effort has been made to present factual and unbiased information regarding the amendments. We hope that you find this information helpful in deciding how you will vote on these amendment referendums on November 4.

Read the LWVAL analysis of the amendments.

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PHOTO Voter ID is now required to vote in Alabama. Do you have qualifying ID? Find out more here.

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GENERAL ELECTION
TUESDAY, NOV. 4, 2014, 7 AM TO 7 PM
BRING VALID,
ACCEPTABLE PHOTO ID.
LEARN ABOUT THIS NEW VOTING REQUIREMENT.

  • Aug. 26 - Municipal Elections: Auburn, Bessemer, Gadsden, Huntsville, Mountain Brook, Scottsboro
  • Oct. 20—Voter registration deadline for General Election.
  • Oct. 30— Last day for voter to make application for an absentee ballot.
  • Nov. 3—Last day to postmark or hand-deliver absentee ballots. Must be received by noon on election day (except UOCAVA - military and some other oversees voters)
  • Nov. 4—General Election
  • Nov. 11—Deadline for receiving absentee ballots from UOCAVA voters


Questions on Election Day?

See information below or call:

ALABAMA REGISTRATION AND ELECTION INFORMATION



Get more election information from the AL Secretary of State...

Other Election Resources



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IMPORTANT NEW VOTING REQUIREMENT!
PHOTO Voter Identification is required to vote in 2014.
Are you ready for the June 3rd Primary Elections?

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In order to vote in Alabama you will be required to show a valid PHOTO VOTER ID at the polls or, if voting absentee, you will be required to include a copy of a valid voter photo ID with your absentee ballot (UNLESS you are voting absentee due to AGE OR DISABILITY and your polling place is not accessible.*) If you do not have valid photo ID, you may get one for free at the Secretary of State's office in Montgomery or at the office of your county Board of Registrars.

Only specific types of photo ID are acceptable for voting. These are the types of acceptable photo ID:

  • Valid Alabama Driver’s License
  • „ Valid Alabama Nondriver ID
  • „ Valid Alabama Photo Voter ID Card
  • „ Valid State Issued ID (Alabama or any other state)
  • „ Valid Federal issued ID
  • „ Valid US passport
  • „ Valid Employee ID from Federal Government, State of Alabama, County, Municipality, Board or other entity of this state
  • „ Valid student or employee ID from a public or private college or university in the State of Alabama (including postgraduate technical or professional schools)
  • „ Valid student or employee ID issued by a state institution
  • of higher learning in any other state
  • „ Valid Military ID
  • „ Valid Tribal ID

*IMPORTANT EXCEPTION: Are you unable to go to the polls to vote due to your age (at least 65 years of age) or disability and your polling place is not accessible, and for that reason you qualify to vote absentee? If so, you are not required to include a copy of a photo ID with your absentee ballot. Simply check on your absentee envelope that you are voting absentee due to age or disability. For more information about this exception to the voter photo ID requirement, see pages 11-12 of the Alabama Photo Voter ID Guide.

Where can I get a FREE Alabama Photo Voter ID?
A voter may obtain a free Alabama photo voter ID card at the
following locations:

Here is official information about the law from the Alabama Secretary of State's Office.

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Recently in League...

Speaking out for the Voting Rights Amendment Act of 2014


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On Monday, Sept, 22, LWVGB Vice-President Ida Tyree-Hyche, Esq. urged citizens to “Move forward on voting rights!” at the Moral Monday rally on the Alabama capitol steps in Montgomery. The crowd was in full agreement. Click below to listen to the audio of her address.

Other LWVGB members present in support were Nancy Ekberg, Connie Arnwine, Joan Burroughs, Catrena Norris Carter, and Ida's husband The Rev. Albert L. Hyche. See more photos of the days event.

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NationalVoterRegistrationDay.2014

Tuesday, September 23, was National Voter Registration Day!
As stated in our press release on al.com, "The League of Women Voters of Greater Birmingham Challenges Citizens to Register to Vote On National Voter Registration Day 2014." (Well said, Ida Tyree-Hyche, Esq., LWVGB Vice-President.) LWVGB encourages you to register to vote! If you are already registered to vote, check your status and update your name or address if necessary.


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This was a FREE workshop presented by
National Active and Retired Federal Employees Chapter 1511 and
League of Women Voters of Alabama

For more Information:
https://www.facebook.com/NarfeChapter1511
https://www.facebook.com/LWVAL
256-268-6286

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LWVAL Members and Guests...


JOIN US AT THE 2014
A-MAZE-ING
LWVAL COUNCIL
Yes, it was! Thanks to all who attended for your input, spirit and enthusiasm! Report on Council coming soon.
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Saturday, April 26, 2014
10:00-3:30
Bluff Park United Methodist Church
733 Valley Street, Hoover, AL 35226
cartoon used with permission
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LWVAL addresses access, cost, and quality of health care in Alabama


LWVAL has studied health care in Alabama and has issued unbiased "facts and issues" reports on the topic. (See the Health Care Consensus Kit for this information.) The LWVAL board considered member consensus statements on these findings and set a new health care position statement on Feb. 1, 2014.

"The League of Women Voters of Alabama (LWVAL) believes that the resources of state government should be directed toward providing access to health care to: children, the disabled, the elderly, veterans that fall between the cracks in federal aid, and others who are unable to access basic health care but do not fit into one of the previous categories. LWVAL supports the expansion of Medicaid and acceptance of increased federal funding as outlined in the Affordable Care Act.

"LWVAL also believes that the state’s existing responsibility for setting health care delivery standards and oversight rely on the strength of local knowledge. But, some minimum federal standards to monitor such things as the quality of care delivered by health care facilities and professionals may promote improvements in health care quality. Quality improvements in turn may lead to not only a healthier population but cost containment."


From the LWVAL amended position on Health Care, adopted Feb. 1, 2014. Read the LWVAL position on Health Care.


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LWVAL 2014 Legislative Report

Legislative Report was updated for week ending April 3, 2014. The Alabama Legislature adjourned the 2014 Regular Session on April 3.
Read the LWVAL Legislative Report.

The Alabama Legislature convened Tuesday, January 14, 2014 The final day of this Regular Session was April 3, 2014. During the regular session, LWVAL kept citizens informed about the legislature's activities regarding issues of importance to the League through the 2014 Legislative Report. The report was updated weekly (with some exception). For each bill, the report included bill sponsors, bill summary, complete bill text, current status of the legislation, LWVAL's position on the legislation, and LWVAL's action. Action Alerts urging citizens to contact their legislators were posted in this report at times when their voice would be most effective. See the LWVAL 2014 Legislative Priorities list below for the issues on which the LWVAL Action Team was focused during the 2014 regular legislative session. Both this LWVAL 2014 Legislative Report and the 2013 Legislative Report remain posted for your review.

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LWVAL addresses access, cost, and quality of health care in Alabama

LWVAL has studied health care in Alabama and has issued unbiased "facts and issues" reports on the topic. (See the Health Care Consensus Kit for this information.) The LWVAL board consideried member consensus statements, and a new health care position statement was issued on Feb. 1, 2014.
"The League of Women Voters of Alabama (LWVAL) believes that the resources of state government should be directed toward providing access to health care to: children, the disabled, the elderly, veterans that fall between the cracks in federal aid, and others who are unable to access basic health care but do not fit into one of the previous categories. LWVAL supports the expansion of Medicaid and acceptance of increased federal funding as outlined in the Affordable Care Act. "LWVAL also believes that the state’s existing responsibility for setting health care delivery standards and oversight rely on the strength of local knowledge. But, some minimum federal standards to monitor such things as the quality of care delivered by health care facilities and professionals may promote improvements in health care quality. Quality improvements in turn may lead to not only a healthier population but cost containment."

From the LWVAL amended position on Health Care, adopted Feb. 1, 2014. Read the LWVAL position on Health Care.




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"I want to vote in the upcoming election! How do I get registered?"

Don't let another election slip up on you. Here's how to register to vote in future elections...Download a registration form and mail to your County Board of Registrars OR register at one of these locations. The AL Secretary of State says you can "fill out and submit voter registration forms at all state and/or county offices that provide public assistance. In Alabama, public assistance offices, such as Medicaid, WIC, and DHR, must distribute voter registration forms, provide assistance in completing the forms if necessary, and accept such forms."

Have you moved since you last voted or have you changed your legal name? If so, you should notify your board of registrars by submitting a voter registration form with the NEW information.

Are you sure you're registered? Check
here to check your registration status and polling place or call your County Board of Registrars.

MORE REGISTRATION AND ELECTION INFORMATION


Don't forget that you will need a PHOTO Voter Identification when you vote beginning with the June 3, 2014 Alabama Primary Elections. Get more information about photo voter ID.


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