Top Ten Reasons to Support LWVME in 2015

 

Giving Tuesday 2015 copyWe hope your Thanksgiving was full of family, friends, food and fun.  We hope, for those of you who like a good bargain, that Black Friday and Cyber Monday brought you many steals and deals.DonateStar

Now, we hope you will help us have a successful #GivingTuesday by supporting the League of Women Voters of Maine and our efforts to make democracy work better in Maine.

Top ten reasons to support LWVME in 2015:

10. Registering new voters.  On National Voter Registration Day, at naturalization ceremonies across the state, and throughout the year the League is there making sure citizens are registered.  So far this year, we have helped to register more than 400 new voters.

9. Annual Easy-to-Read Voter Guide.  The 2015 guides helped Portland voters make informed decisions on the mayoral race, and all Maine voters got the facts on the statewide ballot questions.

8. Open Dialogue and Civil Discourse.  Through candidate and issue forums the League gave voters an unbiased place to ask questions and get them answered.

7. Advocacy.  Providing expert testimony in Augusta on voting rights and laws that encourage voter participation.

6. All-Volunteer.  That’s right.  The League does all this great work and more through volunteers.

5. Holding our local and state officials accountable.  The League is a leading voice in Maine for your right to know and our right to a government free of corruption and undue influence.

4. Ranked Choice Voting in Maine.  Ranked Choice Voting is certified for the ballot in 2016, which would give voters the power to rank candidates from favorite to least favorite, thanks in part to the League’s leadership.

3. Pushing Back against Big Money in Politics.  YES on 1 passed, strengthening our landmark, first-in-the-nation Clean Elections system and bringing more transparency and accountability to Maine elections.

2.  Nonpartisan.  The League continues to be one of a few nonpartisan, grassroots, political organizations working on behalf of all voters, and we are proud of this heritage.

1. Your voice.  Your vote.  It’s what makes democracy work and it’s why the League of Women Voters of Maine is here, working every day for you to make sure your vote counts, your voice is heard.

#GivingTuesday is propelled by those who believe that passion and commitment can make a difference.

We certainly believe that here at the League of Women Voters of Maine.

If you want to help us make a difference, please make a donation today to support our work.

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Jill Ward
President, League of Women Voters of Maine

2015 Elections: The Good News and the Bad News

By Barbara Kaufman and Jill Ward

The 2015 election is one for the books, and there is some good news and some not-so-good news.

ThanksToYouThe Good News: The 2015 Voter Turnout graph below shows that, through approval of Question 1 on this year’s statewide ballot, most Mainers want a more accountable, transparent election system that values voters over donors. By a 10-point margin, Maine voters passed the Clean Election initiative, which would strengthen Maine’s landmark public financing system, require more disclosure of the top donors on the political ads, and exact stiffer penalties on those who break Maine election law.

The League of Women Voters of Maine helped organize and support this effort from its very beginning, and we are thrilled that it passed.

2015VoterTurnoutThe Bad News: More than 740,000 registered Maine Voters didn’t vote this year. Good government and strong democracy requires active citizens. Voting is the most basic way to be engaged, and the League is committed to continuing our efforts to register voters, study the pros and cons of current issues, and educate Mainers through forums and debates, blogs and newsletters.

We know Maine can and has done better. Last year, Maine led the country in voter turnout and has consistently ranked in the top 5 states for voter turnout in recent years. Part of why Maine does so well is that we have implemented policies that encourage civic participation by making it easier to register and to vote. No-excuse absentee ballots and same-day voter registration are just two of the policies supported by the League that have made access to the polls easier for thousands of eligible Maine voters.

Throughout the state, dedicated League volunteers also help register voters at high schools, colleges, and U.S. Naturalization Ceremonies. So far this year we have registered close to 400 new voters. Since 2007, the League has published and distributed non-partisan, Easy-to-Read Voter Guides and held many forums around the state to help educate voters.

Abraham Lincoln once said, “Elections belong to the people. It’s their decision. If they decide to turn their back on the fire and burn their behinds, then they will just have to sit on their blisters.”

Citizen engagement is so critical to making our democracy work. If you are interested in helping the League with our ongoing voter registration efforts, training is available, and new volunteers are needed. Please contact Barbara Kaufman, Voter Services Committee Chair at lwvme@gwi.net.

Join Us in Voting Yes on 1

By Jill Ward, President of LWVME

Well, here we are — into the final week of this historic campaign!

The League of Women Voters has been there every step of the way. We have given our good name, we have given our time and energy, and we have donated precious dollars.  Q1

But we haven’t won yet. And when it comes right down to it, what we need more than anything is for Mainers to get out there and vote!

Question 1, the first statewide, citizen-driven initiative of its kind since the Citizens United Supreme Court decision, will put control of elections back in the hands of Mainers by reducing the power of big money. It will increase accountability and transparency. Best of all, it will revitalize Maine’s landmark public campaign financing system.

There has been plenty of support from across the state and the political spectrum. Question 1 has been endorsed by Democrats, Republicans, Greens and independents who want to hold elected officials accountable and keep control of elections in the hands of the voters.

Here are some of our favorites:

We have also gotten national attention from Paul Blumenthal at the Huffington Post as a leader on campaign finance reform: Maine Voters Hope To Restore Their Revolutionary Election System

In these last critical days of the campaign, getting our supporters to the polls will be absolutely critical.  Your vote is so important. Can you bring a friend to the polls with you? How about four or five friends? Or better yet, join one of the phone banks going on around the state to mobilize our supporters and get them to the polls.

QuestionOne

Now is the time for all Mainers to stand together in support of our Clean Elections system.

Join us in voting Yes on 1 and in doing what you can to make sure this landmark campaign is successful on November 3rd! See you at the polls!

Election 2015: Have you got the Voter Guide?

Easy-to-Read Voter Guide 2015 – Maine General Election

The League of Women Voters of Maine Education Fund published its eighth annualEasy-to-Read Voter Guidefor the November 3, 2015 general election. And, this year, the LWVME Education Fund also published anEasy-to-Read Voter Guide for the Portland Mayoral Election. Get both here!

Nonpartisan information for Maine voters.
Just the facts:  these guides do not endorse or oppose any party or candidate.

Take the guide to the polls with you!

Print  the Maine Guide

Print the Portland Guide.

 

 

 

 

Here’s what people said about last year’s guide:

  • Thank you for offering voters a simple, user friendly document that is UNBIASED to aid Maine voters on the path to Election Day!
  • I’m just calling to thank you for the Easy-to-Read Voter Guide. I got it at my library. And now I understand the issues. Thanks to you, I’m going to vote this year.
  • If you were only going to read one thing before you went to the polls …, we would have to defer to the League of Women Voters of Maine’s “Easy-to Read Voter Guide. From the Penobscot Bay Press, October 21, 2014.

Get yours now!

Download a copy (from the links above) or pick one up at a local library (Portland area).