Anna Louise Inn tour, 2015 LWVO Convention recap, Hamilton County BOE electronic poll books, Martha B. Taft recipient
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LEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERS
OF THE CINCINNATI AREA ®
 
THE VOTER
July/August 2015
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Tour New Anna Louise Inn on LWVCA Summer Tour
Elizabeth Brown, Vice President of Program

Join the League of Women Voters of the Cincinnati Area (LWVCA) at 9 a.m., Wednesday July 15 for a tour of the new Anna Louise Inn on Reading Road in Mt. Auburn. The "Summer Go-See Tour: Women and Homelessness," includes a speaker from the Greater Cincinnati Homeless Coalition. Read more at www.lwvcincinnati.org.


Support Partner Organization Through Gourmet Grub for Good Donation
Hayley Day, Office Manager

Join more than 250 guests at Gourmet Grub for Good — Community Share's amateur chef competition and fundraiser — from 7 to 10 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 22 . The LWVCA's basket is "The Best of Cincinnati." Please donate Cincinnati gift cards, food, tickets, apparel, and more by Friday, August 14 to the League office to include in the basket. Contact hayley@lwvcincinnati.org for questions. Read more at www.lwvcincinnati.org.
August Special Election Impacts Saint Bernard and Mt. Healthy Residents

Meredith Atherley, Vice President of Voter Service
 
The August 4th special election presents two neighborhood tax levies for consideration. Residents of the Village of Saint Bernard will vote on a proposed tax levy renewal requiring a majority affirmative vote for passage. The tax is for the purpose of current expense at a rate not exceeding seven mills for each $1 of valuation, which amounts to $0.70 for each $100 of valuation, for five years, commencing in 2015, first due in calendar year 2016.
 
The city of Mt. Healthy will also vote on a proposed tax levy renewal, which requires a majority affirmative vote for passage. This renewal is for the purpose of street repair and construction at a rate not exceeding 1.5 mills for each $1 of valuation, which amounts to $0.15 for each $100 of valuation, for a continuing period of time commencing in 2015, first due in calendar year 2016.
 
To be eligible to vote in this election you must be registered by July 6. Early voting begins on July 7, either by mail or in person at the Hamilton County Board of Elections at 824 Broadway Street. Absentee ballots can be tracked on-line at boe.hamilton-co.org. On Election Day, polls open from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.
 
Learn About Redistricting an Ohio Ballot Issue
Nancy Dawley, President

LWVUS has created a redistricting task force to provide materials for Leagues to use in their redistricting efforts across the country. Check it out on the LWVUS website. Included to date are redistricting facts and questions, a redistricting glossary, useful resources, and information about the redistricting task force. More will be added as the redistricting rask force continues.
 
This section is for League members, so you can access it by clicking on Members and logging in. It only takes a few minutes to register, if you have not yet done so, for lots of valuable and consolidated information.
Electronic Poll Books To Be Used In August 4th Election

Pinky Kocoshis, Meeting Director and Board of Elections Liaison

The Hamilton Board of Elections (BOE) will purchase electronic poll books to be used for the first time in the August 2015 elections. A request for proposal came from eight vendors. Staff evaluated four of these proposals and chose Tenex Software Solutions. These will replace the signature poll books currently used at the polls. The e-poll books have a 7" screen and have been used by 3 million voters in Palm Beach and Sarasota, Fla. Voters will use a stylus to sign in and poll workers are responsible for comparing signatures on file for accuracy.

There will need to be extensive training for poll workers in advance of upcoming elections. The e-poll books will be tested in the August 4th elections when St. Bernard and Mt. Healthy each have a ballot question.

The BOE anticipates savings of $158,520 in the general election. Voter check-in time will average 29 to 45 seconds compared to 2 to 3 minutes with the paper poll book. Other advantages include faster poll closing procedures, no printing cost of street directory and register voter lists, and easier provisional voter process.

The BOE plans to add campaign finance reports online, but has no current timetable.
 

Donald Rhoad received the Martha B. Taft Service Award at the 2015 LWVCA Annual Meeting on May 20 at the Mount Auburn Presbyterian Church Social Room. This award is given, each year, to a long-time League member who has shown leadership  and whose energy, skills, and talents have made a difference in the community. Read more at www.lwvcincinnati.org.
Melissa Currence, Vice President of Development

2015 League of Women Voters of Ohio Convention                
2015 LWVO Convention Displays Democracy
Nancy Dawley, President
 
The 2015 League of Women Voters of Ohio Convention was May 15 through 17 at the Hyatt Regency in Cincinnati. League conventions demonstrate a live picture of the League of Women Voters as a democratic organization. The League of Women Voters of the Cincinnati Area (LWVCA) had six delegates who attended as voting members for our local League, and several more who acted for other Leagues. What was included? 
  • 12 educational workshops, plus keynote luncheon speaker Marcia Johnson-Blanco's “Carrying the Torch:  Celebrating the Legacies of 95 Years of Women Voting and 50 Years of the Voting Rights Act” and the dinner banquet speaker Scott Greytak's “The Continuing Fallout from Citizens United:  Buying Justice"
  •  Plenary Sessions to conduct the business of the League of Women Voters of Ohio
  •  Caucuses to advocate and educate
  •  Great meals, snacks and times for meeting old and new friends
There is either a national or a state convention each year. When the next one is announced, consider attending.  Democracy can work beautifully you’ll see this for yourself at convention.
Alva Reid, LWVO Convention Delegate

I participated in "What Can We Do About The Undue Influence Of Big Money In Politics?" This session provided an introduction to Represent Us, a grassroots agency, focused on preventing corruption of the political process. Although there is no universal anti-corruption model, ways to discourage corruption include voter funding of campaigns, empowering small donors and establishing right-left coalitions.
 
Don Rhoad, LWVO Convention Co-Delegate

The presenters of "Beyond Civility: Communication for Effective Governance" began by noting that the word “polarization” is common today and speaks to people who are not listening to those they have pre-decided have “nothing to say of interest to them.” This discussion addressed the question, “Are there ways to change this so conversation once again opens the door to new thoughts?”
 
Felicity Hill, LWVO Convention Delegate

The first presenter I attended was our very own Melissa Currence, showing how Act One the LWVCA’s collaboration with Woman’s City Club serves 18-35 year-olds who want to engage in civic life and gain valuable resume-building and leadership skills. We learned how new Act One members are welcomed to events by members and mentors, have their volunteerism acknowledged in The Voter and, in turn, participate in committees, events and projects based on their personal interests. Two Act One members will be serving as directors in 2015-16. That’s some graduation!
Meredith Atherley, LWVO Convention Delegate

Speaker Pat Bruns of the Ohio Board of Education gave an overview of the role of the state board and its membership (8 appointees and 11 elected members) in the workshop "The League and Ohio Public Education: Can we do more?."  She gave an overview of legislative activity on this issue and highlighted Senate Bill 148, a bi-partisan bill calling for increased oversight of for-profit charters, ratings of all charter schools, a prohibition on “switching” sponsors, and for State Board of Education to have jurisdiction over all community/charter schools.
 
What does the League of Women Voters of the United States do for LWVCA?
Helen Rhoad, LWVO Convention Co-Delegate

Tim O’Brien of the LWVUS

Many of us have struggled with the thought of a large portion of our dues being sent to our national and state organizations, leaving us with just pennies from each member’s payment.

At the League of Women Voters of Ohio (LWVO) 2015 Convention, Tim O’Brien, the LWVUS Public Advocacy for Voter Protection project specialist, outlined the importance of LWVUS’s role as well as the impact of national, state, and local League interaction in protecting democracy across the country.

Five strengths that the League possesses, that no other organization in the country has are:
  1. We are non-partisan. We have never endorsed or supported any individual or political party.
  2. Being non-partisan does not mean that we are non-political. The League is political.
  3. We are actively engaged at the national, state and local levels of government.
  4. We take purposeful and thoughtful positions on the issues.
  5. We have boots on the ground.
Nearly 800 Leagues across the country are working to protect our democracy, utilizing the above attributes and connecting the three levels of the League. The LWVUS supports the following:
  1. Vote411org
  2. The high school voter registration project
  3. National Voter Registration Day
  4. The Public Advocacy for Voter Protection Project (PAVP project)
The LWVUS is also working with state Leagues on several lawsuits. LWVO's early voting lawsuit reached a settlement that guarantees evening and weekend hours through the end of 2018.

“We must continue to work together at all levels of the League to repeal these unjust and prejudicial laws and implement new laws that will lower the barriers to voting and ensure that every eligible citizen will have the ability to vote and have their votes counted," said O'Brien. "Together we can and will create a stronger, truer and more resilient democracy for generations to come.”
Letters                                                                         
President's Letter
Nancy Dawley, President

The Annual Meeting is over, meaning a change officers and Board for the League of Women Voters of the Cincinnati Area. Looking back, we are grateful for the leadership and dedication of Don and Helen Rhodes during their co-presidency, and for the work of the retiring 2013-2015 board members, Sandra Maddux Mowell and Burton Roehr. I hope each of you will thank them personally. Glance through the past Voter issues, and see the many things our LWVCA accomplished this past year.  You’ll be pleased!
 
Looking forward, the new Board is gearing up for more exciting League work. I’m pleased to be working with these people – a good mix of experienced and newer members; and expect a broad scope of ideas and enthusiasm.
 
In November a new state redistricting amendment will appear on the Ohio ballot. For LWVCA that means educating Ohio citizens so they understand the value of this new bipartisan process over the current partisan one. Then, of course, in 2016 will be national elections, voter registration, forums, debates, speakers bureau, Who and What of Elections, VOTE411, and perhaps another Electing the President project in the schools. All of these choices are possible to bring increasingly educated citizens to the polls. 
 
The new board is in the early planning stages. If you have ideas, pass them on to any board member or send them directly to me at president@lwvcincinnati.org. Check out the League calendar, and join us at board meetings and volunteer for projects that interest you. 
 
Making Democracy Work®  With all of us working together, we’ll make progress on that goal.



The new LWVCA board works at the board planning meeting on June 13. From left, Sarah Noschang, Alva Reid, Meredith Atherley, Nancy Dawley, Melissa Rowland, Melissa Currence, Elizabeth Brown, and Marlene Muse. Not photographed are Lucia Hudson, Margaret Standriff and Pinky Kocoshis.
Abolish Ohio’s Death Penalty: A Series from the Hilltop North Unit
Hannah Carp, Hilltop North Unit

Why do we kill people who kill people to show that killing people is wrong?

The Hilltop North Unit of the League of Women Voters of the Cincinnati Area is taking the initiative to use the 2015 moratorium to abolish the Ohio death penalty permanently. The League of Women Voters of Ohio has had a position on abolition of the death penalty since 2005, the League of Women Voters of the United States since 2007. The Hilltop North unit plans to develop a strategy in conjunction with all of Ohio’s individual Leagues. Suggestions are welcome. The Leagues might collectively convince Ohio lawmakers that the time for abolition is NOW.  

In 2014 several articles appeared in the Cincinnati Enquirer, reporting on difficulties with executions by lethal injection resulting in the current moratorium. Time magazine’s June 8, 2015, issue published a comprehensive article on the death penalty in America inspired by the Boston Marathon bomber’s trial and sentencing earlier this year. 

The Hilltop North unit calls on all LWVCA units to join and lend momentum to act on the Ohio League’s 2005 position to abolish the death penalty in this state. Contact the League office with your thoughts and suggestions at (513) 281-8683 or info@lwvcincinnati.org.
The League of Women Voters is a nonpartisan political organization, which encourages informed and active participation in government . Membership is open to women and men at least 18 years old. Call (513) 281-VOTE (8683) and join us.
Copyright © 2015 LWVCA, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
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Cincinnati, OH 45219

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