In August 2020, the Oregon Women’s History Consortium(OWHC) is encouraging Oregonians to decorate their sidewalks and stairs. In 1913, sidewalk chalk messages were used by women demanding the right to vote. In 2020, we celebrate the many times when our nation has expanded the right to vote to more and more citizens. We love this idea for having fun while highlighting the importance of the vote! #ChalkTheVoteOR
This fun project fits the LWV mission!
Defending voting rights is central to the mission of the League of Women Voters: “Empowering Voters. Defending Democracy.” Our democracy depends on voter participation! Let’s continue the fight to expand the right to vote and to combat voter suppression. We hope you will also speak out for voting rights with chalk messages on your sidewalk.
As the OWHC notes:
The year 2020 is the:
150th anniversary of the 15th Amendment (removed race, color or prior servitude from denying voting rights)
100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment (removed sex from denying voting rights)
56th anniversary of the 24th Amendment (ended the poll tax)
55th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act (prohibited racial discrimination in voting)
49thanniversary of the 26th Amendment: right to vote cannot be denied on account of age for those 18 or older (This amendment has roots in an Oregon legal case, Oregon v. Mitchell, 1970)
The week for writing chalk messages is August 23-29th. August 26th is the day the 19th Amendment became part of the U.S. Constitution. To learn more about #ChalktheVoteOR, click here.
The League of Women Voters of the U.S. published this essay on reasons to trust vote by mail. It was written by the co-president of the LWV of Johnson County, Kansas. Below are summaries of her five reasons. Click here to read the whole article.
Americans have voted by mail since the Civil War! (And all Oregon elections have been by mail since 1999.)
It is difficult for someone to vote another person’s ballot. Every signature is checked to make sure it matches the signature of a registered voter.
The mailing, delivery, processing and counting of mail-in ballots are protected by security measures.
Vote-by-mail does not favor any party over another. Research has shown that making voting easier helps all voters.
Research shows that voter fraud is very rare.
Watch our video showing all the ways we protect mail-in voting in Oregon.
The Oregon Secretary of State has given the People Not Politicians Initiative Campaign more time to gather signatures. The League of Women Voters of Oregon is one of many statewide nonpartisan groups supporting this initiative. It would place redistricting reform on the November 3 General Election ballot. Please help do that.
If you haven’t yet signed the petition, please download, sign and mail it in by August 8. Let’s make sure voters can elect representatives who truly represent their communities’ interests. We need to end gerrymandering. Politicians should not be drawing election districts that benefit their parties. Read more about the issues and the proposal here.
In response to Secretary of State Bev Clarno’s decision, the campaign wrote:
“We are grateful the Secretary of State recognized the importance of the democratic process and the significant impacts of the pandemic on Oregonians’ ability to participate in this process,” said Norman Turrill, chair of People Not Politicians … “We will continue to collect signatures to ensure Oregon voters have a chance to bring the redistricting reform we need to end gerrymandering in Oregon once and for all.”
The Book Talk was co-sponsored by the League of Women Voters of Portland and the League of Women Voters of Oregon.
About the Book
Told through the stories of those working on voting rights reforms, this book includes chapters on expanding voter eligibility, easing voter registration rules, making voting more convenient, giving redistricting back to the voters, pushing back on big money through local and state efforts, making the system more accountable, and improving civics education.
Thoroughly researched, this book gives anyone fed up with our current politics the ideas and tools necessary to affect change in their own communities.
About the Author
Joshua A. Douglas is a professor at the University of Kentucky College of Law. His most recent work focuses on the constitutional right to vote. He has also written extensively on election law procedure.