Pro-Voter Election Reforms Must be Implemented Across America

     Statement by Elisabeth MacNamara, National President of the League of Women Voters

    Washington, D.C. – “Today, after months of relentless attack ads and millions of dollars in dark money campaign spending, American voters are going to the polls, casting their ballots and making their voices heard. The League has been there for all eligible voters in communities across this nation, making a powerful contribution to election 2014. We are proud of our work this year, registering, informing and helping voters participate in this important election.

    “At each and every opportunity, we urged voters to visit the League’s greatest resource VOTE411.org and it paid off. Since 2006, VOTE411 has helped millions of voters find the important election information they need to participate and vote by answering the most commonly asked questions – am I registered and, if not, how do I register, who’s on my ballot, where is my polling place, and what rules and requirements do I need to know before voting?

    “During election 2014, I visited five battleground states where I saw the incredible work of League volunteers. They are active in their communities year round but best known for their election work. Year after year, they work tirelessly to serve their communities and this year was no different. We have been registering tens of thousands of new voters, providing nonpartisan information on the candidates through millions of printed and online voters’ guides and hundreds of debates and forums, and helping voters on Election Day by serving as poll workers, poll monitors and, in some cases, drivers helping voters get to the polls.

    “Unfortunately, our work serving voters has become more difficult in recent years as legislatures in numerous states have passed laws making it more difficult to register, vote and have that vote count. We have seen laws that require onerous proof-of-citizenship and residency requirements in order to register to vote and discriminatory photo ID requirements as a prerequisite to voting, as well as cuts to early voting, elimination of same-day registration and restrictions on community-based voter registration drives, like those hosted by Leagues.

    “Nationally, the League of Women Voters and its state and local affiliates are fighting anti-voter laws in order to protect the rights of all eligible voters but clearly our work is not done. Many voters were prevented from casting a vote in this year’s elections due to new and, in some cases, continuing barriers.

    “A sustained, national effort to reform our election laws is the only way to ensure our elections are free, fair and accessible to all eligible voters. Five important steps would accomplish major improvements in election administration and would let voters know that they are the central actors in our nation’s democratic system. Voters in every state deserve an election system that serves them and includes secure online voter registration for all eligible voters, permanent and portable statewide voter registration, expanded early voting options, improved polling place management, and electronic streamlining.

    “Voters turned out today, to what level we will have to wait and see, but clearly voters want a say on the issues that matter most to them like jobs, health care and the security and future of their communities. The many organizations and elections officials that encouraged voter participation and helped people navigate the hurdles throughout the election process deserve praise.

    “In every state in the union, Leagues are doing the work that the League does best: arming voters with the information they need to get to the polls and make the choices that will best serve our nation, our states and our communities. It is the work that the League has done for almost 95 years and there is no one that does it better than us.”

    Contact: Kelly Ceballos. 202-263-1331, kceballos@lwv.org.



    Like” the League on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter: @LWV.

    The League of Women Voters, a nonpartisan political organization, encourages informed and active participation in government, works to increase understanding of major public policy issues, and influences public policy through education and advocacy.

    The League joined coalition partners in urging the U.S. Senate, to publicly endorse, in a bipartisan manner, five constructive changes to improve the Senate ethics process.


    October 15, 2014

  • The League joined a letter encouraging party leaders in the U.S. House to continue the Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE) for the 114th session of Congress. The OCE has played an important role in helping protect the integrity of the House and its members while establishing a record of fair investigations and bipartisan cooperation.

  • The League joined other reform groups to support S. 2754, the Lobbying and Campaign Finance Reform Act of 2014. The legislation, introduced by Senator Michael Bennet (D-CO), would limit the ability of lobbyists to use bundled contributions to obtain undue influence with members of Congress.

  • The League sent a letter to the U.S. Senate in support of the DISCLOSE Act of 2014.

  • The League joined a letter to U.S. Senators urging them to pass the DISCLOSE Act of 2014.

  • The League joined an amicus brief filed in the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Lair v. Motl.

  • Houston Mayor Annise Parker, Voting and Election Experts, NPR’s Wade Goodwyn Address Delegates 

    WASHINGTON, DC – The League of Women Voters of the United States (LWVUS) held its 51st biennial national convention this week in Dallas, Texas. The four-day gathering gave League members from around the country the opportunity to celebrate the organization’s accomplishments on voting rights, campaign finance reform and the environment, and to discuss important public policy issues. 

    In her acceptance speech, the League’s reelected national president Elisabeth MacNamara challenged delegates: “Our communities are stronger because the Leagues are there. Let’s not be afraid to keep getting in the way and make a difference on big money and campaign finance reform, redistricting, climate change and voters’ rights.”

    MacNamara thanked members for entrusting her with a third term and the leadership of this storied organization approaching its 100th anniversary. “Thank you for faith in the League and the future.”

    Throughout the gathering, delegates rallied around the League’s 2014 Power the Vote initiative for their elections work this year, and set the LWVUS program agenda for the next two years, vowing to continue our fight for voting rights and campaign finance reform. In addition, delegates reinforced the League’s efforts to combat climate change and adopted a three-part program focusing on key structures of American democracy, including campaign finance reform, the constitutional amendment process, and redistricting reform for the U.S. Congress. The League also adopted a position on human trafficking enabling state and local Leagues across the country to take action protecting victims of such crimes. 

    “League delegates are deeply concerned about the big money that is polluting our elections,” said MacNamara. “At Convention, we came together and pledged to educate our communities and fight in our legislatures to protect our democracy.” 

    Convention speakers included Houston Mayor Annise ParkerNPR’s Wade Goodwyn, Steven Murdock of Rice University, Governing Magazine’s Peter Harkness, Former U.S. Election Assistance Commissioner Ray Martinez, Ann McGeehan, the former Director of the Texas Elections Division, Dallas County Sheriff Lupe Valdez, Peter Levine of CIRCLE and Patrick Bresette of Public Works. All of the speakers commended the League for our work on behalf of neighborhoods and voters throughout the country and urged the organization to press forward using our community-based power on the critical issues of the day including money in politics, voter protection and environmental issues. 

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    The League of Women Voters, a nonpartisan political organization, encourages informed and active participation in government, works to increase understanding of major public policy issues, and influences public policy through education and advocacy.

  • A Primer for Engagement of League Members and Fellow Citizens - 2014

  • Chris Carson

    EDITORIAL NOTE: This guest blog post was written by Chris Carson, campaign finance program director, League of Women Voters of California