"Building Awareness of the Need to Bring American Democracy to America's Capital!" kicked off the League's DC Voting Rights project. The well attended Convention workshop featured an interactive discussion on what Leagues can do to raise public awareness of the unique disenfranchisement issues affecting DC citizens. Leagues have been invited to apply for one of the 20 pass-through grants to support citizen education through media outreach and outreach to the public.
The Public Advocacy for Voter Protection project has the LWVUS/EF working closely with six selected state Leagues--Florida, Georgia, Missouri, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. These Leagues are working to educate voters regarding changes and practices that are either deliberately or inadvertently harmful to eligible voters. They are also countering those negative policies through action directed at legislators, elections officials and other policymakers, the media, and concerned citizens. Issues related to voter registration databases and restrictive voter identification requirements are the most critical in this grant funded program. Another concern that emerged this year is the onerous restrictions placed on voter registration drive participants by some states. See the article on p. 7 of this Voter.
In August, the League of Women Voters was honored as the first recipient of the Hod Greeley Judicial Outreach Award at the American Bar Association (ABA) annual meeting in Hawaii. The ABA established this award "to recognize individuals and organizations dedicated to promoting increased public awareness of the need for a fair and impartial judiciary." The League was nominated for this award by the Justice at Stake Campaign, with the support of the Brennan Center and the Constitution Project.
During a plenary session of the 2006 national LWV Convention, four distinguished panelists addressed the importance of an independent judiciary. They discussed the different state judicial selection systems, including merit selection, appointments, and retention elections. On the panel were Chief Justice of the Missouri Supreme Court Michael Wolff; Professor Charles Geyh, Indiana University School of Law; and Mary McQueen, president, National Center for State Courts. Bert Brandenburg, executive director of Justice at Stake, was the moderator.
VOTER OUTREACH AND EDUCATION
The League is expanding its traditional set of voter education...