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Date: 3/7/2022
Subject: What's Next After the Primary? LWVTX Action News!
From: Grace Chimene



March 2022 Action News!
President's Message:
Grace Chimene

The 2022 Primaries By The Numbers:

      • 17.4% of registered voters voted in the Texas Primaries. 
      • Just shy of 3M Texans cast a ballot for a candidate for governor. 
      • Nearly 14.2M registered voters did not participate in the primaries.
         (Numbers provided by TX Elects)

LWVTX Speaks Out on the Primary Election Challenges! 

“Texas held the first 2022 primary election in the nation under the additional stress of a new, massive election bill, Senate Bill 1, which created even more challenges for voters in Texas…   as we all expected, the new election law caused heart-breaking confusion among voters in the 2022 primary elections. Most notably, the new ID number requirements that needed to be added in Ballot by Mail applications and ballot carrier envelopes complicated voting. These new requirements hit  older voters and voters with disabilities particularly hard. While we don’t have the final results on how many ballots were able to be cured, we do know that an extraordinary percentage of vote-by-mail ballots were rejected.  But election officials were not allowed to promote or even educate voters about the new Ballot by Mail processes under threats of  criminal prosecution.”   See full Press release here.

Our mission to empowering voters and defending democracy is vital for our democracy. While the League is fighting  for voters and against 
Senate Bill 1 in the courts, we need your help!  Your contribution to the League makes a difference! Donate now to support voter education and encourage voters to participate in the upcoming 2022 elections.  

We have so much work to do. I am so thankful to be working with you, and the League members, and supporters across Texas! 

Your Texas League in Action
LWVTX Survey of Texas County Websites

The League of Women Voters of Texas conducted its eighth survey of Texas county election websites in February 2022 in preparation for the March 2022 Primary Election. Based on a set of criteria, the League awards points based on the election information that is included on each county’s website. The League commends the 56 websites we rated as "outstanding" and the 36 websites we rated "very good." The League offers our congratulations to those counties and celebrates all the counties, large and small, which meet the needs of their voters.

Read the full review on the County Election Website page here.

Thanks to all the wonderful League volunteers who helped review all 254 county websites: Grace Chimene,  Jaci Elliott, Nicole Frazier, Aubrie Jacobson, Karen Kelly, Katharina Koholka, Elisabeth Macnamara, Dorothy Marchand, Carol Martin, Susan Schultz, Janis Richardson, Maddie Venn, Mary Venn. The League is an all volunteer grassroots organization. Your dedication to Empowering Voters and Defending Democracy in Texas is greatly appreciated! 

Increase in Voters Using the League’s Voters Guide!

During this primary election period, 145,112 voters compared candidates with our nonpartisan Voters Guide at VOTE411.org. According to Meghan Brown, LWVUS VOTE411 Manager, “This is a 30% increase over the primary period in 2018 (the most comparable election cycle) which is awesome considering election day in 2018 was March 6th!”

In addition, the Voters Guides were available at many libraries across Texas and local  Leagues shared a printed guide in their communities.

A Note of Support from LWVUS:

“On behalf of LWVUS, I want to commend the League of Women Voters of Texas for their steadfast dedication to voters during their primary election. The Texas political climate is exceptionally difficult right now, and your members have worked tirelessly through that growing storm to inform and serve voters across your state.
 
With attacks on voting rights and civil rights of Texans continuing to ramp up, your work is more important than it has ever been. We have seen your GOTV campaigns, your advocacy against anti-voter bills, your service to voters of color, your enthusiastic and widespread promotion of VOTE411, and how you’ve given of yourselves to empower voters and protect democracy. We cannot be prouder to call LWVTX one of our own. You should know that the entire League is with you and thanks you for your work. Please pass this message of support to your incredible membership.”

Dr. Turner, President LWV United States

To continue helping LWVTX empower voters and defend democracy, donate here.

League Prepares for the Special Constitutional Amendment Election on May 7th and Runoff Primary Election May 24th 

There will be two proposed Texas constitutional amendments on the May 7th ballot. For the May 7th election, LWV Texas will publish its explanations of the propositions, and arguments for and against each.  For the runoff election taking place on May 24th, we will publish the runoff races, along with the candidates’ responses to questions asked for the Primary Election Voters Guide  The Voters Guides for these elections will be available on VOTE411.org and as a PDF at lwvtexas.org. We will not provide printed versions of the Guides for these elections. 

LWV Texas has designed graphics for push cards (small bookmarks) and flyers with important election dates and the web address and QR code for VOTE411.org. These will be sent to the Leagues, libraries, and partner organizations to print/reproduce to meet their needs.  


Women Power the Vote - A Making Democracy Work Dinner
 
Friday, April 8, 2022   -    6:30 pm CT until 9:00 pm CT
 
Keynote Speaker: Isabel Longoria, Harris County Elections Administrator
LWVTX will also be recognizing additional elections administrators.

For information about tickets and sponsorships visit the Women Power the Vote Dinner Women Power the Vote Dinner
Take Action Today!
Share your voting story!

The League of Women Voters of Texas is gathering stories from Texas voters about voting in the March 1st Texas Primary Election. How was your voting experience in 2022? How about your friends and family? Fill out the 2022 Texas Primary Election Voter Stories survey to let us know.

Your story will help the League learn about how new voting procedures impacted Texas voters and any challenges you experienced. We will use this information to improve voter education and to advocate at the Capitol to make improvements to voting in Texas.  

Then use the League's Take Action! page to write your voting story to your legislators or use the media link to write a letter to the editor.


Equal Opportunity


During the 87th legislative session many discriminatory anti transgender bills were defeated with the help of our LGBT partner organizations and our heroic equal opportunity Issue Chair, Amber Briggle. Now, during the height of the Texas primary campaign, Governor Abbot and the Attorney General Paxton chose to attack families of transgender children by threatening them with Children Protective Services (CPS) for being supportive loving parents who provide medically approved health care to their children. Read more about it here and here.

Use the League's Take Action! page to send an email  in support of transgender children and their families to your legislators.

Redistricting

Stephanie Swanson, LWVTX redistricting chair, is assisting  League volunteers who are working hard on local redistricting issues. Please contact Stephanie at Pinpoint00@gmail.com  if there is a local redistricting issue. 



Local Leagues in Action
League of Women Voters of Houston

Photo credit: MSNBC YouTube channel. Pam Gaskin recounts her mail ballot hassle. Read more here.
League of Women Voters of Amarillo

Photo credit: Neil Starkey, Amarillo Globe-News. Read more here.

League of Women Voters of Corpus Christi

Photo credit: Corpus Christi League of Women VotersRead more here.
League of Women Voters of Austin Area

Photo credit: LWV Austin Facebook page. Read more here.
Your Texas League in the News!

Texans go to the polls under sweeping new voting restrictions


HOUSTON — With less than two days until Texas’ primary election, Cedric and Myrtis Tatterson sat in a community center gym in Houston to fulfill the training required of them as election judges.

Though they have both served as judges in numerous past elections, Tuesday’s primary will be the first since Texas’ Republican-controlled legislature passed a sweeping voting law with provisions that restrict access to the ballot.

Cedric, who said he has been involved in the struggle for voting rights for decades and marched in his youth with Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. in Chicago, said he’s dismayed with Texas’ efforts to make voting harder.

Read more here.


Experts say less than 20 percent of voters turn out for Texas Primary Elections

WACO, Texas — In just one week Texas will hold its 2022 primary elections, but history shows that registered voters tend to sit this one out.

"They tend to be under 20 percent. Compare that to midterm elections where it's like 45 percent to a president election where it's 55 to 60 percent," political science professor, Dr. Pat Flavin, told 25 News. "Primary elections definitely qualify as low turnout elections."

With just a few days left for early voting, McLennan County Election Administrator Jared Goldsmith said they've only seen about 4 percent of eligible voters already.

Read more here.


More Mail Ballots Rejected Under New Texas Voting Law

Some early Texas voters in the nation’s first primary are seeing their mail-in ballots rejected for leaving off newly required information following a GOP-led overhaul of the state’s already strict election code.

Election officials in Harris County — a Democratic stronghold that includes Houston and more than 2.4 million voters — said Thursday that in the first batch of mail-in ballots they have received, about 40% could not be counted because of missing information or signatures required under Texas’ sweeping new law passed in August.

Read more here.

FYI:
Women's History Month Panel

It has been 102 years since women won the right to vote in America. Today, women are still powering our democracy.

In the wake of the 2020 Presidential Election, the right to vote is in a vulnerable state, with new barriers popping up every week. Defending our democracy requires renewed investment from individuals and corporations alike.

This panel discussion features voices and perspectives of the League of Women Voters, SuperMajority, LULAC, and Black Voters Matter, organizations working to build more trust in our elections, grow our electorate with equity, and create fairness for voter access. We cover the intersection of gender and race in the voting rights movement, fighting deliberate barriers to voting, and how to build community power, dismantle disinformation, and get out the vote in 2022.

 "I was so inspired listening to my esteemed peers from LULAC, Black Voters Matter, and SuperMajority as they discussed getting out the vote, the intersections of gender and race, and how we can build a more inclusive, empowering democracy," Grace Chimene, President of LWVTX said regarding the LWVUS Women's History Month Panel.


Watch the recorded panel discussion on Facebook here.

Climate Change Threats to Democratic Elections: Preparing for the Worst

Panel presentation co-sponsored by the League of Women Voters of the United States and the Global NGO Executive Committee. This event will provide ideas about voting procedures to increase access to voting for those threatened by severe climate/environmental events such as hurricanes, extreme heat, flooding, wildfires, and explosions. Focus will be on how local communities might anticipate and prepare for, rather than react to, these threats.

Presentation will be held virtually on March 23, 2022 from 2:00 to 3:30 pm EST.  For more information, click here. Register for the webinar here


League of Women Voters of Texas
1212 Guadalupe St. #107
Austin Texas, 78701
(512)-472-1100