Wood County Voter February 2018

“Blood on the Mountain” documentary on Saturday, February 24 at 1:30 p.m. at the Vienna Public Library, 23rd St. & River Rd. in Vienna. Free and open to the public. See the Voter for movie description and for an update on some legislative bills.

pdf iconFebruary 2018 Voter pdf.pdf

[Huntington Area's Feb. bulletin"

League meeting on Feb. 17, 10 am and Election News

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Join Us Feb. 8 for All Kinds Are Welcome Here Lobby Day

The LWV-WV is excited to join with other organizations and individuals committed to moving West Virginia forward as a supporting partner of the 2018 All Kinds Are Welcome Here Civil Liberties Lobby Day on February 8 at the State Capitol in Charleston.

Come stand with us in solidarity to show the West Virginia Legislature that West Virginia should be a place that welcomes and respects ALL people!

There will be an advocacy training starting at 9 am to make sure you are comfortable talking with your elected officials about issues that matter to you, followed by a large press conference and rally featuring our lawmakers and other members of the community. Following the press conference, attendees will watch a floor session from the House or Senate galleries at 11 am when legislators convene.

The afternoon is devoted to meeting with your elected officials. Attendees are encouraged to arrange their own meetings with their legislators, but there will be a table were folks can connect with others from their area to attend meetings as a group. 

Please register here to let us know which parts of the day you’ll be attending, and which issues matter the most to you.

We look forward to seeing you there. Please stop by our table in the lower rotunda. 

All kinds are welcome and all voices must be heard! Please join us and invite your friends today.

Wood County Voter January 2018

LWVWC’s Monday, January 22, 2018 meeting will be a how-to session about using the WV Legislature’s web site to find bills, track bills, contact legislators, check roll calls, watch legislative sessions and access the many opportunities to know what’s happening to be found there. This event is open to all and is at 6:30 p.m. at the Parkersburg City Building, second floor large conference room.

pdf iconJanuary 2018 Voter pdf.pdf

Huntington’s January Bulletin

LUNCH TOGETHER ON JANUARY 15. TOPIC- LEGISLATIVE PRIORITIES

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Be Registered & Be Ready to Vote: WV Voter ID Law Now in Effect

Last month, Secretary of State Mac Warner launched a new voter ID education campaign to educate the public about West Virginia’s voter ID law, which went into effect on January 1, 2018.  The Secretary of State’s Office is working with a diverse group of stakeholders, including LWV-WV, to help get the word out to the public about these changes, and the various forms of photo and non-photo ID that will be accepted at the polls. 

Because West Virginia’s law is not as strict as voter ID laws passed in other states, most voters will likely have one of the acceptable forms of ID on the list. Acceptable forms of photo ID include driver’s licenses, passports, military and student IDs, and concealed carry permits. Several forms of non-photo IDs will also be accepted including Medicare and Medicaid cards, hunting and fishing licenses, bank and debit cards, utility bills, and health insurance cards.Voters who lack a valid form of ID could have a friend or poll worker vouch for them. (See the Secretary of State’s guide to the new law below for complete of acceptable IDs and exceptions to the voter ID requirement.)

The Secretary of State’s Election Division is also working with county clerks to provide free photo IDs to registered voters who otherwise do not have one of the many forms of identifying documents. 

With many important races on the ballot this year, it’s important to make sure you’re registered to vote and ready to vote. This means making sure you have your ID, informing yourself about the issues and candidates, and last but not least, getting yourself to the polls.

Also, please help spread the word and make sure people know about this new requirement. Every vote counts, and we don’t want potential voters to be turned away.

VOTER_ID_RACK_CARD

Video: League of Women Voters Legislators Forum – December, 2017

On Monday, December 11, from 7 to 9 p.m. the League of Women Voters of Morgantown-Monongalia County hosted this Legislators Forum, co-sponsored by OLLI. This forum is designed to let the legislators tell the public what their priorities and proposals are for the upcoming Legislative session, and for them to hear from the audience about their hopes, needs and concerns.

Seated left to right: Delegates – Barbara Fleischauer, Cindy Frich, Rodney Pyles, John Williams and Senator Robert Beach

Thank-you to West TV for providing the video camera! Filmed by Jonathan Rosenbaum.

League of Women Voters-WV Comments on the Repeal of the Clean Power Plan

The following statement was read at the EPA hearing in Charleston on Nov. 28 in support of the Clean Power Plan and against its repeal:

Repealing the Clean Power Plan puts the interests of corporate polluters ahead of the health and safety of the American public. The EPA’s own analysis shows that the benefits of the Clean Power Plan significantly outweigh the costs, and that its repeal will have a devastating impact on the planet at a time when we are seeing and experiencing the powerful effects of climate change in the form of rising temperatures, deadly hurricanes and floods, extreme droughts, and destructive wildfires. The League is appalled at this irresponsible decision that will have a long-term devastating impact on our planet and health of the American people.

LWV-WV members Barbara Brown and Vicki Conner of Morgantown show their support for the Clean Power Plan at the Sierra Club's Hearing for Healthy Communities.

Instead of repealing the Clean Power Plan, the EPA must strengthen the targets it currently sets, expand its scope to strengthen advancement toward clearer fuels and new technologies, and empower it to make energy companies and their investors pay for a comprehensive and just transition that reinvests in communities like those in West Virginia and Appalachia that have historically relied on fossil-fuel based industries, and in the working class communities and communities of color here and across the country that have been disproportionately affected by the impacts of fossil fuel pollution and climate change.

Additionally, because the repeal of the Clean Power Plan will have deep impacts in these communities, the EPA must commit to holding further hearings in affected communities beyond West Virginia. To only hold hearings on the repeal of a policy that has national impacts in one state, and not in others, is undemocratic, unconscionable and unfair.

The continued emission of carbon pollution and other greenhouse gases threaten the lives, health, and well-being of Americans and people worldwide. The effects of climate change are real and serious, and by repealing the Clean Power Plan and failing to take action to reduce these emissions we do so at our own peril.

We are already seeing and feeling the effects of our warming planet when we experience more severe weather like this year’s deadly hurricanes and devastating wildfires, and other extreme weather events closer to home like the 2012 derecho and last year’s historic floods. All of these come with costs to human lives; damage and destruction of property and infrastructure, and higher costs to governments, taxpayers, and those who respond to these disasters and work to repair the damages.

A warming climate also poses numerous risks for public health. Extreme heat can be a killer. Higher temperatures contribute to poor air quality including smog, a contributor to respiratory problems, as well as increased production and wider dispersion of allergens. Diseases may be spread more readily from an increased number of insects that would have been killed in colder winters, and more outbreaks of waterborne diseases such as cholera are expected. Those most vulnerable to climate related health effects — children, the elderly, the poor, and future generations — face disproportionate risks. Repeal of the Clean Power Plan ignores these risks and the major health benefits of reducing carbon and other other emissions that can harm human health.

The CPP would be one of the United States’ most effective ways to reduce CO2 and other greenhouse gases, with less disturbance to the economy than some other proposals and with substantial benefits for the health and welfare of the American people. The United States has been known in the past for its innovative approaches to problems. The use of clean and renewable sources of energy has expanded tremendously in the last few years. These sources have the potential to make up a larger share of our electricity production – while reducing emissions and keeping the supply of electric power affordable and reliable. 

By repealing the CPP we are saying that the United States no longer has the capacity to meet these challenges. We will have decided that we can live with 19th and 20th century technology in the 21st century. We will allow China and other countries to take over the role of pioneer in new technology and production of energy. The longer we put off reducing our CO2 and methane from power production, the bigger the problem will become to solve and we will have to take more onerous steps.

We must consider the lives, health, and welfare of future generations, and we must act now. To leave a warming climate and all its consequences to our children and grandchildren is unconscionable. Living for today rather than planning for tomorrow is considered to be frivolous. Do we want historians to label us as immoral and frivolous? If Aesop’s fable about the Grasshoppers and the Ants were applied to us, we would be the Grasshoppers because we were not willing to take steps today to plan for the future and protect our climate.

November 2017 Morgantown Newsletter

TALK TO YOUR LEGISLATORS!

PUBLIC FORUM

On Monday, December 11, from 7 to 9 p.m. our League will host a Legislators Forum, co-sponsored by OLLI. It will be held at the Mountaineer Mall, in OLLI Classroom A. The forum is designed to let the legislators tell the public what their priorities and proposals are for the upcoming Legislative session, and for them to hear from you about your hopes, needs and concerns. In the past this forum has led to very fruitful discussions between the public and the legislators.

Two senators and five delegates from our area have been invited: Robert Beach, Roman Prezioso, Jr., Barbara Fleischauer, Cindy Frich, Rodney Pyles, Joe Statler, and John Williams.

The legislators will be given four minutes to discuss their interests in the upcoming session, and the public will then have the opportunity to ask questions and voice their concerns. After the forum there will be coffee and cookies and time to talk individually with the legislators. Please plan to come!

EPA Announces Public Hearing on Repeal of the Clean Power Plan

The EPA will hold a public hearing on the proposal to repeal the Clean Power Plan in Charleston, WV on Nov 28-29. The hearing will potentially be extended into Nov 30 if enough people register to speak at the meetings. This is the only public hearing that is planned, and it is being held in Charleston “the heart of coal country” to hear from those most impacted by the CPP and get their comments on the proposed Repeal Rule. Scott Pruitt, EPA Administrator stated that he looked forward to hearing from all stakeholders.

Persons wishing to speak at the public hearing to be held by the EPA in Charleston on November 28-29 must be registered by Nov 16 and will be notified about time slots on Nov 17. Written comments are also being solicited and “will be given the same weight as oral comments” according to the EPA. Written comments must be submitted by Jan. 16. Comments should be identified by Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2017-0355 and may be submitted by one of the methods listed on the Clean Power Plan Proposed Repeal: How to Comment web page.

The LWV-US has issued the following statement. “By repealing the Clean Power Plan, the White House is putting the interests of corporate polluters ahead of the health and safety of the American public. This decision will have a devastating impact on the planet at a time when we are seeing the powerful climate change effects with rising temperatures, deadly hurricanes and destructive wildfires. The League is appalled at this irresponsible decision that will have a long-term devastating impact on our planet and health of the American people.” The LWVWV and local Leagues are encouraging individuals to attend the hearings in Charleston and/or to submit written comments.

October Membership Meeting

We were very lucky to have Mr. Donald “Deak” Kersey as our speaker for the Membership Meeting in October. He gave us a lot of good information about how voter rolls are maintained, including the fact that the Secretary of State’s office never removes people from the rolls. County Clerks are responsible for determining whether a person should be removed, and Mr. Kersey provided information on the various ways that determination is made. For example, they receive information from the US Postal Service about people who have moved, use two national databases to check for duplication of voters, and receive death notices. Mr. Kersey also gave us information about how WV protects our on-line voter data, including the fact that we have a highly trained cybersecurity professional who monitors our systems daily and who has a high-level security clearance which makes it possible for him to be in direct communication with the Department of Homeland Security when necessary. He also reassured us that no voting machines in WV are connected to the internet, so there is no opportunity for a person to hack into them to change votes or otherwise impact the recording and tallying of votes. He also told us that West Virginia is being presented nationally as an example of how systems should be maintained to insure election integrity. At the end of his presentation, Mr. Kersey briefly reviewed the new law about voter ID which goes into effect January 1, 2018. There is further discussion of voter ID in this newsletter.

The video filmed at our Membership Meeting, Election Integrity in WV with Elections Director Donald Kersey, is available at https://youtu.be/f05v4lIDyjc .

 Elections & Voter ID – a Primer (from Wood County LWV)

Though no statewide elections are scheduled until the Primary next May, there is a change coming that merits attention. Starting January 1st, WV voters will be required to present some form of identification at the polls.

This change originated in 2016 in the House of Delegates as a strict photo ID law of the sort that has been the subject of much controversy over whether its purpose is actually to suppress voting by certain groups. The introduced bill was amended so that WV voters will have a long list of documents that will be considered a “valid identifying document.” The law takes effect January 1, 2018.

Voters need to know of the change and what they need to take to the polls. The Secretary of State plans a statewide education effort, which the law requires. To that end, the Secretary convened a meeting recently with representatives of a broad range of groups and constituencies represented, including representatives of the LWV of WV, to gather information about how best to inform voters of the change and assure that no one is denied their right to vote because of a lack of ID.

The Secretary’s staff plans to make materials such as posters available for wide distribution as well as encouraging civic groups and media to help inform voters. The staff includes field representatives in locations around the state who will be part of the educational efforts.

As League members, we will get asked about this change. My short answer has been, take your wallet with you when you vote and you will surely have one of these documents with you. This will work for most of us, but not everyone. There are people entitled to vote who have none of them, and there are options for them. See the next section for acceptable “valid identifying documents” and you will be ready to answer questions.

Valid Identifying Documents

A document with the voter’s name that was issued by the State of WV or its subsidiaries or the US Government, OR one of the following:
Must be valid (not expired) and have the voter’s name
 Driver’s license
 Passport or passport card
 A photo employee, student, or military ID or concealed carry permit
 Medicare or Social Security card
 Birth certificate
 Voter registration card
 Hunting or fishing license
 An ID card for SNAP or TANIF or Medicaid benefits
 Health insurance card
 Bank or debit card
 Utility bill or bank statement (from within 6 months of election)

Residents of licensed care facilities are exempt from ID requirements. There is no change in absentee voting procedures.

There are two options for those with no ID, an affidavit from someone who knows and accompanies the voter and for someone known personally by the poll worker.

Registered voters will also be able to get a free photo “Voter ID” card through their county

clerk’s office with no further documentation than is required for being a registered voter. (A state issued photo ID is available through DMV, but requires more documentation.)

Homeless people may use the address of a shelter to register to vote.

Anyone who appears at the polls and is denied a ballot is entitled to cast a provisional ballot, the validity of which will be evaluated in the canvass following the election.

For the complete bill, see: http://www.legis.state.wv.us/WVCODE/ChapterEntire.cfm?chap=03&art=1&section=34#01

Looking Ahead!

We would like to invite people to the All Kinds Are Welcome Here Lobby Day, on February 8, 2018.  LWV-WV is a co-sponsor for the event along with ACLU-WV, WV FREE, Fairness WV, Planned Parenthood South Atlantic, Rainbow Pride of WV, and WV Citizen Action Group (so far). Two of our members attended last year– let’s increase that number in 2018! 

LWVMM November 2017 Newsletter

Huntington League’s November Bulletin

HOW MUCH DO YOU KNOW ABOUT THE ELECTIONS PROCESS?

pdf iconNov LWV newsletter.pdf