FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Elizabeth Leslie
February 14, 2013 916-842-7737
www.lwvc.org ... eleslie [at] lwvc.org
League of Women Voters Celebrates 93rd Birthday
Protecting Voting Rights and Strengthening Campaign Contribution Disclosure Laws in California
The League of Women Voters is elated today to celebrate our 93rd anniversary. Since our founding in 1920, the League has worked tirelessly to protect and uphold the constitutional right to vote, a right that composes the very foundation of our democracy. However, while we celebrate our successes, we are concerned by stark challenges to our democracy.
Supreme Court and the Voting Rights Act
In the upcoming Supreme Court case Shelby County, Alabama v. Holder, the constitutionality of the Voting Rights Act (VRA) of 1965 will be reviewed. The VRA is landmark legislation that ensures every American citizen, regardless of race, has an equal right to vote. Should the Court rule against the VRA, which prevents states from passing discriminatory voting rules, the right to vote for millions of Americans would be at risk.
“The thought that the Supreme Court might soon overturn the Voting Rights Act and limit voting rights should send a chill down the spine of every American,” said League president Jennifer A. Waggoner. “The League believes we should be expanding voting rights, not curtailing them, and working to make elections free, fair and accessible to all eligible citizens.”
The League has been committed to protecting voter rights since 1920, and we’re not stopping now. The upcoming Supreme Court review of the Voting Rights Act shows that even 93 years after our founding, the League’s work is needed more than ever.
Campaign Disclosure Reform
In addition to protecting the right to vote, the League works to see that voters have all the information they need to vote intelligently. This includes full disclosure of the sources of funding for campaigns.
Shortly before Election Day last November, an out-of-state nonprofit organization made an $11 million contribution to a California ballot measure committee that clearly violated California law. Thanks to the quick action of the Fair Political Practices Commission, the state Supreme Court ordered part of the money trail behind those dollars to be revealed, giving voters more information about who was trying to manipulate the election. We are sponsoring bills to require disclosure of the true source of funds in such cases.
Our priorities for campaign disclosure laws:
1) Election filings and disclosure
- Make it easy for campaigns to make their reports—with online filing and schedules more like federal reporting schedules
- Make it easy, clear and quick for Californians to see who is contributing where
2) End the “dark money” loophole
- Prevent the use of nonprofits and Super PACs to hide the real sources of campaign funds
- Strictly enforce all the campaign regulations
- Ensure that penalties are sufficiently painful to make compliance more likely
The League of Women Voters of California is one of nearly 800 Leagues in all 50 states that works to protect voters’ rights. Since 1920, the League has worked to educate and inform voters. “We respect all points of view, and never support or oppose candidates for office, or political parties,” continued Jennifer A. Waggoner. “This is what sets us apart from so many organizations, and it is why we welcome new volunteers to take part in our work here in California.”
Membership in the League is open to men and women of all ages. For more information about the League of Women Voters of California, visit www.lwvc.org.
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. Membership in the League is open to men and women of all ages. With 93 years of experience and 800 local and state affiliates, the League is one of America’s most trusted grassroots organizations. Follow us on Facebook.
League of Women Voters Celebrates 93nd Birthday
In response to
The League's 93rd Birthday
The Supreme Court and the Voting Rights Act
Campaign Disclosure Reform