Beloit LWV's News

Beloit LWV's News

Channel 3000 news report: League of Women Voters Tackles Gerrymandering Voter Security at 100 Year Event.

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Published in Beloit Daily News, Letters to the Editor on April 2, 2020

'Vote to support fair vote maps'

Vote Yes on the Rock County Referendum for fair voting maps. Rock County Supervisors are giving us the opportunity to tell state legislators that we want fair voting maps. The referendum reads: “Should the Wisconsin legislature create a nonpartisan procedure for the preparation of legislative and congressional district plans and maps?” Please vote YES.

Because one party or the other would try to rig maps to maintain power, Wisconsin had to go to federal courts in 1981, 1991, and 2001 to have them draw our maps. In 2011, the assembly drew maps that have already been declared unconstitutional by one federal court. We still use these maps. Vote for a better process!

The League of Women Voters has supported fair maps since the 1970’s. We are a member of the 18-member Fair Maps Coalition, https://www.fairelectionsproject.org/fair-maps-wi/. We advocate for independent nonpartisan commissions to redraw voting maps after each US Census. For the past 35 years, Iowa has successfully had career civil servants draw district maps that guard against partisanship and favoritism. Let’s follow their example.

This is a non-partisan issue that most of us agree on. Rock County is one of 50 Wisconsin counties that have passed resolutions in favor of Fair Maps. Eight counties have passed referendums. Let’s make Rock County the ninth county to pass a referendum supporting a fair nonpartisan process for drawing maps.

Contact the League of Women Voters of Beloit: https://my.lwv.org/wisconsin/beloit for more information and to join us in this effort.

Susan Adams, Beloit

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Sent to the Janesville Gazette

On April 7, the voters of Rock County can send a message to our legislators to end partisan gerrymandering by voting YES on the advisory referendum that asks: “Should the Wisconsin legislature create a nonpartisan procedure for the preparation of legislative and congressional district plans and maps?” 

Since the 1970s the League of Women Voters (LWV) has advocated for independent nonpartisan commissions to redraw voting maps after each US Census. The League has held this position through periods when each party has been in power. Fair voting maps is not a partisan issue. 

In Wisconsin, the only remedies to partisan gerrymandering depend on action by the Wisconsin legislature. Currently, there are bills in the Wisconsin legislature, AB 303 and SB 288, that could do this. 

Therefore, in addition to voting YES on the Fair Maps referendum in April, write or call the members of the legislative committees who need to bring these bills to the floor for debate and a vote. 

On Saturday, guests at our local LWV Centennial Luncheon engaged in a Day of Action and wrote 200 postcard messages to the members of the Senate Committee on Government Operations, Technology and Consumer Protection and the Assembly Committee on Campaigns and Elections. (Google the names of these committees to find contact information for the members.)

You can advocate for Fair Maps, too. Democracy is not a spectator sport. 

Contact the League of Women Voters of Janesville through our website www.lwvjvl.org for more information.  

Linda Reinhardt
President, League of Women Voters of Janesville
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 Featured letter: Beloit League helping to make democracy work

  • Bill Barth.  Opinion page March 2, 2020. Written by Gayle Hotchkiss

 In February 2020 the League of Women Voters (LWV) celebrated its 100th anniversary and the Beloit League joined more than 700 other local and state chapters to celebrate this historic milestone.

When a member joins their local League of Women Voters they also become part of a larger network in their state and nation. The League of Women Voters was founded on February 14, 1920, six months before the ratification of the 19th Amendment giving women the right to vote. Local and state organizations followed by organizing the local chapters as they joined the national organization.

The League of Women Voters of Beloit organized and was founded in March 1945, becoming a member of both the LWV of Wisconsin and LWV US. As League members look to a vibrant future on their threshold of our next 100 years, the League is excited that dedicated members in Beloit, Wisconsin and the nation continue to steadily attract significant numbers of activists who share the League’s commitment to making democracy work.

The League of Women Voters membership is open to women and men, 16 years of age and older, who are interested in improving our systems of government and impacting public policy through education and advocacy. The League’s historic commitment to register, educate and mobilize voters is not only stronger, but more effective than ever, utilizing such tools as VOTE411.org, a cutting edge election information website utilized by millions of voters each election cycle.

On a national level the League will continue to fight voter discrimination and to keep secret money out of our elections to ensure that our elections are fair, free and accessible. There will be a continued push for improved access to health care as well as recognizing that climate change is a scientific reality that must be addressed to ensure a sustainable planet for everyone. The state league will continue to address the issue of fair and impartial redistricting. The Beloit League members have many interests in these topics as well as recently learning more about issues affecting the homeless and various aspects of local education.

One hundred years after the League was founded in 1920, members of the League are proud of the great progress achieved when it comes to truly making democracy work.

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