Making Democracy Work

President's Message

Election 2016 - Poll Watching

Thank you to the many league members who pol watched during early voting and on Election Day. Overall, we observed a well-run election which is what we want! Our presence provided assurance to voters and the poll reports when assembled will provide usual feedback to election officials.

Troubling to all of us who were poll watchers where voters who were turned away for registration issues. Many were because they had not voted in quite a while and had not returned a mailed inquiry from the county election commission. This process of purging voters is troubling to the league because it eliminates voters from the rolls who have not done anything such as move out of the county that should cancel their registration. In addition, based on a recent Ohio state court decision, starting a process based on the nonvoting of the registered voter is not allowed under the National Voter Registration Act. The League is discussing the issue and possible solutions with state officials.

Action Committee Survey

This should be a very active legislative session. Among the potential hot topics expected are healthcare, school vouchers, ethics reform, and police body cameras. We NEED YOU to be as involved as you can be. The first step is to answer the Action Committee survey below. For more information, please contact LWVTN action chair Barbara Gay at barbara.b.gay@gmail.com. You may also want to the annual legislative skills workshop organized by LWVTN lobbyist Stewart Clifton (see next item).

Legislative Skills Conference- January 4

This free, introductory-level legislative skills training is from 9:30am-12:00pm in Legislative Plaza, Room 16. It will be followed by a tour of Legislative Plaza and the State Capitol. Tour is optional but many find it helpful. This workshop and tour is from a nonpartisan perspective. We won't talk much about specific issues. Still, it is for persons who are committed to the notion that we are all in this together and who will work for a more just, thoughtful and tolerant society. This opportunity is offered for:

  • Volunteer advocates who want to be involved during the 2017 session
  • Staff advocates, board members of nonprofits and interns whose duties may at least partially involve legislative advocacy or monitoring. The workshop will include:
  • Overview of how the TN General Assembly operates
  • Discussion of the current political &legislative climate in TN, including recent electoral results
  • Practical tips for lobbying and having effective meetings with elected officials
  • Question & answer opportunities
  • Comments from a legislator on how advocates can be effective The tour and commentary will be a walk through the halls of power including:
  • Legislative Plaza and War Memorial Building: lobbies, meeting rooms, legislators' offices
  • State Capitol: Senate & House chambers
  • Myths, lies and possibly some truths about secret corridors, world famous Motlow Tunnel, bullet holes, location where the 19th Amendment to the US Constitution was ratified, etc. Please respond by email to stewart@stewartclifton.com with name and organization affliation (if any) if you're planning to attend or want more information. Please don't just show up as we need to be sure we have room and enough copies of material. In the event of too many interested participants, priority will be given to early responders. We will also provide some directions and information about parking to those registering.

Mark Your Calendars: LWVTN 2017 Convention- April 29 & 30

The 2017 LWVTN Convention will be hosted by the LWV of Hendersonville (Thank you!). At the convention we will approve our program (positions) as well as any proposed studies for the next 2 years. Please contact your local league board with any comments you have on current LWVTN positions or proposed studies. (Members at large should contact Marian Ott at president@lwvtn.org). Current positions can be found here.

Watch for future emails with more details about the upcoming LWVTN Convention.