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Date: 5/4/2022
Subject: May 2022 LWVNAZ League Lookout
From: LWVNAZ




 
May 2022 League Lookout - LWVNAZ News/Events Northern Arizona and Greater Verde Valley
 
 

LWVNAZ Members and Supporters:  

Our goal with the monthly newsletter is to provide you with a quick snapshot of our monthly events and activities all in one place.  Hope you enjoy it!

We are providing information that the League is sponsoring as well as information about events that you might find of interest. Feel free to share this information with anyone you think would benefit from this information!


Message from the President

Greetings!

 

This month will be my last President's message.  I have appreciated the opportunity to serve on the LWVNAZ Board these past 6 years during a time of momentous change and challenges in the nation.  Next month, our newsletter will be coming from Maryann Kenney, our incoming President.  Maryann has been and continues to be a leader at the state and local level.  She is passionate about LWV activism and legislative analysis.  Please consider joining us at our Annual Member meeting on May 25 followed by our final Voter Education Program before the summer break.  It will be a great opportunity to connect with fellow Leaguers and learn about Education in the Verde Valley.  Details are below.  As always, we are also looking for volunteers to assist us and list many opportunities in this newsletter.  Please consider volunteering, and consider attending a Board meeting to learn more about our work.

Thank you for all you do to support democracy!
 
Lynn
 

Lynn Zonakis

President - LWVNAZ




Annual Meeting and Voter Education Program
 
We have scheduled our May Annual Member Meeting for May 25 from 1:15-1:50 at Yavapai College Sedona's inside courtyard.  Bring your sweet tooth as we will be serving desserts.  Following the meeting, we will have our final Voters Education Program before our summer break.  The program is from 2 PM - 3:30 PM and is titled "Successes and Challenges in Public Education in the Verde Valley".  


Voter Education Program May 25th (In Person!!)   :  Successes and Challenges in Public Education in the Verde Valley

 

Whether it is curriculum, book selection, or funding issues, schools are making headlines.    This last voter education program of the spring season promises to be an informative and insightful look at the current state of public education in the Verde Valley. 

We are honored to have as our speakers Dennis Dearden, superintendent of the Sedona-Oak Creek School District and principal of Sedona Red Rock High School, and Steve King, superintendent of the Cottonwood-Oak Creek School District.

 

See Successes & Challenges in Public Education in the Verde Valley for more details.


 


Political Book Club
 

The volunteer facilitator for May is: Donna Tavoso  from NY

 

May 30, 2022, Monday 3:00-5:00 pm MST

 

The selection, based on many members’ recommendation, is Lessons from the Edge; A Memoir by Maria Yovanovitch (March 2022, 416 pages) An inspiring and urgent memoir by the former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine—a pioneering diplomat who spent her career advancing democracy in the post-Soviet world, and who electrified the nation by speaking truth to power during the first impeachment of President Trump. A powerful testament in a uniquely American life well-lived and a remarkable career of dedicated public service at the highest levels of government.

 
To join the Zoom meeting, click here and use passcode 220148.
 
The only requirement to join the discussion is that each participant has read the book. The standard format consists of each person giving a brief (1-2 minute) statement concerning the book’s overall impressions and implications. This segment is followed by group questions and discussions of the material.   If you would like to join the book club, or want to submit the title of books you are interested in reading and discussing, or if you would like any other information about the book club, please contact jananderson46@gmail.com.
 
Future books are:
 
June 27 - Between Two Fires: Truth, Ambition, and Compromise in Putin's Russia by Joshua Yaffa (May 2021)
July 25 - Give Us the Ballot: The Modern Struggle for Voting Rights in America by Ari Berman (August 2015)
August 29 - Fight: How Gen Z Is Channeling Their Fear and Passion to Save America by John Della Vople (January 2022)
September 26 - Up All Night: Ted Turner, CNN and the Birth of the 24-Hour News by Lisa Napoli (May 2020)

The subcommittee for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) of LWVAZ has selected the next book An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States by Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz published in 2014; isbn 978-0-80705783-4. It is available in paperback and is 237 pages. 


This group reads and discusses the book in three sections, has prepared questions distributed in advance, and uses breakout rooms via Zoom. The plan is to have three sessions meeting the first Thursday of the month in the evenings: April 7 - Chapters 1-5 (pages 1-94); May 5 - Chapters 6-8 (pages 95-162); June 2 - Chapters 9-12 (pages 163-237).


To attend this event, it is requested that you be a member of LWV. If you are interested, please email Judy Wood at jazzwood1@gmail.com. You will then be added to the list of participants and will receive additional information.




Let's Talk Politics

Have a political or legislative issue on the mind or just want to talk about current events? This is your opportunity to share and hear from others.
This group normally meets monthly on the last Thursday of the month.

When:  April 28, 2022 08:30 AM Arizona
There is no need to pre-register.
Click here to join the Zoom meeting. 

Meeting ID: 849 6412 4692
Passcode: 210146



Candidate Forums are Coming:  Your Participation is Requested

 

The League is organizing candidate forums for mayoral and city council races across the Verde Valley and potentially in Flagstaff ahead of the August 2, 2022 primary election.  Forums will occur from June 27 to July 12, 2002 and will be a combination of in person and in the studio at Yavapai Broadcasting.

Volunteers are needed to help with publicity, time-keep, and at the in person forums, to collect and organize audience questions.  Volunteers also are needed to help organize the Flagstaff mayoral forum. 

Members and the public can also participate by submitting questions in advance of the forums. The dedicated gmail accounts for each forum are as follows:

 

Camp Verde

 

Clarkdale

 

If Interested in more information and helping out, please contact Robin Low at lwvnaz@gmail.com.


Vote 411 Update
 
Work has begun on the races in the LWVNAZ area. Several cities have mayoral and council races for voting in the August primary. If you have particular questions you’d like to submit for consideration, please drop me an email (marsh.86326@gmail.com) and I’m happy to add it to the list of options! Thank you!
 

You should be seeing more content on our VOTE411 page by early July. Check back there for more information on the answers given by the candidates.


LWV ADVOCACY

 

The attack on Voting Rights has slowed a bit as the Legislature is winding down, but this is still a time for vigilance.

 

UPDATES:


AZ Supreme Court Filing

In Arizona Republican Party v. Hobbs the petitioners requested that the Court invalidate all early in-person and mail-in voting, which the state has had in some form for more than a century. This change would have made Arizona stand alone in the nation as the only state to require all voting to occur in person on Election Day.   LWVAZ among others, filed briefs opposing this case.  In a success for voters, the Arizona Supreme court declined to take up this lawsuit.  A suit could still be filed in a lower court.

 

HB2492 – A newly enacted law that is confusing, potentially unconstitutional and increases barriers to voting.

HB2492 was proposed by Jake Hoffmann (R - Queen Creek) on Jan 24, enacted by the Arizona Legislature and signed into law by Governor Ducey on Mar 30, 2022.  What does this mean for Voter Registration and Voting in Arizona?  A lot of confusion about provisions of the law, legal challenges to constitutionality and more barriers to voting.  

Currently, to register to vote in Arizona you must be a US citizen.  Many voters prove this via an Arizona Driver’s or Non-operating license (which since 1996 has included updated citizenship requirements), a Tribal ID card, or Naturalization Papers. Copies of other proofs such as a birth certificate or a passport can be provided. While this may sound easy, many circumstances might stand in the way of doing this - a young voter without a driver’s license yet, an older voter who has an expired license, a person who uses public transport and never learned to drive, a person who has lost their birth certificate, a person who has just moved and can’t find their proof, a person with proof but no access to copy equipment.  Most often, a potential voter will not be carrying around copies of needed documents.   As a result of a 2013 US Supreme Court decision, these voters can still exercise their basic right to vote in Federal Elections (President and Congress) by attesting “yes” they are a citizen and signing the registration form.  They are then given a “Federal Only” ballot at the time of elections.

HB2492 is an attempt to further bar or restrict “Federal Only” ballots.  County recorders must immediately reject any form without proof of citizenship, unless it is a Federal voter registration form prepared by the US Elections Assistance Commission (USEAC). For USEAC forms the Recorder must use “available resources to verify the citizenship status”.  If verified, the voter is properly registered. If the recorder is unable to find evidence of citizenship, the voter is not eligible to vote by mail or vote in a Presidential election If determined to be a “non-citizen” the voter must be referred to the County Attorney and AG for investigation. Voting by non-citizens is extremely rare.  Unnecessary checks with unvalidated databases,  and referrals to prosecution are intimidating voters from exercising a basic right.

The registration process also becomes more difficult for all.  A voter must now also provide proof of residence and list place of birth when registering to vote.  The Arizona Association of counties has testified that proof of residence is required when voting so this is redundant.   Requiring place of birth is not relevant to voting and cannot be easily verified.  Requiring a voter to state their place of birth is another intimidation in a nation grown increasingly hostile to foreign born citizens.

This law may also result in the purging of many older, longtime Arizona residents from election roles.  In 2004 a ballot initiative passed requiring proof of citizenship to vote.   Legislation “grandfathered in” voters who registered prior to 2005, allowing them to remain on the election roles.  Many legal experts conclude this law will supersede prior legislation.   The Arizona Association of counties has testified counties will need to pore over election roles and may be required to purge nearly 200,000 voters who have not made a change to their registration since 2004.

Although the Legislature is attempting to delay this bill, it  may take effect after the primary and shortly before the November general election, potentially generating even more confusion and barring voters who cannot complete extra documentation in time.

This bill does not make Democracy work better.  It sows confusion, places unnecessary barriers to voting, and may lead to unjustified voter purges.  The League of Women’s voters is exploring options to join other groups in litigation.

LWV is dedicated to helping our volunteers help voters.  If this law proceeds as planned, we will be providing additional guidance and training to our Registration Volunteers.

 

And now a chance for positive action…

Arizonans for Free and Fair Elections Initiative

LWVAZ continues to fight for voters.  Most recently we have signed on as a partner in efforts to secure passage of the Arizonans for Free and Fair Elections Initiative.  This initiative is an effort to protect many of the voting rights now under attack.   The initiative would protect Vote-by-Mail and restore the Permanent Early Voting List (PEVL), simplify voter registration, help get money out of politics and safeguard our right to pass our own laws.

To place this initiative on the November Ballot 237,645 signatures must be collected by July 7.  To learn more, find out where to sign a petition or volunteer to help collect signatures visit AZFE.org.  We also have a number of petitions available for volunteers in LWVNAZ to circulate.  Contact us at LWVNAZ@gmail.com for information.

To sign up for state advocacy alerts contact lwvazadvocacy@gmail.com



Would you like to help sign up the voters of tomorrow?  Then join us as we visit area high school government classes to explore the importance of voting and then register eligible students.  Visits are confirmed for schools in Camp Verde, Cottonwood, Flagstaff and Sedona during March and April.  All materials are prepared and you would be going with an experienced volunteer.   To join this important activity contact Gail Digate at ggdigate@gmail.com


Expect to see us soon at a site near you!  Volunteers have been trained, materials are being distributed, and teams across our League will be staffing sites in

 

  • Flagstaff
  • Cottonwood
  • Sedona
  • Camp Verde
  • Yavapai Apache Nation

Watch this space for specific dates and times, then please help spread the word however you can.  Our volunteers are there to help voters register, check or change their registration and provide nonpartisan voter information.