Tuesday, Sept. 27
National Voter Registration Day
Saturday, Oct. 1
Charter School Study Materials Available
Monday, Oct. 17
Daniel Scharfman Grant Deadline
Wednesday, Oct. 19
Deadline to Register to Vote in General Election
Friday, October  28
LWVMA Board Meeting, Acton Library, 11 a.m. until 2 p.m.
Tuesday, November 8
General Election
Charter School Study Materials Soon Available
The materials for the League's charter school study will be posted on the website on or about Oct. 1. All members will receive an email with links to that material as soon as it is available. The documents will include an introduction to the study; Fundamentals of Charter Schools explaining how charter schools were established and how they work; Funding of Charter Schools explaining the funding process; an additional reading list and bibliography, and the actual consensus questions.

Please encourage your members in your bulletin and elsewhere to read these materials and to plan to attend a consensus meeting to do the charter study. We encourage all local Leagues to hold a consensus meeting so your members can discuss these issues and so that we have a true statewide consensus of our members' views.
Nominating Committee Seeks New Board Members
Members of the Nominating Committee listened intently to the state board members during their June retreat. We heard a call for a redefinition of a Board of Directors - one oriented toward strategic planning and financial accountability, a Board willing to think creatively, stretch past the familiar way of doing things, and make diversity a reality. It's an exciting time!

Next week, you will receive the new board description and a board member application. We encourage you to read the information then nominate yourself or another talented and committed local Leaguer to serve on the LWVMA Board of Directors and/or the LWVMA Nominating Committee. We're headed into our 100
th anniversary as a preeminent organization dedicated to voter education, civic engagement, and ensuring that democracy works. Our future depends on our ability to attract new League leaders.

In addition to the nomination application, the Nominating Committee will contact League leaders across the state to request names as we work to develop a 2017-2019 slate of officers, directors, and Nominating Committee members on which delegates will vote at the 2017 convention. We look forward to speaking with League leaders and members in the coming year.  Please feel free to reach out to any of the committee members-Lee Bona, Chair; Wendy Manz; Marlene O'Brien; and Marilyn Peterson at any time.
Please Support Our Fall Appeal - We Depend on You!
Please support the vital work of LWVMA and our Citizen Education Fund by donating to our annual Fall Appeal, which kicked off on September 14. By giving to the appeal, you will sustain the essential services provided by the state League and/or our Citizen Education Fund and also earn money for your own League. For a contribution you make by October 14, your League will receive 10-15% of the amount! You also have the option of signing up as a monthly supporter.
Why contribute to the Fall Appeal?
As we approach the 2016 general election, one fact is clear: the League's calm, unbiased, and informed voice is more important than ever. Throughout this loud, confusing, and polarizing campaign season, LWVMA has been working hard to cut through the noise.  Your support will ensure that our MOVE 2016 voter engagement initiative gives voters the tools they need to make informed choices, educate voters about recent election law reforms, and mobilize eligible voters to register and turn out at the polls.

Your support will also ensure that LWVMA is poised to advocate on the issues so important to our members in the new legislative session.

Because membership dues do not cover all of our expenses, we rely on our supporters to help close the gap. To donate online, click here.  To print a donation form, click here.  Thank you in advance for your support!
Great Time at the League Leaders' Lunch
Fifty-five local League leaders descended on Hingham last Saturday for four hours for our annual League Leaders fall get-together. The event included informative presentations on the ballot questions and the 
charter school consensus process; stimulating discussions; a delicious lunch, topped off with homemade dessert treats from our co-host Hingham League; and an idea-sharing session on local pre-election activities.

We welcomed a large number of newly-elected local League leaders who got a first-hand look at the range of resources available to local Leagues from LWVMA. The handouts distributed to attendees are available on our website
Vote411 Update, Video Contest Action
Invitations to participate in will go out to all Massachusetts candidates for the general election in the next few days. We'll invite them to respond to questions so that the online voters' guide will be available for voters throughout the Commonwealth by Friday, Oct. 7. This voters' guide will include information about the Presidential candidates and candidates in all Congressional, state legislative, Governor's Council, sheriff, register of deeds and county commissioner races throughout the state, as well as information about the ballot questions.

Local League leaders can help by encouraging candidates from your districts to participate, and by alerting voters in your area about the voters' guide. Look for Letter to the Editor templates in the
Voter Service Toolkit for publicizing, and for spreading information about early voting in your city or town.

Our winning student videos from our "YOUth Should Vote" contest will be shared beginning this
week on our Facebook page, and press releases will be sent to many media outlets, Massachusetts colleges, and local cable television stations.

We encourage you to share these more broadly in your community. Some ideas you might consider include: intersperse the videos during your candidates' forums, ask your cable television stations to broadcast or post, and share on your League's Facebook page or website.
Opportunity for Voter Protection Work

LWVMA will again participate in the Election Protection coalition,, to ensure that all eligible voters have the opportunity to cast their ballot and have their vote counted.

Massachusetts Election Protection is led by the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights and Economic Justice, with other coalition partners including MassVOTE, Common Cause, ACLU of Massachusetts, the Anti-Defamation League, and LWVMA.

Two-hour live trainings, as well as digital on-demand trainings, will be provided in late October so volunteers are well-equipped to spot common voting problems. Volunteers will work in pairs or small groups to monitor strategically selected polling locations with high volume and a history of voting irregularities.

By volunteering for a minimum of 3.5 hours, you can serve a crucial role in preventing and resolving voting issues. Volunteering with young people or those you are mentoring is an opportunity to promote civic engagement.
If you would like to volunteer and receive training, please contact LWVMA Executive Director Meryl Kessler.
Planning a Ballot Question Forum?
Guidelines for holding forums on any of the four ballot questions in the November election are posted on our website here, and a resources document with information on how to contact the supporting and opposing organizations on the questions is here.
How to talk about Clinton's candidacy
During this election cycle, it is possible local League officers will be approached by a reporter wanting to know what the League of Women Voters thinks about how women will vote or how we react to a woman as a candidate for a major party.

LWVUS has posted talking points
here about how League leaders should respond if a reporter asks these questions.

Above all else, it is important to emphasize what the League means when we say we are "non-partisan": we take positions on issues, not candidates. We do not endorse, support, or oppose candidates or political parties.
Let LWVMA Help You Spread the Word
National Voter Registration Day
If you're planning a Candidates' Night or Ballot Question forum, please share the information with Brynne Gorman so that it can be added to the LWVMA calendar and posted for voters in your area on the voters' guide. She can also include mention of your event on the state League's Facebook page and Twitter feed. And if you have videos of forums that have occurred, send Brynne the link so that we can post these on as well.

Send us photos from your National Voter Registration Day efforts!
Scharfman Grant Deadline
The next deadline for Scharfman Grants is Monday, October 17. 

Never written a Scharfman Grant application? This is a good time to write your first one. Think about a voter education program that your League is planning. The application is easy to complete, and the Scharfman Grants provide up to $250 towards educational programs that are open to the public and meet the guidelines
here. Please note that the guidelines have been revised so make sure to read them over before you write your grant.

Questions: Email Sue Abrams
A Reminder to Update Your Bylaws
During the 2016 LWVUS Convention, delegates approved amendments to Article III, Section 2 of the bylaws to change the description of Voting Members from "Citizens at least 18 years of age" to "Persons at least 16 years of age":

Article III, Section 2. Types of Membership.
A. Voting Members. Persons at least 16 years of age who join the League shall be voting members of local Leagues, state Leagues, and of the LWVUS; (1) those who live within an area of a local League may join that League or any other local League; (2) those who reside outside the
area of any local League may join a local League or shall be state members-at- large; (3) those who have been members of the League for 50 years or more shall be life members excused from
the payment of dues.

B. Associate Members. All others who join the League shall be associate members.

LWVUS policy requires consistency in the first three articles of the bylaws of all Leagues (state and local) with the LWVUS bylaws. Each League, therefore, is required to amend its bylaws to conform to the LWVUS change.

Have your board review and approve the changes In Article III, Section 2, Types of Membership at your next board meeting. Because this is a conforming amendment, it is not necessary to bring this issue to all members for a vote of approval.
The League Leader Update is distributed to local League board members and LWVMA leaders. Anyone can request the Update by clicking here. Please review this Update for articles of interest to your League and include them in your local Bulletin.

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