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LWVBC April 2022 Newsletter

Laurie Teal | Published on 4/16/2022


League of Women Voters of Brown County

The Brown County Voter

April 2022 

 

The League of Women Voters of Brown County is a nonpartisan political organization

encouraging informed and active participation in government.

It influences public policy through education and advocacy.

We never support or oppose any political party or candidate.


Just a Note

By Shari Frank, LWVBC President

 

We STILL Want Fair Maps

 

How does that saying go?  No rest for the weary?  We’ve worked so hard, but we still have work to do so we keep going.  My mantra…remember our foremothers….80 years plus to get the right to vote.  Why do we think just because something is right, and fair, it will be easy?  Wishful thinking.  

 

What’s the goal?  The goal is to ensure every vote counts.  Since our State Representatives and State Senators and Congressional Representatives are elected by district, those districts should enable voters to elect representatives that mirror them.  Instead, districts are packed in a way that many of them are pre-ordained as to who will win - putting either a majority Democrat or a majority Republican in each district  (a.k.a. gerrymandered). 

 

Fair maps, those that create competitive districts, are achievable.  These maps create voting districts that fairly group voters in a way that mirrors the make-up of the state of Indiana, with close to 60% GOP and 40% Democrat.  That makes the districts competitive, where candidates and representatives want to court their constituents votes by having a conversation about what’s important.  Today’s districts, unfortunately, for the most part, create “safe” districts where it is extremely hard, if not impossible, for the party not favored in the district to win.  

 

So, What Do We Do?  

 

What’s that other saying?  Together we are stronger.  Every one of us is part of the team.  

What can we do?

GETOUT THE VOTE!  If everyone votes, even some of the gerrymandered districts can become competitive.  So, yes, your vote matters.  My vote matters.  Get your friends to vote – it matters.

CONTINUE THE CONVERSATION!

  • The Indiana State League will sponsor film nights to remind us how maps and voter suppression tactics prevent people from voting.  Mark your calendar for the evenings of June 2and June 14 for virtual films on voter suppression and gerrymandering, with panel discussions and ideas to continue the work protecting our democracy.
  • Stay tuned for more redistricting activities as we move forward.
  • Join LWVBC.  Become a member.  Become a volunteer.  Tell us the skill or skills you’d like to share.  
  • Know your candidates and how they view protecting every citizen’s access to voting.  


Alone we can do

 so little, 

together we can do so much.

 

Helen Keller


LWVBC Board Activity

 

Notes from the April 11 LWVBC Board meeting:

 

  • The Board voted to host a League information table at the Brown County Family Festival, scheduled for April 25 at Deer Run Park. The event, sponsored by DCS, is being held to acknowledge Child Abuse Prevention Month and will involve many local resource groups.
  • The Board voted to send three delegates to the LWVIN Council meeting on May 14. Those delegates are LWVBC President Shari Frank and Co-Vice Presidents Sunny Leerkamp and Laurie Teal. Other Board members plan to attend the Council meeting virtually as non-voting attendees. All League members are welcome to attend the Council meeting in a non-voting capacity. You can register for the State Council meetingEvents - League of Women Voters of Indiana (lwvin.org)
  • Three League members have volunteered to serve as media watchers for the Brown County Democrat on primary election day, May 3. More media watchers are needed; please see the article in this newsletter for more information.
  • After a review of the LWVBC Member Handbook, the Board voted to approve minor changes. A pdf of the revised Handbook will be provided to all League members soon.
  • Annual Meeting plans and preparation were discussed. Please see the article in this newsletter for a rundown of the meeting, as well as the deadline to make reservations to attend.
  • Board member Jan Swigert informed the Board that an Earth Day celebration will be held at the Brown County YMCA.
  • Board member Ruth Reichmann informed the Board that the Hoosier Hills Scenic Byway is becoming a reality. The effort, led in part by Peaceful Valley Heritage, intends to use the Byway to link Routes 40 and 50.


Candidate Forum Zoom Recordings Available

 

The League of Women Voters of Brown County held virtual candidate forums in late March for the offices of Brown County Commissioner, District 2, and Brown County Council, District 4. The forums were recorded and are available for public viewing on YouTube.

 

To access the recordings:

 

March 30 forum for Brown County Commissioner, Dist. 2:  https://youtu.be/H2pm7Wf2pGY

 

March 31 forum for Brown County Council, Dist. 4:  https://youtu.be/fc-U1ytU1Jg

Please note: The introductory slide on the YouTube video named Scott Waddell, candidate for County Council, as “David Waddell.” LWVBC apologizes for the error.  

 

A link to the recordings is also available on the League’s website: http://www.lwvbrowncounty.org.  For more information:  www.Vote411.org also includes information on local and state candidates.  Just click “See what’s on my ballot”, Enter your address, Select a party or leave at the default to see all candidates, Select your language, then click “Go to my races”. 


Join Us! Our Annual Meeting Will Be May 25

 

The LWVBC Board looks forward to seeing YOU in person (barring any worsening COVID situations)at our upcoming Annual Meeting, which will be held Wednesday, May 25, beginning at 6 pm. Join us at the Seasons Conference Center for conversation and dinner beginning at 6:00 pm.

 

The Annual Meeting is our League's major gathering each year. During this meeting, we will elect officers, directors, and the nominating committee for 2022-2023; approve the annual budget, get an overview of League activities during the past year, and make decisions on program, positions, and any bylaws revisions.

 

  • Our keynote speaker will be Brown County Schools Superintendent Emily Tracy.
  • We plan to congratulate this year’s winner of the Dorothy Stewart Scholarship.
  • The first-place winners of this year’s Essay Contest have been invited to attend the meeting.

We encourage League members to bring a friend. Or perhaps two. The public is invited to join us at the Annual Meeting, so add the meeting to your calendar.

 

Cost: $20 per person for a buffet dinner, payable at the door or by sending a check to the LWVBC Treasurer (checks payable to LWVBC) at PO Box 74, Nashville IN 47448. You can also register online and make a credit card payment via our Website. A vegetarian entrée option will be available.

 

RSVP to reserve your seat by Friday, May 20.Call or email League Co-Vice President Laurie Teal (317-506-5283 or teal.family@icloud.com) to let us know if you’ll be able to join us. See you then!


The Primary Election is May 3; Media Watchers Needed

Submitted by LWVBC President Shari Frank

 

LWVBC members have served as Media Watchers for the past several elections with the Brown County Democratnewspaper as our sponsoring organization.  

 

In general, LWVBC Media Watchers:

 

  • Are assigned to one polling location (usually of their choice) and determine a schedule to observe the election process. 
  • Are asked to attend one of the Poll Worker Training sessions. For the primary election, the training session will be held April 26 and April 27 at the Brown County Fair Grounds from approx. 6-8 pm (Refreshments served at 5 pm).
  • Meet (in person or zoom) to review Media Watcher rules and procedures.
  • Use the LWVBC check list for watchers while observing to provide feedback on any issues or good news.  Immediate concerns are phoned in to the Brown County Election Board.  
  • Are present when Polls close at 6 pm… the Media watcher stays in the poll until they are given the Democratnewspaper copies of the Vote Total tapes printed from every Optical Scanning machine. 
  • Drive the tapes to the Democrat newspaper where the watchers add together subtotals to get vote totals for the poll/precinct where they observed, using Democrat newspaper worksheets. 

LWVBC media watchers have a subsequent follow up meeting to discuss observations and summarize findings which are reported to the Brown County Election Board.  

 

If you are interested in volunteering to be a Media Watcher, please email:  shari.r.frank@gmail.com.  If you would like a copy of the last Report given to the Brown County Election Board or more information, please RSVP.


Be a Citizen Reporter

 

If you don’t want to be an official media watcher, you can still help.  Just observe your own voting experience and write us a note.  Some things to consider in your report:

 

  • If you vote in person early, or on election day:
    • Describe the check-in process.  
      • Did your driver’s license work ok in the electronic pollbook?  Was your name in the data base? Any issues or smooth sailing? (Issues might include the driver’s license didn’t work, poll workers had to look up manually, questions or issues regarding signature? Address? Expiration date? Other? )
    • Describe the voting process:
      • Were you able to vote privately (was the voting booth positioned so passersby could not see your ballot, other?) 
      • Did you use the Freedom Vote or paper/pencil ballot?  Either way, did you remember to check over your ballot before you took it to the scanner to be counted?
      • Any issues scanning your ballot into the tabulator?
    • Anything else?
      • Check in and voting were smooth and fast or how long was the wait?
      • Any unusual occurrences observed?  
      • Were you present at opening or closing?  Any observations to share?
      • Did you have to vote a provisional ballot?  If so, what was the issue?  Remember, you will have to take in any missing information within 10 days to have your ballot count.

Plan Your Vote

 

Your Vote Matters! 

  • The results of elections affect your life every day.
  • Your vote is your voice. If you don’t vote, you are turning your government over to others.

    If everyone votes, it ensures that we’re all represented in our government, not just those with greater wealth or advantages. 

    Know Your Candidates

     

    What are candidate positions on issues?  See what candidates have to say in their own words.  

  • https://www.vote411.org/
  • Early in person:  April 5 to noon on May 2, 2022. Check hours and poll locations at www.indianavoters.in.govor call your county clerk or county election office. 
  • Absentee by Mail:  Vote by Mail absentee ballot application must be received by April 21, 2022.
  • In Person Primary Election Day: May 3, 2022, 6 am to 6 pm. Check poll locations at indianavoters.in.gov or call your county clerk’s office or election office.
  • Traveling Board: If you are homebound or ill, apply by noon May 2, 2022. 
  • Voting in Person

When voting in person, 

  • You must go to your designated polling place and be in line to vote before closing time.
  • You must present an ID with your name and photo. Photo ID must meet four criteria: 
    • Display the voter’s photo, AND
    • Display the voter’s name (must conform with the voter registration record), AND
    • Display an expiration date and either be current or have expired sometime after the date of the last General Election (November 3, 2020), AND
    • Be issued by the State of Indiana or the U.S. government (including some Indiana schools). 

     

    Voting by Mail In Absentee Ballot

    • Your Vote by Mail ballot application must be received online or in the clerk's/election office by April 21, 2022, for the Primary; October 27, 2022, for the General.
    • Apply at www.indianavoters.in.gov to vote by mail absentee ballot and to see complete list of reasons voter may vote by mail, including: 
  • If you can’t get to your polling place between 6 am and 6 pm on election day, OR
  • If you are 65 or older, OR
  • If you are disabled.
    • If disabled, homebound, or ill, you may request the traveling board to come to your home instead of voting by mail. Contact your county clerk’s office or election office to request voting via traveling board. Deadline for the Primary is noon on May 2; for the General Election it is noon on November 7, 2022.

 

Contact Information

Any Indiana Location

Brown County

County Clerk:812-988-5510

https://www.browncounty-in.gov/268/

Sec. of State:866-461-8683

https://indianavoters.in.gov




Earth Day 2022 is April 22

Source: https://www.earthday.org/earth-day-2022/

 

“All TOGETHER now!

 

“This is the moment to change it all — the business climate, the political climate, and how we take action on climate. Now is the time for the unstoppable courage to preserve and protect our health, our families, our livelihoods… together, we must Invest In Our Planet. Because a green future is a prosperous future.

 

“We need to act (boldly), innovate (broadly), and implement (equitably). It’s going to take all of us. All in. Businesses, governments, and citizens — everyone accounted for, and everyone accountable. A partnership for the planet. And while there is still time to solve the climate crisis, time to choose BOTH a prosperous and sustainable future, and time to restore nature and build a healthy planet for our children and their children, time is short.

 

“The Earth Day 2022 Theme is Invest In Our Planet.  For Earth Day 2022, together, for everyone, everything, every day… #InvestInOurPlanet.”


2022 Lake Monroe Forums Being Planned

 

The Leagues of Women Voters of Brown County and Bloomington-Monroe County are making plans to hold two forums this year to discuss the Lake Monroe Watershed Management Plan.

 

The first forum, sponsored by the Bloomington-Monroe County League, will be held at St. Thomas Lutheran Church in Bloomington on Tuesday, May 24th, from 6:45-8:30. Then our Brown County League will sponsor a second forum at the Brown County Public Library in Nashville on Thursday, June 9th, from 6:45-8:30.

 

The goals of these information forums are:

 

  1. Inform community about the Lake Monroe Watershed Management Plan
  2. Solicit feedback about the plan and priorities
  3. Encourage attendees to take a watershed pledge
  1. Gather testimonials, surveys, and other data to show that our project made an impact

 

More information will be provided as plans are finalized. 


Get To Know: Elected Township Trustees & Township Boards

Source: Brown County and Its Government: A Citizen’s Guide (2016 Edition)

 

Four townships comprise Brown County:

 

• Washington (surrounding the Town of Nashville)

• Hamblen in the northeast

• Jackson in the northwest

• Van Buren in the south central part of the county

 

Townships function primarily for support of fire protection and administration of poor relief. Elected by township residents for a four-year term, the township trustee works with an elected 3-member township board to carry out these responsibilities and other minor duties including the upkeep of cemeteries and other township properties.

 

As an overseer of poor relief in the township, the township trustee is charged with verifying claims for relief and granting such relief when needed – usually in the form of “in kind” relief such as groceries, utilities, and medicine, but not cash.

 

A township budget is drawn up by the township trustee and approved by the Township Board for review and approval by the County Council.

 

In addition to a line item for those in need of emergency assistance who meet prerequisites (which may also include medical treatment, medicine, and work training), the township budget may include funds for fire protection, cemetery maintenance, and programs for the elderly. Certain amounts in the budget are determined by what class the township is given, based on its population, area, and net assessed valuation. Those amounts include rent (the Trustee’s office is usually in his/her home), clerical assistance, and travel. The maximum annual salary of advisory board members (also serving 4-year terms) is set by statute.


New Podcast Features Indiana Civic Health Index

Source: April newsletter of the League of Women Voters of Bloomington-Monroe County

 

“Our Marchpodcast features Lisa-Marie Napoli, Director and Senior Lecturer of IU PACE, who talks to our host Jim Allison about the most recent release of the fifth edition of the Indiana Civic Health Index. She shares why it is critical, in a state that rates so low on voting turnout, that citizens need to be more involved in the voting process. Lisa-Marie talks about the increases in college student voting for the last election and explains some of the recommendations provided in the Index for school civics education improvements.”



Compelling Data That Vaccines and Boosters Keep Us Safe

 

Brown County is in the low community transmission category. 

 

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) suggests the following Recommended actions based on current level:

 

“Stayup to datewith COVID-19 vaccines.Get testedif you have symptoms. Wear a mask if you have symptoms, a positive test, or exposure to someone with COVID-19. Wear a mask onpublic transportation. You may choose to wear a mask at any time as an additional precaution to protect yourself and others.”  https://covid.cdc.gov/covid-data-tracker/#county-view|Indiana|18013|Risk|community_transmission_level

 

COVID-19 Vaccine Indiana:If you are age 5 or older, you can get a vaccine. https://www.coronavirus.in.gov/vaccine/index.htm. The CDC recommends anyone 12 years of age or older should get a booster vaccine. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/booster-shot.html?s_cid=11711:%2Bwho%20%2Bcan%20%2Bget%20%2Bcovid%20%2Bbooster:sem.b:p:RG:GM:gen:PTN:FY22

 

Additional Resources:  


Updates from LWVIN

Source: LWVIN Voter Newsletter, 4/14/2022

 

LWVIN 2022 State Council will be May 14.This will be a hybrid event that you can attend in person or via Zoom. For more details and to register go to https://lwvin.org/council.

 

(All times ET)

11 am Registration in person
11:30 am Lunch in person
Noon call to Order/Business Meeting
1 pm Presentations

  • State Senator Fady Qaddoura
  • Legislative Updates by Advocates
  •  LWV Structure Taskforce -- Taylor Flanery
  • Education -- Jennifer McCormick

4:30 pm  Adjourn

 

The Redistricting Quilt-in-process and the new redistricting maps will be on display. Please bring your squares or strips to contribute to the quilt top.  The public is asked to write short statements on the quilt squares with messages to legislators such as “End Gerrymandering” or “Let Me Choose My Legislators” or “We deserve Fair Maps”, etc.  The squares will be quilted together to form the Democracy Quilt”.  If you want to submit some quilt squares, please let us know.  

Local Leagues are urged to bring andshare brochures and other written materials -- either hard copy or digitally.


Any League member can attend Council.  Only delegates can vote on the slate and budget. Each local needs to select their delegates -- "delegates to the Council shall be the president of each recognized local League or an alternate, 2 additional delegates chosen by each local League, and the members of the state board."


Updates from LWVUS

Source: www.lwv.org

 

Tell Your Representatives That You want Equality to be Part of the Constitution:  A new resolution has been introduced in the US House affirming that the Equal Rights Amendment has met all of the requirements needed to be added to the US Constitution.The new resolution, H. Res. 891, introduced by Congresswomen Jackie Speier and Carolyn Maloney, will reflect the sentiment of the House that under the terms of Article V, the ERA is already part of the Constitution. It will ensure it is considered effective as of January 27, 2022.The inclusion of the Equal Rights Amendment in the US Constitution is long overdue.Please contact your representative today and tell them to assert that the ERA should be the law of the land!

 

April is National Arab American Heritage Month,a time for us to honor the achievements and rich cultures of Arab Americans. Throughout the month, we’ll be highlighting the work of Arab American women who have shaped the democracy movement. Stay tuned for highlights and more on our social media and atLWV.org.

 

From the days of suffragists to the first female Vice President,the League has had the privilege of being a part of the women’s political power movement for over 100 years. As we imagine the victories we will achieve in the next century, our staff members reflected on what the power of women means to them, and how it has shaped both their lives and our democracy. Learn more on our blog piece,‘Women Creating Their Own Histories: Staff Spotlight’.

 


Here’s How to Contact Your State and Federal Legislators

 

State Senator Eric Koch 

Website: https://www.indianasenaterepublicans.com/koch
Email: Senator.Koch@iga.in.gov
Phone: 800-382-9467 or 317-232-9400
Address: Indiana State Senate, 200 W. Washington St., Indianapolis IN 46204 

 

State Representative Chris May 

Website: https://indianahouserepublicans.com/members/general/chris-may/
Email: h65@iga.in.gov
Phone: 317-232-9981
Address: Indiana House of Representatives, 200 W. Washington St., Indianapolis IN 46204 

 

9th Congressional District U.S. Representative Trey Hollingsworth 

Website: https://www.hollingsworth.house.gov
Phone: 202-225-5315
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/RepTrey
Address: 1641 Longworth House Office Building, Washington DC 20515 

 

U.S. Senator Mike Braun 

Website: https://www.braun.senate.gov
Phone: 202-224-4814
Facebook: 
https://www.facebook.com/mikebraunforindiana

Address: 374 Russell Senate Office Building, Washington DC 20510 

 

U.S. Senator Todd Young 

Website: www.young.senate.gov
Phone: 202-224-5623
Facebook: 
https://www.facebook.com/SenatorToddYoung

Address: 185 Dirksen Senate Office Building, Washington DC 20510 

 

Governor Eric Holcomb 

Website: https://www.in.gov/gov/
Phone: 317-232-4567
Facebook: 
https://www.facebook.com/GovHolcomb/
Address: Office of the Governor, Statehouse, Indianapolis IN 46204-2797 


Government and Board Meeting Calendar

 

 

GOVERNMENT AND BOARD MEETINGS

 

PLEASE NOTE:Meetings may be in person and/or virtual.

See links below to check days/times.

 

Brown County Election Board:

First Tuesdays of the month, 2 pm, Salmon Room

• April 19, 2:00 pm(check for possible changes)

• May 10, 2:00 pm(check for possible changes)

 

 

Brown County Commissioners:

First and Third Wednesdays, 2 pm, Salmon Room (check website for zoom link)

• April 20, 2:00 pm

• May 4, 2:00 pm

• May 18, 2:00 pm

 

 

Brown County Council:

Third Monday of the month, 6:30 pm, Salmon Room

• April 18, 6:30 pm(check for possible changes)

• May 16, 6:30 pm(check for possible changes)

 

 

Brown County Health Board:

Bi-monthly, third Tuesday, 5 pm

May 17, 5:00 pm(check for possible changes)

 

 

Nashville Town Council:

Third Thursday of the month, 6:30 pm

April 21, 6:30 pm(check for possible changes)

May 19, 6:30 pm(check for possible changes)

 

 

Note: for all government and advisory board meetings and to verify times, please check the Brown County government calendar:http://www.browncounty-in.gov

or the Brown County Democrat:www.bcdemocrat.com

 




 

LWVBC BOARD MEETING

 

LWVBC Board meetings are held the

second Monday of each month

 

May 9, 6:30 pm(via Zoom)

June 13, 6:30 pm(via Zoom)

 

2022 Annual Meeting

May 25, 6:00 pm (via Zoom)

 

 

League Members, Friends,

and the public are welcome

 

 

To participate in the meetings, contact League President Shari Frankatbrowncountylwv@gmail.com