League of Women Voters Charlotte County Florida
League of Women Voters of Charlotte County Florida

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January 12, 2019 By: Jean Finks
Isn't it great when we get lots of ways to learn about on of our most important women?  Of course I speak of Ruth Bader Ginsburg., US Supreme Court Justice extraordinaire.The documentary biopic, RPG, is available through Charlotte County library system.  The new dramatic film about one of her first important cases, "On the Basis of Sex", opened in theaters yesterday.  And her recent fall and broken ribs led to the discovery of lung cancer and recent surgery.  This week she missed the first oral arguments in her 25 years on the court.  But all should be well; doctors say she is free of cancer, so rumors that names of replacements were being sought are PREMATURE.
Please take some time to learn more about this pioneer in women's rights.

Coming up for air and ready to vote?
October 21, 2018 By: Jean Finks
For the past several weeks, the speakers' bureau for our chapter has been on the road, speaking to everyone who asled on the proposed constitutional amendments.  Thanks to Avis Sunter and Nancy Razvoza, as well as Julie McGillivray, we have presented the state League's power point or equivalent by handout, to over 250 local residens.  We have also sought local answers from candidates for the vote411.org project. If you are known to your friends as a League member, you too have probably been asked, "where is my mail in ballot" more times than you could count.  The Florida Supreme Court has whittled the original 13 amendments to 12 so far, with three more still on the docket for final decision.
Now that the early voting sites will open October 22, most folka will finally get serious about who to vote for.  And we can put aside our voter guides and crib sheets and take a breather to consider wider issues.
Like the fact that the Florida League was a key plaintiff in getting the Florida Supreme Court to decide that our new governor and not Rick Scott will appoint replacements for three justices who are age-retired at the end of the day the new governor is inaugurated.
And like the plight of voters in counties affected by Hurricane Michael.  Governor Scott has issued a proclamation on October 18 authorizing displaced voters to request the mailing of a ballot to a location other than their (former?) permanent voting address, and for such mail in ballots to be forwarded.  it further authorizes supervisors of election in the affected Panhandle counties to select different polling sites where necessary.  If you know any Michael refugess who may be affected, please let them know.
Your chapter's board will be meeting soon to discuss new directions after the election.  Input from all our members will be welcome.  
The Primary Races Go Into High Gear
August 8, 2018 By: Jean Finks
Last week it was the Curmudgeons' forum at the Cultural Center. Tonight there is another forum in Rotonda West (see Events section of this website for details).  Julie has been fielding calls from voters looking for help in deciding who to cast their primary vote for.  Today I got one too, and was thankful that tonight's Rotonda West forum is local to that person.  But there are websites to help you educate yourself, and the Charlotte Sun has been running a series of interviews and recommendations.  Here, if you need a hand, are a few other resources:
VOTE411.org.  All Charlotte Candidates are listed, and most have already submitted their answers.  
bereadytovote.org. Florida League's own website, with a link to vote411, also has info on the amendments for November ballot.
charlottevotes.com.  This is Paul Stamoulis, supervisor of elections for Charlotte County, excellent website.  Look under elections, click on candidates, and find out more about the candidates for local elections.
floridabar.org.  This is the Florida Bar website, with "the Vote's in Your Court" section on appellate judges' biographies to help us decide on merit retention races in November.  They also have excellent explanations of the different votes and why we do it this way.
People who don't vote elect bad leaders
July 20, 2018 By: Jean Finks
One of member Martha Hoover's favorite truths is a variant on the above headline.  Her version goes more like this: Bad Leaders are elected by folks who don't vote. If you have been following political news lately, you are either very happy or grinding your teeth, depending on your point of view.  But despite all the talk, never forget that every vote counts.  Even in gerrymandered districts. Even if your spouse and you disagree. Even when the ballot will be longer than I can every remember.  Thirteen proposed state constitutional amendments.  A local school board referendum. Maybe even a partridge in a pear tree and guacamole in your canal.
A pundit this week describes one of our current national maladies as "truth decay."  We have been encouraged by the spirit, gumption and national leadership of the survivors from Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland.  They remind us tired older folks that some things are really important. And we keep watching those already in elected to office to look for signs of intellectual life and courage.
Never fear.  The League is again strongly at work to help educate every voter on issues, where polling places are, helping folks get to polls. But never to tell voters which candidate to cast their precious votes for. I hope they listen. I hope they appreciate our interest and our help.  If an organization you belong to wants us to provide the League's excellent presentation on constitutional amendments, let us know.  We are ready with our power point and training from an interactive webinar. We will even provide handouts.
And I hope we work to end our collective silence to avoid conflict with neighbors who we believe (or know) think differently from us.  Maybe even start some friendly dialogue.  Try to find things we agree on, not what we can't stand. "Tell me why you like that idea? 
No matter who you decide to vote for, please read up on your choices and then VOTE in our primary on August 28.
The People's House is worth reading
May 10, 2018 By: Jean Finks
David Pepper wrote a novel long before the 2016 election in which he posited a foreign government interfering with our election.  I heard the author interviewed on PBS, and he said he arbitrarily picked Russians as his perpetrators. The Russians in his book have a purpose grounded on a need for US Congressional approval of some controversial infrastructure to make their business prosper. Pepper's good guy protagonist is a newspaper reporter in Ohio, where Pepper is chair of a major political party in real life, having graduated from Yale and Yale Law before trying public office on his own.
So what, you may ask?  Just today I heard about an experiment in IT sophisticated Austin, Texas with university help to develop an electronic voting system with a paper receipt to each voter, which the Texans thought would be free from tampering.  They tried to get a manufacturer to use their open source schematics to build the machines, but nobody took their offer.  Just such a paper receipt plays a major role in Pepper's book.  If I told you more, you would miss the excitement of the reporter's book chase for the bad guys. Pepper is a great plot-twister.  He is less successful in describing characters we could care about, and his short chapters jump around in time and from one point of view to another, but he writes with a purpose:  protecting our election systems from harm by pointing out weaknesses we need to fix.
PS:  Pepper has a new book out with the same protagonist.  It's called "The Wingman".  I can't wait.