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LEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERS 
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Larimer County, Colorado
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ELECTION REFORM -
 Making Democracy Work 

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The League of Women Voters
is a non-partisan, political organization that encourages informed and active participation in government and influences public policy through education and advocacy.


Making Democracy Work
is a program that engages Leagues nationwide in advancing the core democracy issues of: Election Reform, Campaign Finance Reform and Stronger Ethics in Government. 

 


In a comprehensive approach, using League positions to advocate and take action, the Election Reform team works together toward the one common goal of making democracy work for all!


Upcoming Events
Upcoming Events


The Team meets every third Tuesday of the month.  
If  you are interested in attending a meeting, please contact us.   

Check out our complete Election Resources page for comprehensive Voter Information.

2020 Issues in the News

In November, VOTE YES on National Popular Vote

The National Popular Vote guarantees the Presidency to the candidate who receives the most popular votes across all 50 states and the District of Columbia. The bill ensures that every vote, in every state, will count in the presidential election.   The bill is constitutionally conservative state-based legislation that preserves the Electoral College, preserves state control of elections, and preserves the power of the states to control how the President is elected.
Visit YES on NPV

April 2020  gen mtng

Watch the National Popular Vote Town Hall Meeting with Mike Foote ON LINE

NPV forum
The Colorado Legislature in 2019 passed legislation to join the National Popular Vote (NPV): an agreement among US states and the District of Columbia to award all their respective 270 electoral votes to the presidential candidate who wins the overall popular vote. Sponsors of SB19-042 were Senator Mike Foote and House Representatives Jeni Arndt and Emily Sirorta.  The bill passed out of Senate on January 23rd (19-16).  The bill passed out of House on February 21st (34-29). Governor Jared Polis signed the bill into law March 15th, 2019.

The National Popular Vote bill will take effect when enacted into law by states possessing 270 electoral votes (a majority of the 538 electoral votes). It has been enacted into law in 16 jurisdictions accounting for 196 electoral votes, including 5 small jurisdictions (DC, DE, HI, RI, VT), 8 medium-sized states (CO, CT, MD, MA, NJ, NM, OR, WA), and 3 big states (CA, IL, NY). The Compact will go into effect with an additional 74 electoral votes.


  League of Women Voters Position

The LWVUS believes that the direct popular vote method for electing President and Vice-President is essential to representative government.  The LWVUS has supported electing the President of the United States by popular vote since 1970.  In 2010, the League adopted support of the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact as an acceptable way to achieve the goal of the direct popular vote for election of the president and vice-president.  

Pictured from left to right: 
Election Reform Team Leader Kathleen Schmidt,  Colorado House Representatives Jeni Arndt, Cathy Kipp and 
National Popular Vote Colorado Co-Chair Sylvia Bernstein at a LWVLC Community Education Forum.
March 2019



Learn More About the National Popular Vote and the League's Advocacy Position

Community at Work is a weekly public affairs program at KRFC 88.9 FM Radio Ft. Collins.  
This half-hour interview was recorded March 30, 2019 at the 
LWVLC Election Reform’s community education forum on the National Popular Vote. 
 The program features National Popular Vote Colorado Co-Chair Linda Sorauf
 interviewed by ER’s team lead Kathleen Schmidt.


KRFC National Popular Vote Interview

Other sources of information:
National Popular Vote FAQ
Understanding National Popular Vote
CO NPV Fact Sheet
League of Women Voters of Colorado Position
National Popular Vote Web Site

NPV Agreement Among States



LWVLC NPV ADVOCACY EVENTS



ER



National Popular Vote Senior Communications Director Patrick Rosenstiel at League of Women Voters of Weld County advocacy event September 26th, 2019
Colorado House Representative Jeni Arndt, Represent Ft. Collins Jody DesChenes and LWVLC Kathleen Schmidt at an advocacy event for National Popular Vote October 21st, 2019.

Ranked Choice Voting
National  

Bennet, King, Phillips Introduce Bill to Promote Ranked Choice Voting



bennett

Washington, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senators Michael Bennet (D-Colo.) and Angus King (I-Maine), along with U.S. Representative Dean Phillips (D-Minn.), introduced The Voter Choice Act to support local and state governments that choose to transition to a ranked choice voting (RCV) model for elections. Bennet believes this can discourage extreme partisanship, incentivize a greater focus on substantive issues, and ensure that election winners better reflect the views of most.

The Voter Choice Act provides $40 million in federal grants to cover up to 50 percent of the cost for local and state governments that voluntarily choose to transition to RCV. 


“A partisan fever is imperiling our democracy,” said Bennet. “I believe ranked choice voting can lower the temperature by giving voters more choices, discouraging slash-and-burn politics, and rewarding candidates who appeal to a broad majority of voters. Our bill encourages states and local governments that wish to adopt this promising reform.”

Read the entire article

Voter Choice Act



Colorado
Committee Meets to Discuss Alternative Voting as Ranked Choice Gains Favor



Last year the Colorado secretary of state formed a committee to examine alternative methods. That group met for the first time last month (pictured above) and discussed topics like ranked-choice voting, Griswold said, not knowing the conversation would be so timely.

Following the recent primary, Terrance Carroll, former Colorado Legislator, wrote in the Denver Post:

"...Ranked-choice voting is a simple and intuitive election reform, which would have ensured hundreds of thousands of Coloradans wouldn’t have had their Super Tuesday votes rendered meaningless.

It’s easy: voters rank the candidates based on preference. For example, if Buttigieg is a voter’s first choice, they rank him first. They then rank the other candidates in order of preference. Since Buttigieg dropped out, the voter’s second-place vote for Bloomberg is counted. If Bloomberg fails to make the 15% delegate threshold, the voter’s third-place vote is counted — for Biden. This is why ranked-choice voting combined with an open primary is exceptionally effective in reflecting voter preference and ensuring all votes matter…."
Read the entire article

 
OUR THREE CORE ISSUES:

ELECTION REFORM

Advocated successfully during the Colorado Legislature in 2019 to pass legislation joining the National Popular Vote.  National Popular Vote is an agreement among US states and the District of Columbia to award all their respective 270 electoral votes to the presidential candidate who wins the popular vote in all 50 states plus DC. 

Advocate for Alternative Voting Methods (AVM) to our current system of plurality voting and to require ranked voting that ensures the winner has majority support.  Adopting alternative voting methods such as Ranked Choice Voting will invigorate civic participation, improve fairness of representation, and lead to more civil campaigns.


The League of Women Voters of Larimer County supports Instant Runoff Voting.
LWVLC Program Priorities

Advocate for Proportional Representation that ensures parties gain seats in proportion to the number of votes cast for them.

Ask your US Representative about HR4000.  It is similar to the 2018 Fair Representation Act and will establish ranked choice voting in elections for Representatives in Congress; require each state with more than one representative to establish multi-member congressional districts; and require states to conduct congressional redistricting through independent commissions.

Read HR-4000


CAMPAIGN FINANCE REFORM

ER Campaign finance reform

We support campaign finance reform that ensures:

·       The public’s right to open and honest elections, 

·       Curbing special-interest soft and dark money,

·       Public funding of congressional elections.





LWVLC Success Story:
The Election Reform team with Represent Ft. Collins and the community successfully advocated City Council for an increase of the Independent Expenditures limit from $100 to $250 (down from the proposed $1,000 threshold) and a Paid for By Requirement on all campaign communications from both registered committees and individuals.

 

After City Council voted unanimously to adopt the recommendations, City Council member Kristin Stephens said, “The community has clearly spoken to say they want more transparency”. 

 

Special thanks to League members Marge Norskog, Jody DesChenes & Robbie Moreland from Represent FC, for being outstanding citizens who affected city policy for full and timely disclosure of campaign contributions and expenditures. The City’s Elections Code Committee decided to change procedure and make their meetings open to the public with citizen input at the beginning of meetings.  You no longer need an invite to attend ECC meetings.  Represent FC has determined that the integrity of our city elections is dependent upon citizen review and will continue to do so. 

Listen to our KRFC interview with Robbie Moreland and Jody DesChenes from Represent Ft. Collins:
 
KRFC Represent Ft. Collins Interview

Coloradoan article on Open Transparency

STRONGER ETHICS IN GOVERNMENT

The LWVUS supports FOR THE PEOPLE ACT:

Many elements of the HR1 legislation align with the League’s long held positions and advocacy to ensure that our elections are free, fair, and accessible to all eligible Americans.  HR1 legislation passed in the House March 8th, 2019.  Among many elements, the bill aims to:

Break down barriers that prevent Americans from registering to vote. The Act requires states to allow same day registration, establishes an opt-out system of automatic registration, and includes the establishment of an online voter registration for all eligible voters.


HR1 will restore the Voting Rights Act (VRA) and strengthen our elections by cutting back the obstructive laws that have kept eligible voters from exercising their right at the ballot box. Since the Supreme Court’s Shelby County decision rolled back key provisions of the Voting Rights Act in 2013, Americans have participated in elections where voters have faced a variety of obstacles, from reduced polling places to long lines, to strict voter identification requirements, to the removal of registered voters from the rolls.

HR1 will also empower small donors by creating a public financing system to match small contributions to presidential candidates. It will also close disclosure loopholes that allow outside groups to flood elections with millions of dollars of secret money.


Demand a Hearing for HR1 Now

LVWUS Media Release in Support of HR1

Read HR1