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LEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERS 
of
Larimer County, Colorado
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Larimer League

Election 2021 — It’s a wrap!
By Jane A Everham
Posted on 11/3/2021 8:10 AM

Election 2021 - It's a Wrap!  Who Will Help with the Next Election?
by Sonia Koetting

LWV-Larimer member since 2006

 

When I began my league membership in 2006, The Old-Fashioned Political Rally was a flagship event. We had fewer than 100 members, and no website or social media. But the boom of the Digital Age and other factors had us retreat from the format. We continued to host in-person forums on a smaller scale. Then along came the vision of VOTE411.org, with candidate Q&A and ballot issues information uploaded by local leagues across America. This website has now won national awards for dependably previewing ballots and informing on elections from US president to local boards of health.VOTE411.org is the one-stop shop for election information to the zip code.

 

Todays pandemic has seen us rise to another electronic challenge — Zoom forums — further increasing our voter access.

 

Forum Coordinator Gwen Lipke of Loveland pointed out that Zoom forums can be an equalizer for candidates who may be out of town on their forum date, removing this as an excuse to not participate.

 

Gwen, along with co-coordinator, Jorie Kramer, ask for support from other members next election. The tasks include reaching out to candidates with rules and format, moderating, sorting questions, keeping time, and greeting people at the door of live events.  

 

This year a vision-impaired candidate led Gwen to find a bell to let speakers know when their time was winding down. It worked well, and I think we should use a bell in forums going forward,” Jorie, who served as time keeper for that forum, said. “The bell is more difficult for anyone to ignore than a sign.”

 

This year people submitted questions on mask mandates, critical race theory and other hot buttons. Those topics were allowed, said Barb Hansen, Voter Service Lead, but Was Election 2020 stolen?” was not allowed because these were local forums and LWV does its best to steer clear of partisan fights. 

 

Barb described meeting an unexpected challenge when ballot pamphlets had to be urgently overnighted from LWVCO, … and then there was an error that needed to be hand-corrected on each one!” Thanks for coping, Barb!

 

Member Sharon Johnson helped with distribution of printed ballot information this year. Along with state ballots, we printed flyers for Berthoud and Wellington issues. Help with distribution of printed material to libraries, nursing homes and other places is another job for members seeking to be helpful at election time.

 

Anne Thompson, who organizes Larimer Leagues information on VOTE411.org and is former LWV-Larimer spokesperson, said this year we invited 30 candidates to write answers for their profile on our website and we had 87 percent participate. Nine candidates provided some information in Spanish.

 

We hope to continue working with Vote 411 and with candidates so that we can provide better and more complete information to voters whose primary language is Spanish,” she said.

 

Communities across America depend on their local leagues for this legacy job, a job that continues to meet the future. If you’re new to league or looking for a new way to participate, reach to a member of Voter Service team to prepare for the challenges of the election ahead.