Making Democracy Work

LWV of PA Consensus Study on Election Laws Position

First Revision to LWV of PA Election Laws Position Statement

Elections Laws Study Information-June 2017

Revision to LWV of PA Election Laws Position- June 2017

The LWV of PA Election Laws Position review/study update was divided into 4 topics: Voter Registration, Primary Elections, Election Day Procedures, and Alternative Election Systems. Our presenters were Pat Longley, Nancy Neuman, John Peeler, Tony Ludivico and Mary Zimmerman.

The state League reviewed the answers to the questions on Voter Registration & Election Day Procedures from all of the Leagues in the state that participated in this study and determined that we reached consensus. The state League's position on Election Laws was revised on these topics- Voter Registration and Election Day Procedures. The board of the state League approved the revision for presentation to the delegates at the state convention held on June 2-4 in the Poconos. The delegates approved the revisions presented by the board. As a result of these actions, you can read the revised position by clicking on this link: Election Laws Postion Revision-June 2017. When you read the attachment you will notice that some of the copy is in PURPLE. This copy represents where changes were made to the statements on Voter Registration & Election Day Procedures.

Please keep in mind, that the results of the topics, Primary Elections & Alternative Systems have not yet been tabulated or acted on. As a result there are no revisions for these topics at this time. It will most likely be 2019 (the next year for a state convention) before we will learn if there will be revisions made to the state position on Primary Elections & Alternative Systems.

LWV of PA Information for consensus study of Election Laws Position Review and Update

The League of Women Voters of the Lewisburg Area needs YOU to participate in a LWV of PA consensus study to review and update its Election Law positions!

There will be 3 informational meetings held in January/February. In February there will be a final meeting to answer the questions posed by the PA study committee to determine if we have a consensus of opinion about revision and/or changes we want to make to our positions on Election Laws. All of the meetings will be led by LWVLA members. All meetings will be held at the American Red Cross Community Room, 249 Farley Circle, Lewisburg, PA.

The first information meeting will be held on Wednesday, January 18, 2017 beginning at 10:00 AM.This session, Voter Registration, (Election Day registration, NVRA, automatic voter registration, universal automatic registration, non-incarcerated felon voting rights, pre-registration of youth, and primary voting at age 17), will be led by Pat Longley.

Reading Material-Click here for first article

National Voter Registration Act, https://www.justice.gov/crt/about-national-voter-registration-act.

Further information about automatic voter registration, https://www.scribd.com/doc/289377031/Automatic-Permanent-Voter-Registration-How-It-Works.

Click here to review slides used in Voter Registration presentation

The second information meeting will be held on Wednesday, January 25, 2017, 10:00 AM. There will be two parts to this session.

1.Primary Elections, (open, closed, semi-open, semi-closed, top two, top four), will be led by Nancy Neuman.

Reading Material- Primer on Primaries, issued by the National Conference of State Legislatures,http://www.ncsl.org/documents/legismgt/elect/Canvass_May_2011_No_20.pdf.

United States Supreme Court, California decision on open primaries, California Democratic Party v. Jones, 530 U.S. 567 (2000), https://supreme.justia.com/cases/federal/us/530/567/case.html.

Click here to review slides used in the Primary Elections presentation

2. Election Day Procedures, (no-fault absentee voting, emergency absentee ballots, prison voting, poll watchers, Election Day challenges of voters), will be led by Mary Zimmerman.

Reading Material- Internet voting, https://www.verifiedvoting.org/resources/internet-voting/).

Geffin, E. (2015). Watching the watchers: An analysis of poll watcher statutes in the United States. Student Works, Paper 2. http://digitalcommons.law.uga.edu/stu_papers/2

Click here to review sides used in the Election Day Procedures presentation

The third information meeting will be held on Monday, February 6, 2017 at 10:00 AM. Alternative Election Systems will be the topic of this final information session and will be led by Tony Ludovico and John Peeler. Topics covered at this session will include: instant runoff voting, the Borda count, approval voting, range voting, limited voting and cumulative voting.

Reading Material- The American Voting Experience An easy version: http://www.pewtrusts.org/en/research-and-analysis/issue-briefs/2015/10/the-2014-voting-experience A full 100-page, detailed version: http://www.duvalelections.com/portals/duval/archive/GetDocument.aspx7.pdf

Click here for a summary report from the National Commission on Voting Rights

Click here to review slides used in Alternative Election Systems presentation.

A fourth, final meeting will be the Consensus Meeting, to be held on Wednesday, February 8, 2017 at 10:00 AM. Tony Ludovico will serve as the moderator of this meeting. Our answers will then be sent to the PA League.

NOTE:Informational Meetings are open to members as well as the public (non-members). However, the final meeting in which we will answer questions from the PA consensus study committee is only open to members of the League.

WHAT IS CONSENSUS? It is easier to say what consensus is not, than what it is. Consensus is not a vote; rather, consensus is mutual agreement of League members arrived at through discussion. During discussion, everyone has an opportunity to express their viewpoints, and the issue is examined from all sides. Consensus questions created by the study committee provide structure for the meeting. Members discuss the pros and cons until it becomes apparent that consensus has or has not been reached on each question. A committee of the state League will analyze the consensus responses, look for areas of member understanding and agreement and, using this information, will create a position statement.