Between elections, there are still things you can do to increase your understanding about voting and the democratic process. Here, as well as on our Voter Resources page, you can begin your investigations.
LWV Thurston Voter Services Committee Endeavors for the 2020 primary and general elections
LWVTC has been in the Voter Services business for a long time. However, with the change of times, technology, and thinking, the way we conduct this business is ever evolving. We thought people interested in know some of the details of how things worked during this unique year. What follows is taken from an article written for LWVTC VOTER by Gail Wrede, Voter Services Committee Chair.
The LWV-TC Voter Services team went through a major redesign of its activities and committee structure for the 2020 election to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic and other circumstances. The Voter Services Team created a “Be A Voter”” campaign using print media, social media, posters and signs, while expanding from 5 people to 12, and diversifying our membership to include a wide range of ages, ethnicities, backgrounds and skills. A highly motivated and passionate team was able to effectively change the focus of its work from in-person voter registration to a print and social media voter education and voter access campaign.
While it is hard to know the true impact of the campaign, the number of registered voters in Thurston County increased from 197,254 in July to 201,692 by election day and The County Auditor reported that more than 83% of registered voters cast ballots in the general election.
This was an ever-changing campaign, adjusting to changes in health department advisories, limitations on the use of social media for political purposes and a higher level of anxiety in both the League and in the community regarding which messages were non-partisan and which ones were not. Our team worked hard and dedication, creativity, and flexibility won the day.
Thanks to our student interns, Gracie Anderson and Kelsey Monaco, we had updated materials and new ways of sharing them. For example, Gracie developed the graphic we used for our postcard. Kelsey asked for highlights of the forums so that she could show them to students at St. Martin’s University, so Susan provided times in each forum in which candidates made a clear stand on issues students care about such as social justice and climate change. We have learned during this Covid-19 pandemic that our traditional focus on printed materials and tabling are not always the most effective way to reach voters. Using social media, making our own videos, and direct mailing are also key.
What about right now? There is something we can all do right now, and that is call upon younger friends to join the League. We can do so much more if we have younger members who are media savvy, even if they don’t have a lot of time. For example, Jo Sahlin, a graduate student who has a job still helped create and refine print images. And, clearly, we need student interns from each of our
Thurston County institutions of higher learning in the future!
Check out Vote411.org for information about registering and voting.
Take a look at the LWVWA and Spokesman Review tabloid "YOUR VOTE" to see how powerful your vote is.
The League of Women Voters publishes a Citizen's Directory of Elected Officials each year, called "They Represent You." This valuable resource provides a complete list of all local, state, and federal representatives who serve the citizens of Thurston County. View and download the PDF version of 2020 They Represent You.