League of Women Voters -Tompkins County

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Welcome to the League of Women Voters of Tompkins County
Ithaca, New York | e-mail: lwvtompkins@gmail.com

The League of Women Voters is a non-partisan organization committed to defending democracy and empowering voters by bringing you the most up to date information available on National, State and Local Elections. LWV Tompkins County receives Election Updates from the State League and local information through the Tompkins County Board of Elections. We will do our best to pass on all information we receive to you through our Website.



March 23-March 30

March 30 at 7PM
See Natural Resources Page for details 


Make Women's History: Add the ERA to the Constitution
Letter from Dr. Deborah Ann Turner Board President, LWVUS  March 1, 2021

As we turn the calendar to March, I find myself reflecting on the role of women in our democracy from the beginning.
Despite Abigail Adams’s famous advice to her husband to “remember the ladies,” he and the rest of the founders left any mention of women out of the founding documents. As a result, the U.S. Constitution does not mention women at all. This is ironic, to say the least, in our current day and age, when women fill the halls of Congress and hold leadership positions, from Speaker of the House to Vice President of the United States.
* It's been 101 years since the 19th Amendment granted women the right to vote.
* It's been 98 years since the Equal Rights Amendment was first introduced in Congress.
* It's been 49 years since the ERA was passed by Congress.
* And it's been one year since the ERA was ratified by the required 38 states.
But the Equal Rights Amendment still needs to be added to the Constitution. This year, after a century in the making, the ERA is closer than ever to taking its rightful place in the supreme law of our nation. What stands in our way is an arbitrary, ambiguous and legally questionable deadline for enactment imposed on the ERA at its passage.
Learn more about the history of the ERA and why we need it on our blog.

In a nutshell, the Equal Rights Amendment states that “Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.”
It is important to recognize that, while women’s rights are inextricably linked to the ERA, inequality hurts everyone. The ERA represents a promise that our government will not pass laws or take any official action that discriminates against its people on the basis of sex.

We need the ERA because we need equal pay, fair healthcare coverage that addresses maternal mortality and coverage for caregivers, protection against gender testing laws, prevention of discrimination against LGBTQ+ persons, protections for men in occupations and roles traditionally held by women, and protection against rollbacks in women’s rights.
We need the ERA because, just as many women of color faced added barriers for voting until the Voting Rights Act, today women of color are more likely to be under-paid and discriminated against than white women. The ERA would make the Constitution prohibit discrimination on the basis of race AND sex.

But more than that, we need the ERA because our nation must close the book once and for all on the idea that equality of rights is a debatable issue. Because a constitution is not only a set of legal protections: it is a proclamation of a nation’s values. And little girls should not grow up in a country where they question their rights simply because they are a girl.
This Women’s History Month, tell Congress to remove the ERA ratification deadline, and let’s establish gender equality in our Constitution, once and for all.

League of Women Voters Calls for Washington D.C. to become the 51st State of Our Union

The events that occurred on January 6, 2021 make it particularly clear that Washington D.C. needs to become the 51st state of our union. On January 6, insurrectionists stormed the U.S. Capitol rejecting the results of the Presidential election, and resulting in the deaths of five people, including one member of the Capitol Police. The D.C. Metropolitan Police were the first to respond to the scene under a standing agreement between the Capitol Police and D.C., but because D.C. is not a State, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser did not have the authority vested in that of a state governor to immediately call the D.C. National Guard to the scene.

The D.C. National Guard is uniquely controlled by the federal government, and their deployment requires authorization from the Department of Defense. Mayor Bowser’s initial requests to deploy the D.C. National Guard to support the Capitol Police were denied by the Department of Defense. Requests from Governor Hogan of Maryland to send the National Guard into the federal District of Columbia also required federal authorization and were repeatedly denied. Governor Hogan’s request was approved over 90 minutes after the initial denial, at which point requests from NY Governor Cuomo and Virginia Governor Northam to send the National Guard into the federal District of Columbia were also approved.

Mayor Bowser called for the Guard before 2 PM on January 6th, but they did not arrive at the Capitol until after 5 PM. If DC were a state, as governor she would have been able to mobilize them immediately. While the Guard would still have needed permission to move onto federal lands around the Capitol, there would have been much less delay.
The League of Women Voters of D.C. notes that it was the D.C. Metropolitan Police Department and eventually the D.C. National Guard that first provided the back-up requested by the U.S. Capitol Police to support and protect democracy--a democracy in which the residents of the district have no vote on the floor of the House and not even a voice in the Senate. It is past time to grant statehood to the 700,000+ residents of D.C.!

The League of Women Voters of Tompkins County asks our residents to support D.C. Statehood. One way to do this is to take action for D.C. Statehood at the website LWV.org. The League of Women Voters has always fought for equality in our citizen-led democracy, and we believe that ensuring equal rights under the law for ALL citizens is an important step in making our democracy stronger and more inclusive.


Ensuring Fair and Secure Elections
There are steps we can take to ensure Fair and Secure Elections in the future. Here are three initiatives of the League of Women Voters and its partners:
The President and Congress must enact democracy reform
Stand Up for DC Statehood

Rejoice the Vote! Art Contest Winners
The "Rejoice the Vote!" Art Contest honors Representative John C. Lewis (1940-2020). The contest requested poster designs which accomplished one or more of the following:
* Inspire people, especially young people, to vote in-person or absentee and remind them that their vote is a powerful tool despite efforts at suppression.
Promote the movement to lower the legal voting age to sixteen.
* Highlight youth activists (historical or contemporary) who fought and continue to fight for voting rights, especially for our youngest citizens.
Winning entries are viewable here

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Empowering Voters, Defending Democracy
-- League of Women Voters, US press release honoring George Floyd's life.
"We echo the call of our partners at the NAACP: we must all vote in November – the road to change lies at the ballot box."

Other Noteworthy Information
Current Natural Resources Related News

Tompkins County Legislature Proclamation Celebrating Women's History Month and the 100th Anniversary of the 19th Amendment

League of Women Voters Tompkins County Facebook Feed

Additional Information
League of Women Voters, Tompkins County FaceBook Page
Election Information You Need
LWV US: Right Now: Voices of the League
LWV NYS State Voter 
LWV NYS Twitter

Board Resources