Our politics should be run by and for the people, not politicians or wealthy corporations – which is why one of our favorite things to do is support conversations among our peers: everyday Americans.
One way we’ve loved connecting with the people is through “Ask Me Anything” (AMA) posts on Reddit. These discussions are opportunities to cast aside DC vernacular and get right down to what really matters to people across the US: voting, making a difference in our daily lives, and West Wing (hey, we're still politics nerds). No one is pre-approving questions or giving textbook answers: we’re having real conversations in real-time, with an emphasis on authenticity and transparency.
Curious about what that sounds like? Check out some of our top questions and answers from the past few AMAs:
Elections & Voting
There's so much voter suppression out there and so many states trying to legalize disenfranchising voters. How are you fighting all of this and what support can volunteers offer? -bsidetracked
The League is continuing to fight anti-voter laws across the country (Florida, Georgia, Arkansas, and Kansas) and working to push for pro-voter reforms in other states (e.g. New Jersey). We are keeping a close eye on other shenanigans and working to protect voters where and how we can. Join your local League so we can fight for the democracy we all deserve! -Celina Stewart, Chief Counsel, Senior Director of Litigation & Advocacy
Also at the Federal level, we’re advocating for the For the People Act (S1) which will create national standards to protect voters! It passed the House of Representatives in March, and we expect it to be brought to a vote in the Senate the week of June 21st. Contact your Senators to tell them to support this bill! -Lizzy Ganssle, Campaign Organizer
[C]ould you describe what happened with the Commission on Presidential Debates in 1988 that led to your organization saying they had “no intention of becoming an accessory to the hoodwinking of the American public" and pulling their support for it? [email protected]
In the 70s and 80s, the League sponsored televised presidential debates where journalists asked important questions of the presidential candidates.
As televised debates became more popular, however, the national political parties moved to take control of the debates. They put so many rules and restrictions on the debate questions and format that the League felt did not serve the public. You can read our press release from 1988 here. It was a huge deal and we still get questions about it all the time!
Fun fact! lots of people still think we sponsor the presidential debates. We sure don't- but we DO still sponsor hundreds of state & local debates every year. -Maggie Bush, Programs & Outreach Director
[H]ow do voters distinguish between true and false information in an age when media bias, disinformation, and deceptive ballot measure descriptions seem to be the norm? [email protected]
We're working hard to get out good, up to date info - but we can all be part of helping voters distinguish good vs. bad info.
- Point to sources you trust (Like VOTE411.org!)
- If you read something that seems like it's not quite right, it probably isn't. Can you verify it through one or more additional credible news sources?
- On the ballot questions - many orgs like LWV put out voters' guides to help voters make sense of the wording of questions. Check out what your local civic orgs are putting out - BEFORE YOU VOTE- so you and your friends can make the right decisions. -Maggie Bush
How does your [organization] remain non-partisan when it’s clearly been just one US political party that’s been throwing up all these roadblocks for voting? [email protected]
The League was created to be a voice for the people, not any given political party. We’ve seen over the past century that no party has ownership over any given stance – however, reactions to positions change with time. At the end of the day, we’re here to support a strong democracy. -– Celina Stewart
As our CEO, Virginia Kase Solomón, once said, “Wanting every eligible voter to have equal access to the ballot box is not partisan. Wanting a robust democracy in which everyone has an equal voice and equal representation is not partisan. Wanting to see more elected officials that reflect the diverse makeup of our country is not partisan – it is American.”
What are the best things you can do to help with voter engagement? [email protected]
Tap into your local or state league! Our Leagues are out in the community connecting and registering with voters 24/7. Find the League closest to you here. -Maureen Edobor, Staff Attorney
This is such a great cause. Though I’m not sure why it targeted me as I’m a man. Do you know if there is a league of men voters I can get involved with? [email protected]
We'll take ya! We have about 10% male membership around the country. -Maggie Bush
How can people who are not old enough to vote or ineligible help? [email protected]
This is really important! There are a lot of different ways that young people can get involved in the election process:
- Registering fellow young people who will be first-time voters
- Volunteering as poll workers (age restrictions are state specific)
- Joining their local League as a volunteer
- Finding opportunities to phonebank or textbank with a cause that is important to them
- Samyuktha Mahadevan, Campaign Organizer
A Little Extra
[I]s Amy Gardner your favorite fictional character? [email protected]
Amy is an icon, but I'm more of a Leslie Knope girl personally! Anyone who is that passionate about local organizing and waffles will always hold my heart <3 –Lizzy Ganssle
Big West Wing fan over here! Amy's great but I ALSO love Leslie Knope. Can I get a cross between those two characters, perhaps with a sprinkle of Olivia Pope? -Jessica Jones Capparell, Policy & Legislative Affairs Senior Manager
Are you more powerful than the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen? [email protected]
I mean, obviously. -Maggie Bush
If you have a question for the League, give us a shout on Twitter! We want to hear from you.
More than 100 years ago, the League of Women Voters of the U.S. was founded to be a nonpartisan voice for American women who wanted free, fair, and open elections, above all else. The politics may change, but our commitment to democracy remains the same.