The League of Women Voters Grand Traverse Area 
Voter Newsletter
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and Ongoing

June 27, 2020
"Being an antiracist requires persistent self-awareness, constant self-criticism, and regular self-examination".  Dr. Ibram X. Kendi

"Today as we re-examine suffrage from a modern perspective, we also have an opportunity to correct the record with regard to the many strong and courageous women of color who played an important role.
"The work of black suffragists has been little remembered and largely uncelebrated.  We may know about Sojourner Truth and Harriet Tubman, but we need to hear about Ida B. Wells, an investigative reporter and suffragist who first led a crusade against lynching, and Josephone Ruffin, who created the first national newspaper for African-American women."
Linda Chapin, Chair of the Orange County League's Women's Suffrage Centennial

Census Reminder - It's not too late to mail it in! 

Voting is People Power
LWVUS Supports Mail-in Voting
Vote-by-Mail Applications have been sent out.

Because the information sent to voters regarding the Michigan Absent Voter Ballot Application may be new, different and a little confusing, three members of LWVGTA wrote a much simplified letter to be sent to area senior citizen residential facilities and had the letter edited and approved by a local township clerk.  Presented to our Voter Services Committee, it was decided to attempt to send the letter out to a much broader audience.  Here is the letter:

The League of Women Voters of the Grand Traverse Area is a strictly non-partisan organization whose mission is to promote voting rights. As such, we would like to ensure that all of your residents are registered to vote and also that they are able to exercise this right in the midst of the ongoing pandemic.
Absentee voting, also called mail-in voting, is safe, secure, and legal. We have identified the steps your residents can take to exercise their right to vote in a safe and secure manner:
1.     Residents who recently received an Absent Voter Ballot Application that contains the correct address at which they would like to receive a ballot should complete the application, making sure to check the boxes at the top of the application to say they want a ballot for both the August and November elections. Then they should sign and mail the application back to their township or city clerk as soon as possible. Everyone must fill out and return an Absent Voter Ballot Application to receive an absentee ballot for the next two elections. 
2.     Residents who did not recently receive an Absent Voter Ballot Application must request one from the clerk in the township or city in which they are registered to vote. To find your township or city, please go to MVIC.SOS.State.MI.US/Registered Voter. Click on the website, select “Your Clerk” on the left side of the screen, select your county and the townships & cities within that county will pop-up.  Go to your township or city to find your clerk. These residents will also need to request, fill out, and return the Absent Voter Ballot Application - which can be obtained from the clerk.
3.     Residents who are not registered to vote but would like to be registered to vote should contact the clerk in the township or city in which they reside. These residents will need proof of residency in order to register to vote. This might be a driver’s license, a bill with their current address on it, or a bank statement with their current address on it. They will also still need to request, fill out, and return the Absent Voter Ballot Application.  
Again, everyone who wishes to receive a ballot in the mail must fill out and send the Absent Voter Ballot Application back to their clerk even if they have previously received absentee ballots in the mail.
For any questions or concerns, please call the city or township clerk in your location.
Thank you for your efforts to assist your residents in using their right to vote.
Cheryl Naperala and Nancy Nordfjord
231-223-7903         231-590-1799
Members of the League of Women Voters of the Grand Traverse Area
Special thanks goes to Dawn Ferran for her editorial assistance.

Annual Meeting - Postponed due to the Corona Virus
It's that time of year again - time to renew your League membership.  Thank you for your past support and for renewing today so we can continue to have the impact you have come to expect from the League.  We continue to hold our individual dues at $60 and household dues at $90 annually.  Once we have paid the state and national LWV dues, that leaves us only $5 toward our general fund expenses.

You can pay via PayPal online on our website or by sending a check to LWVGTA, PO Box 671, Traverse City, MI49685-0671 
Jan Warren, President
The League of Women Voters of the Grand Traverse Area is urging voters to prepare for the upcoming Aug. 4 primary election and the Nov. 3 general election by visiting
The website, which the national League of Women Voters launched in 2006, serves as a “one-stop-shop" for nonpartisan election related information and responses to relevant questions for federal and state races and ballot proposals. Candidate information for local races and proposals is also included. also assists voters in finding their polling places, checking voting hours, and finding out what will be on their ballot.  Additional resources for how to navigate elections during the COVID-19 pandemic are also included. It is the nation’s premiere online election resource. is also available in Spanish. The League of Women Voters of Michigan will also issue a print voter guide in September., like the League, is nonpartisan and offers information on candidates in races for all political parties. The site aims to safeguard democracy by driving voter engagement.

The League of Women Voters of Michigan is the state League for the LWVUS, which is a nonpartisan political organization that aims to encourage informed and active participation in government, works to increase understanding of major public policy issues and influences public policy through education and advocacy. Learn more at

Many thanks and cheers to Robin Stott and Kathy Tuckerman who volunteered to take over the jobs of updating our Facebook Page and make a new Twitter account for LWVGTA. Way to go, Robin and Kathy!
Suffragist Picketers at the White House
To mark the 100th anniversary of women suffragists success in obtaining the right to vote, this newsletter is doing a series of articles about the founding suffragists' ambitions and struggles to win womans' right to vote and other important issues occurring at the same time in the United States. 
This installment covers the important year of 1916.  Amazing what the Suffragists endured!
The National Womens' Party borrowed strategies from the radical Womens' Social and Political Union in England.

Jeannette Rankin of Montana is the first woman elected to the House of Representatives.

Woodrow Wilson states that the Democratic Party will support suffrage.

New York women gain suffrage.

Arkansas women are allowed to vote in primary elections.

National Womans' Party picketers appear in front of the White House holding two banners, "Mr. President, What Will Yo Do For Woman Suffrage?" and "How Long Must Women Wait for Liberty?"

Alice Paul, leader of the National Womans' Party was put in solitary confinement in the mental ward of the prison as a way to "break" her will and undermine her credibility with the public.

In June, arrests of the National Womans' Party picketers begin on charges of obstructing sidewalk traffic.  Subsequent picketers are sentenced to up to 6 months in jail.  In November, the government unconditionally releases the picketers in response to public outcry and an inability to stop the National Womans' Party picketers' hunger strike.

To be continued...
Source: The National Women's History Museum
Liz Messing's address for get well cards and messages is: 525 Cottage Arbor Lane, Willow Cottage #103, Traverse City, MI 49684
The League of Women Voters encourages the informed and active participation in government, works to increase understanding of major public policy issues and influences public policy through education and advocacy.  The League is strictly non-partisan, neither endorsing candidates nor supporting political parties.  The League, in both its values and its practices, reaffirms its commitment to diversity.

LWVGTA would welcome donations.  2020 will be a busy year with federal, state and local elections.  You can make tax deductible donations designated for the LWVGTA - Education Fund.  These funds can only be used to provide nonpartisan civic information to help citizens understand and participate in government with the goal of building citizen participation in the democratic process at all government levels.  

You can also make unrestricted donations to LWVGTA which could be used for our other important work.

Donations to special projects, especially to the celebration of the 100th anniversary of the US ratification of women's right to vote or our 60th anniversary of the founding of our League are also welcome.  Celebrations will be held this summer.
One way we make money is to collect Oleson's receipts. Please send your receipts to: Jan Warren,12055 S. Woodwinds Circle #15, Traverse City, MI 49684.
The League of Women Voters of the Grand Traverse Area

Serving Antrim, Benzie, Crawford, Grand Traverse, and Kalkaska Counties
Voter Newsletter Archives

Jan Warren

First Vice President
Mary Grover, Program Chair

Second Vice President
Linda Crandall, Publicity Chair

Ingird Brophy filling in for Liz Messing

Ann Swaney

Board of Directors
Mary Beeker, Web Master
Ingrid Brophy
Marcia Koppa, Crawford County Unit Chair

Barb Berry
Peg Townsend, Voter Services Co-Chair
Anne Montgomery, Voter Services Co-Chair
Nancy Nordfjord, Membership Chair
Joanne Westphal, Natural Resources Chair

Contact Us
Calendar of Events
Join the League
Volunteer Opportunities

 We recently sent out a request for volunteers for the LWVGTA Program Committee. Mary Grover is chairing this committee and would welcome more volunteers.
If you have content for the newsletter, please contact Nancy Nordfjord at

LWVGTA Membership renewal for the fiscal year of 2020-2021 (July 1, 2020 to June 30, 2021) begins in May. To pay dues by PayPal or print a membership application go to
LWVGTA Facebook Page
LWVGTA Website
Our mailing address is:
League of Women Voters of the Grand Traverse Area, P.O. Box 671, Traverse City, MI 49685

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League of Women Voters of the Grand Traverse Area · P.O. Box 671 · Traverse City, MI 49685 · USA

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