Voter Service & Election Activities
The Marquette Unit held many activities and events to inform the public for both the primary and general election including a candidate forum, an online and printed voter guide.
- A new team of volunteers did a fantastic job learning the vote411.org system and setting up a large number of new races for the general election
- This information was shared with the Mining Journal to produce our first printed voter guide
- We had a dedicated team of volunteers who planned and coordinated this process with the Mining Journal and also distributed the local and the state voter guide throughout the Marquette County
- We had extremely good feedback regarding both the vote411.org and the printed guide
- The media (newspaper, radio and television) all widely publicized both the online and printed guides
Marquette County residents found this gem tucked into their Mining Journal paper on Monday morning, October 19th, 2020.
A big congratulations to the LWV volunteer team who worked so hard to make this happen. They spent hours learning the Vote411.org data system, they developed questions for the candidates, they figured out how to get in touch with all of the candidates, they worked with the County Clerk to get the accurate ballot proposal language for all of the county wide proposals, they set up a slew of races on vote411.org and had to figure out what GIS codes applied to each race so that voters could access their own individualized ballots, they did their best to track down candidates by phone, email, etc. to get their responses to the questions.
Meanwhile the volunteers met regularly with the Mining Journal to lay out plans for the guide and to figure out what the Mining Journal needed. Once all of the information was in the Vote411.org system the volunteers figured out how to get what the Mining Journal wanted in the computer file format that they wanted in. Without their work our local races and ballot proposals would not have been on the Vote411.org system and this guide would not have been in the Mining Journal Saturday morning papers. They figured it all out and made election information available for the entire county and beyond!
A Marquette County Sheriff Candidate Forum was held October 8th, by the League of Women Voters of Marquette County. The recording for the forum is now available to the public. There are two candidates running for Marquette County Sheriff: Joseph Kozub and Gregory Zyburt. Both candidates were invited to participate. Candidate Kozub did not participate in the forum. The Marquette County Sheriff’s Candidate Forum follows the format established by the League of Women Voters of Marquette County including the League’s “empty chair forum policy” which allows the League to proceed with a forum with only one candidate when one of the candidates does not respond or accept an invitation to the forum, or when a candidate accepts but does not appear at the forum. For more information on the League’s empty chair forum policy visit lwvmi.org.
The Marquette County League held a Candidate Forum for the Marquette City Commission on September 30th. The six candidates running for the three open seats on the Marquette City Commission participated: Margaret Brumm, Jessica Hanley, Cody Mayer, Mike Plourde, Paul Schloegel, and Fred Stonehouse. The forum included opening statements from each of the candidates, questions submitted in advance by community members, and closing statements by the candidates. The moderator for the event was our League member, Jo Foley. Due to the continuing need for safe social distancing because of COVID-19 the forum was conducted virtually and recorded for viewing by the public. The League offers this opportunity for the citizens of the city of Marquette to become acquainted with the candidates and their views in order to promote an informed vote on Election Day, November 3rd. The League of Women Voters of Marquette thanks the candidates for participating in the forum.
Native Americans and Voting Rights Shirley Brozzo, retired Director of the NMU Multicultural Education and Resource Center and member of the Keweenaw Bay Tribe of Chippewa Indians, recently gave a presentation to the League of Women Voters of Marquette County, entitled Native American Voting Rights, History, Challenges and Potential Solutions. Ms. Brozzo gave a historical perspective of the decades-long process involved in gaining the right to vote for Native Americans. She noted that her own father was four years old when the 1924 Indian Citizenship Act was passed that finally “made Native Americans citizens in our own country”. She discussed the many obstacles, such as poll taxes, literacy tests, and intimidation that kept Native Americas from exercising their right to vote even after citizenship was granted. This topic is particularly timely in that many of the barriers for Native Americans to actually participate in voting still exist today and apply to many other underrepresented groups as well. With permission from Ms. Brozzo the Marquette County League is making the presentation available for the community to view. The LWV of Marquette County’s interest and efforts in helping to encourage voting and improve access to voting is supported by the National League of Women Voters Public Policy Position on voting rights that asserts that “voting is a fundamental citizen right that must be guaranteed”.
Jo Foley and Barb Chapman, joined with the Superior Alliance for Independent Living to celebrate the 30th Anniversary of the American With Disabilities Act. They participated on a panel covering accessibility issues and voting.