Power the Vote

Stories below on the National Voter Registration Act, Money in Politics & Protecting the Right to Vote

Motor Voter-The National Voter Registration Act–at the Supreme Court

Learn about the League’s key role in passing Motor Voter and our struggle to
defend it in this video and LWVUS Pres. Elisabeth MacNamara’s article.

New CA Disclosure Bill on Campaign Financing

Money in Politics: Disclosure LegislationLeague of Women Voters members are leaders in the exciting effort to strengthen California’s campaign contribution disclosure laws. We are sponsoring with California Common Cause the Sunshine in Campaigns Act, a package of bills which addresses three broad areas:

1.  Election filings and disclosure

  • Make it easy, clear and quick for Californians to see who is contributing where, with improved disclosure of who is funding all campaign committees, ads, and slate mailers.
  • Make it simpler for campaigns to make their reports—with online filing and schedules more like federal reporting schedule.

2.  End the “dark money” loophole that could let nonprofits and Super PACs hide the real sources of campaign funds

  • Shortly before Election Day last November, an out-of-state nonprofit organization made an $11 million contribution to a California ballot measure committee in clear violation of California law.

3.  Enforcement

  • Strictly enforce all campaign regulations
  • Increase penalties to make compliance more likely

Read our statement about SB 2 and watch for more information as legislative committee hearings begin.Sign up to get Action Alerts on this and other issues.

For more info: California Clean Money Campaign

Protecting every citizen’s right to vote is at the core of the League. The 2012 election year was a constant series of battles against voter ID requirements. The battle will continue in the coming year against the groups determined to limit the right to vote, particularly of the poor and people of color.

Summing up our work in 2012, national League president Elizabeth McNamara wrote in the Huffington Post  (10/26/2012), ” As attacks on voting rights proliferated, Leagues across the country have been working to prevent voter disenfranchisement and confusion. Together with partner organizations, we’ve secured many victories for voting rights all across the country.  To read more about these League battles against efforts to require voter ID, limit days and times of early voting, and more,  click on “More” will show you the LWVUS posts on Powering the Vote and President McNamara’s post “The Path to Free, Fair and Accessible Elections for Every American.”


National Efforts

The National League of Women Voters is also waging a vigorous campaign for more disclosure of contributions to political ads, campaigns and candidates and for stronger ethics rules against officials accepting money or gifts from lobbyists and others. When we need to call or write our representatives to urge passage of particular bills, LWVUS notifies local leagues and members who subscribe to their action alerts.   LWVUS writes about these issues on its own website at lwv.org and sends regular newsletters and reports to local leagues.  We report this news on our website and in emails to members. To read about the national league’s fight against money in politics, click “more.”



These laws are the best we can do now to weaken the impact of the Supreme Court Citizens United decision that removed limits on corporations contributing to candidates and campaigns. In 2012 campaigns many donors contributing millions to run ads and do other campaigning were able to hide their identities. Organizations claiming to be charitable and educational  contributed millions to support and oppose candidates and ballot measures; they were not required to disclose their donors.  Federal candidates and political parties and California candidates, political parties and ballot measure campaigns must disclose their donors.


Lobbying & Action Alerts

League members and local Leagues actively support League policies to “power the vote” and   fight for League goals. League members get e-mail action alerts from the League of Women Voters of California and the  League of Women Voters of the United States at key times in the legislative process alerting them to make phone calls and send letters and emails to their own representatives. The State and National Leagues’ Board and staff also lobby legislators directly. Leagues and League members only lobby their own elected officials and representatives. Their actions at the state level are coordinated by the state League; their actions at the national level are coordinated by the national League–so that the League always speaks with one voice.