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Date: 10/31/2022
Subject: The Voter November 2022
From: LWV-BMC



An update for League friends and subscribers.
November 2022

Important Dates

Public Events

National and State League News

From LWVUS: On October 26, Leagues from 50 states (including LWVIN) and DC stood together to file an amicus brief in a Supreme Court case that could define our democracy for years to come. The case, Moore v. Harper, focuses on the “independent state legislature theory" (ISLT), which, if adopted, would give state legislatures nearly unrestricted authority to set the rules for federal elections. Checks and balances are an essential part of our democracy, keeping power in the hands of the people rather than politicians. We implore the court to reject the ISLT and rule in favor of voters. Learn more from our press release, and if you choose, support our work defending democracy.


LWV-BMC News

Last-Minute Voter Information
Are you ready to vote? Here's some voting information as we move toward Election Day.
 
Know your precinct and view candidate information: Go to VOTE411 and enter your address.
 
Print a sample ballot: Go to Election Central and select your precinct.
Any registered voter can vote early at 302 S Walnut St. in Bloomington. Days and times in November:
Nov 1   8:00 am - 6 pm
Nov 2   8:00 am - 6 pm
Nov 3   8:00 am - 6 pm
Nov 4   8:00 am - 6 pm
Nov 5   9:00 am - 4 pm
Nov 7   8:00 am - 12 pm
 
Election Day is Nov 8!  Go to VOTE411 and enter your address to find your polling location. Polls are open 6:00 am - 6:00 pm.

Forums Featured State and Local Candidates
Our League plus 11 co-sponsors presented four candidate forums for competitive races: US House district 9; Indiana State House districts 46 and 62; Monroe County Council and Commission; and Monroe County Sheriff and Circuit Court. A Zoom screen shot of the latter features Gloria Howell, Ruben Marté, Carl Lamb, and Emily Salzmann. More than 120 people registered to attend one or more of these Zoomed forums. The co-sponsors solicited questions in advance, and a hard-working team reviewed and refined the suggestions, which covered an impressive range of topics.

Special thanks to the moderators who handled lists of probing questions and personified the nonpartisan stance of the co-sponsors. The moderators were Sunny Leerkamp (League of Women Voters-Brown County), Mary Morgan (Heading Home of South Central Indiana), and Gloria Howell (Kappa Tau Omega chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.).

Of the 14 candidates invited, only 9 participated. Our decision to “pool” races for similar offices into a forum (see October newsletter) was crucial – had we not done this, only two of the forums would have been presented and voters would have less information. 

CATS did an amazing job, providing next-morning access to recordings of the forums. These are linked from the LWV-BMC websiteRalf Shaw

Candidates Not Responding to Debate Invites
An op-ed by the national League’s President Deborah Turner and CEO Virginia Kase Solomón in The Hill discusses the problem with candidates opting out of debates. The League of Women Voters has experienced this not only with debates and forums but also with their voter guides, such as Keys to the Candidates. Pressure must come from voters who want to have a fair comparison between candidates.

How to Judge a Candidate
Elections up and down the ballot present voters with important choices. Whether it's a local race that will affect your community or a national race that could change the direction of the country, elections are a time to consider the issues that you care about and decide which candidate you support. 
But is it possible to move beyond campaign ads, social media chatter, and noisy news cycles to find the best substantive candidate who represents your values and needs? The answer is yes! In a recent blog post, LWVUS outlines suggested criteria for discerning the candidates for which you will vote.

Take Action to Reduce Carbon Pollution
The Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) of 2022 is the most significant climate bill in U.S. history. It’s projected to get us to a 40% reduction in U.S. carbon emissions by 2030. Many of the provisions pertain directly to households, so it’s time for us to make our own energy use cleaner and more efficient and to share this opportunity with others.
 
At the household level, there are a range of rebates and credits, totaling up to $14,000. Go to rewiringamerica.org to learn about the IRA’s rebates and credits, as well as low-cost financing options.
For example, check out their handy Go Electric Guide to the IRA, and their easy-to-use personalized savings calculatorBut these household programs are just one part of the comprehensive package. The IRA also includes:
  • A methane pollution fee to be paid by fossil fuel companies, incentivizing them to reduce these potent greenhouse gas emissions.
  • An amazing array of “carrots” to make clean energy cheaper, more abundant, more accessible, and more equitable:   
    • Environmental justice: Grants for equitable transportation access, reduced pollution, energy efficient affordable housing, and loans for disadvantaged communities to start energy businesses
    • Cities and counties: Energy efficiency credits and rebates for businesses, schools, churches, and government buildings; EV and public transport charging stations; grants for urban forests; local resiliency investments
    • Rural areas: grants, loans, and credits for rural electric coops; agricultural drought mitigation and resilience programs; soil and forest conservation programs to store carbon; wildfire resilience and climate-smart forestry management
    • Industry: Tax credits and investments for clean energy production, electrified transportation, energy efficiency and building retrofits; technology research and development and loan guarantees.  
This groundbreaking bill is already starting to have an impact. For example, right here in Indiana the GM EV plant in New Carlisle and the Stellantis plant in Kokomo have already announced accelerations and expansions. But it will take more than the IRA alone to reach the goal of 50% reductions by 2030 and net zero by 2050. So in addition to using and publicizing the household opportunities in the IRA, here are some additional actions you can take:
  • Contact Representative Hollingsworth about the Growing Climate Solutions Act, using this link from our partner organization Citizens’ Climate Lobby. This bill helps farmers and foresters access carbon credit markets for preventing carbon emissions and sequestering carbon. Rep. Hollingsworth is a cosponsor of the bill, and you can ask him to urge House leadership prioritize it and pass it this year.
  • Stay tuned in 2023 for opportunities to support climate-friendly legislation in the Indiana General Assembly. We will keep you updated.
  • Also stay tuned for the possibility of carbon pricing legislation at the federal level in 2023. Such legislation would build on the precedent of the price on methane already enacted in the IRA. Carbon pricing is widely seen by experts as key to getting us to net zero emissions by 2050. You can learn more about it at Citizens' Climate Lobby.
If you have any questions, suggestions, or would like to become involved with our Climate Change Unit, please contact us at climate@lwv-bmc.org. We would love to hear from you. - Kristina Lindborg

October Podcast Explores Impact of Lake Monroe
For October 2022, Civics Conversations welcomed Maggie Sullivan of the Friends of Lake Monroe and Michelle Cohen of the Lake Monroe Water Fund.  Maggie and Michelle shared information about Lake Monroe, water quality, and the impact on the Bloomington economy. Did you know that Lake Monroe produces Bloomington's 15 million gallons of drinking water per day? Or that 1.5 million visitors use Lake Monroe for recreation, fishing, and boating each year? 
They also talked about how their organizations monitor Lake Monroe and work with other stakeholders. Click here to access this podcast and others. - Becky Hill
 
Civics Conversations is hosted by Jim Allison and produced by Becky Hill. WFHB broadcasts the podcast every month, which can be accessed at https://wfhb.org/category/civic-conversations. The WFHB news director is Kade Young.

Getting Candidate Info to Voters
The Herald-Times printed 1,000 copies of “Keys” for the League and included it as a supplement in the Thursday Oct. 4 print edition of the paper. We posted the “Keys” pdf on the LWV-BMC website and distributed copies to several locations, such as senior centers, coffee shops, etc. The public library made copies available and posted a pdf of “Keys” on their website.

We have heard from people who didn’t find the “Keys.” Anyone relying on online access to the H-T would not have received it, for example, so the League will run the ad at the right directing people to VOTE411 for the LWV’s voter guide information. It will appear in the print and e-editions on  November 1, 3, and 6.