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Date: 6/1/2024
Subject: The Voter June 2024
From: League of Women Voters - Bloomington-Monroe County

An update for League friends and subscribers.
June 2024

In This Issue


Podcast Features Disinformation and Its Impact on Elections
For our May 2024 podcast, Civic Conversations welcomes Dr. Marjorie Hershey, Professor Emeritus of Political Science at Indiana University. Professor Hershey discusses the impact of disinformation on elections and how it influences election politics. Hershey shares that the definition of disinformation, purposeful misinformation designed to influence elections, has grown in recent years and that election campaigns that use disinformation hope that with enough repetition, people will begin to believe disinformation over the truth. 
The key action that voters can take, says Hershey, is to look to the source of that information and disregard it if no source is provided. If a source is given, they should verify that source before taking it as truth. Sources to help with verifying information include Politifact, the Brennan Center for Justice, and the Washington Post Fact Checker. - Becky Hill and Jim Allison

Primary Election Is Over...Now What?
First, find the results. The Indiana state website has an excellent overview of election results. It also has voting statistics. For example, Monroe County has 90891 registered voters. Voter turnout for the county was 15734 or 17%. Of those voting, 38% used absentee ballots. In Indiana, the highest voter turnout was shared by Warren County and our neighboring Brown County at 31%. Lowest voter turnout was in Lake County at 11%. Looks like we have room for improvement.
But here's a bright spot! A League member who was a poll worker on Election Day overheard an interview being conducted with a voter. This is how she recalls the exchange:
“How did you decide which candidates would get your vote?” the reporter asked. “I found what I needed to know online at 4-1-1-Vote,” the voter responded. The reporter had not heard of this source and asked for details. “I’ll show you,” the voter said as he searched his phone. “No, it’s It has everything I needed. They ask the candidates the important questions, and I can compare the answers.”
Hurray! The word is getting out! - Ralf Shaw and Monica Clemons

1949 Bloomington through the Eyes of German Women
In March 2024, Cornelia Weiss, an independent military scholar, visited Bloomington and spoke with members of LWV-BMC. Weiss retired from the U.S. Air Force with the rank of colonel, serving in Europe, the Americas, and the Pacific. She was in Bloomington researching the visit of a group of seven influential German women brought to the U.S. in 1949 by the U.S. Army’s German Reorientation Program to “freely see all of American life.” Recognizing that women in Germany at that time greatly outnumbered men and would potentially experience greater influence, the program offered the opportunity to meet outstanding women in the U.S., such as Eleanor Roosevelt and U.S. Representative Chase Going Woodhouse. 

The German women also traveled outside of the Washington DC area to talk to other “leaders in women’s activities.” Their longest stop was in Bloomington, where, among other activities, they attended the annual meeting of the League. (The trip was also supported by the LWV Carrie Chapman Catt Memorial Fund.)

According to Weiss, the group stayed in Indiana University dormitories, where they found  dorm living to be a “practical education in brotherhood and good citizenship” because one had to “practice virtues of tolerance and understanding.” The women had a packed itinerary while in Bloomington, including:
  • A conference on public education hosted by Herman B Wells.
  • A briefing on women students and “campus activities of I.U. coeds” from Kate Hevner Mueller, a “national pioneer for women professionals.”
  • A news conference where they lauded student-edited newspapers for helping students “learn how to give objective information and how to influence public opinion in a responsible way.”
  • A meeting with IU women’s residence hall counselors.
  • Seminars on recreation and adult education at the School of Health Physical Education and Recreation.
  • A visit to a “rural area,” led by Purdue Extension Service with members of Modern Homemakers, where conveniences in the hostess’s house amazed the women. The Germans’ report noted, “German women are keeping house as their grandmothers did. The manufacture of long-handed scrubbing brushes would take German women off their knees and cause them to look at the work differently.”
  • A briefing on the Council of Social Agencies.
  • A day at City Hall, attending a City Council meeting and an informal discussion with Mayor Thomas L. Lemon. 
  • A presentation on the increasing role of films in education.
  • A second trip into a rural area, this time Ellettsville, where they met a school principal and a school board member, and had lunch in the school cafeteria, attended a 4-H club meeting, and attended a County Extension leaders’ meeting at the local courthouse.
  • A visit to the IU Experimental Radio Station.
  • A visit to Bloomington High School, where students had held a drive to send supplies to a school in Bremen, Germany.
  • Attendance at the annual meeting of the LWV of Bloomington, including discussion ranging from tracking legislation to the Federal Economic Affairs group’s study of how the U.S. government “spends its money.”
  • A visit with the Bloomington police department, where they were impressed by the two-way radio system and the efficient manner in which the patrol cars operate. 
After a weekend at Spring Mill State Park, the group’s leaders spoke on the Indiana University Roundtable radio program. At the conclusion of the visit, the Indiana Daily Student declared: “The fact that we have women in Congress and in state and local government is the result of successful fighting for women’s rights. This has been impossible in the totalitarian state that Germany has been. Perhaps now, under the leadership of women such as Mrs. Melle, the women will help build a new and better Germany.” - Ralf Shaw

Events and News Sources

Public Events
News Sources
Bloomington Herald-Times
B Square Bulletin
Limestone Post
Indiana Daily Student
Indiana Capital Chronicle

Newsletter Staff
Editor: Ann Birch
Writer: Pat Miller
Proofreader: Mary Miller