March 2019 – Updates from the Chair
As you will note from this update, things are really heating up. Thank you to everyone for your continued interest, support and efforts on behalf of NPV.
National Popular Vote: An Idea Whose Time Has Come!
It was a packed house on March 13 at the Sorosis Women’s Club of Orlando when Dr. Vikam Amar, Dean of the University of Illinois Law School, spoke at the LWVOR Hot Topics luncheon. Patti Brigham, LWVFL President, welcomed over 180 members and guests. Dr. Rick Fogelsong, Professor Emeritus, Rollins College, introduced Dr. Amar who provided an overview of the impact of the Electoral system on our elections and the benefits of the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact. At his conclusion, Dr. Rick Fogelsong, posed a series of questions, which was followed by questions from the floor.
Attendees at the LWVOR Hot Topics luncheon showed lively interest in the NPV.
Patti Brigham, President of the LWVFlorida, discussed several points about NPV with Dr. Vikram Amar, Dean of the University. of Illinois Law School.
Left to right, Kathleen Crampton, LWVFL Chair NPV, Dr. Vikram Amar, Dr. Rick Fogelsong, Professor Emeritus, Political Science at Rollins College, and Leslie Feinberg. Leslie, who coordinated the NPV Hot Topics for the LWVOC, also spoke before the luncheon.
Carmen Torres chats with Tamaira Rivera before Amar Presentation.
NPV Jacksonville team with Issue Chair Pam English.
NPV Bills Progress in Other States
Colorado: Governor Jared Polis signed an NPVIC bill on March 8 that pledges Colorado’s Electoral votes to the presidential candidate who wins the most votes nationwide. The bill’s sponsors released a statement saying the national popular vote will give each person in Colorado and across the nation an equal vote. “Equal representation is not a red or blue issue — it is a way to ensure every American and every Coloradan has an equal say about who leads our country.”
Unfortunately, the bill had no Republican support in either chamber, and opponents announced plans to circulate petitions so that the bill would be on the 2020 ballot. They will need 124,632 valid signatures by Aug. 1 to put the question on the 2020 ballot.
New Mexico: New Mexico has moved closer to participating in the compact with other states to elect the U.S. president by national popular vote. On March 12, the Senate approved NPVIC legislation by a 25-16 vote and sent the bill to the governor for signature. Although expected to sign it, as of this writing the governor has not yet moved on the legislation.
Delaware: On March 14, the Delaware House of Representatives passed the National Popular Vote bill by 24-17 vote and sent the bill to Governor John Carney for signature. Although he has not as of this writing signed the bill, the Delaware State News reports that the governor plans to.
NPV Materials Reposted to the LWVFL Website
Several NPV documents have been reposted to the NPV section of the LWVFL website. Additionally, the NPV power point has been revised and approved for use by the Speakers Bureau. If you would like copies of the new power point, please see the LWVFL Speaker’s Bureau Website. lwvfl/toolkit.org
LWV Florida Biennial Convention Slated for June 7 and 8
This is a reminder that the LWVFL will hold our biennial Convention on Friday, June 7 and Saturday, June 8. NPV will hold a Caucus during that meeting. For more information, please see: https://www.lwvfl.org/lwv-florida-convention/
February 2019 – Updates from the Chair
We are publishing a special edition for February to alert you to a ‘not to be missed’ event — and to fill you in on a few important items. We’ll resume our regular bimonthly schedule later in March.
NPV Expert to Speak at March 13 LWV Orange County Hot Topics
Dr. Vikram Amar, one of the nation’s foremost experts on NPV, will be the guest speaker at LWVOC’S Hot Topics lunch in March. Some of you may recall him from the June 2017 LWVFL convention, where he captured attendees’ attention with a memorable talk about the National Popular Vote, kicking off our education efforts with LWV members across the state. If you are able to attend this lunch, it will be worth your time! Details:
When: March 13, 2019, 11:30-1:00 p.m.
Where: Sorosis Woman’s Club of Orlando, 501 East Livingston Street, Orlando
Contact: Barbara Knapp email@example.com
Payment: Registration required: $25 advance payment; $35 at the door
Dean Amar joined the University of Illinois College of Law as its dean in 2015, following many years in the University of California system as a professor of law, most recently with the UC Davis School of Law, where he served as Senior Associate Dean for Academic Affairs.
One of the most eminent and frequently cited authorities in constitutional law, federal courts and civil procedure, Dean Amar has produced several books and more than 50 articles in leading law reviews.
He writes a biweekly column on constitutional matters for Justia.com and a monthly column on legal education for abovethelaw.com, is a frequent commentator on local and national radio and TV and has penned dozens of op-ed pieces for major newspapers and magazines.
Dean Amar earned his bachelor’s degree from UC Berkeley and his juris doctor from Yale Law School. He clerked for Justice Harry A. Blackmun of the U. S. Supreme Court before joining Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, where he handled a variety of complex civil and white-collar criminal matters.
We hope you can join us!
Representative Geller filed House Bill 949 on February 20, and Senator Torres filed the Senate companion bill, SB 1048, on February 14. If legislation is passed and enacted, Florida would join the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact.
Colorado: Close to Enacting NPVIC Legislation….
The Colorado House of Representatives passed the National Popular Vote bill February 21 after a four-hour debate. The bill now goes to Governor Polis, who has publicly stated that he supports the bill. Once signed, Colorado will be the 13th jurisdiction to join the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact. The member states will then have 181 electoral votes — 89 away from the 270 needed to activate the election of the President by populate vote.
….and In Other States:
National Popular Vote legislation is making progress in additional states. In New Mexico, the bill has passed the House and will now be considered by the Senate. Elsewhere, hearings on NPV bills are scheduled in Nevada on February 26 and in Maine on March 1.
Ornamental Flourish-end of section
Exciting Opportunity: Events Coordinator
As NPV heats up in Florida, our leadership team is looking for a volunteer to coordinate events around the state. The event coordinator would support local NPV Chairs as they develop and host NPV educational events. If you want to make a difference, like organizing, are good at hosting events and are passionate about NPV, this could be a rewarding — and fun — opportunity for you.
Contact Kathleen Crampton firstname.lastname@example.org or 561-540-1520
January 2019 – Updates from the Chair
Welcome to the first NPV Update of 2019! We are looking forward to a robust year, and as always, please let us know if you have any questions — or if you have any items you’d like us to include in our next update about what you’re doing!
On January 23, 2019, the Colorado State, Veterans, & Military Affairs Committee held a public hearing on the National Popular Vote bill and voted 3-2 to approve the bill. A total of 72 people signed up to testify. See below.
On January 25, 2019, the New Mexico Judiciary Committee held a public hearing on the National Popular Vote bill and voted to approve the bill. The bill now goes to the House floor. See below.
NPV Workshop in Orlando Draws 60 Members — and Lively Debate
More than 60 League members attended the January 18 NPV Workshop in Orlando, which was held immediately prior to the LWVFL “League Rising” conference. The primary purpose of the workshop was to discuss the National Popular Vote and answer attendees’ questions. Additionally, we wanted to introduce those interested in NPV to one another as part of our goal of developing a Florida community committed to educating key audiences about NPV and its benefits to Florida voters.
Beginning with a light lunch at roundtables, attendees shared their interest in NPV. Some had long been frustrated with the electoral system, believing that electing the President by popular vote would make much more sense. Others felt that the fact that small states have more impact on the Presidential election than Florida does — with its 20 million+ people — made no sense. Many felt that the outcome of many presidential elections would have been more representative of the national will if the President were elected by popular vote.
Kathleen Crampton then walked through the new NPV presentation, answering questions along the way. Some attendees asked whether NPV would require a change to the Constitution, which they felt could never be accomplished, especially in today’s contentious political climate. It is always a pleasant surprise for people to find out that no changes to the Constitution are required to implement NPV. Quite a few people were surprised that 11 states plus DC had already passed popular vote legislation with only another 98 electoral votes required to activate NPV. Another issue was exactly how the NPV process would work after Presidential elections were held: e.g., would voters still vote for electors as we do now (Yes!).
Kathleen Crampton addressing workshop attendees.
Workshop attendees were engaged listeners…
Under the direction of Cynthia Archbold, NPV Chair for Palm Beach and member of the NPV FL Communications Committee, the group took a short quiz that prompted many questions. For example, not everyone realized that all 50 states would not have to pass NPV — only enough states with electoral votes totaling 270. The other states could continue to direct their electors in any way they saw fit, including for the candidate who won their state’s vote (“winner take all”). Few realized that the Constitution would not have to be changed, nor that Congress would have to pass any legislation to implement NPV (in fact, Congress can’t, as states have sole authority for Presidential elections, as specified in the Constitution). Only a small number knew that “winner take all” was not in the Constitution and that this method had been had been passed by almost all states in the 1800s.
NPVFL core team members in attendance included Cynthia Archbold; Marcia Herman, NPVFL Manager of Network Development; Deb Mazzaferro, St Petersburg NPV co-chair and a member of the LWVUS NPV Committee; Kim Lansing, NPVFL IT Issues and Social Media; and Anna Moldonado, NPVFL intern.
Handouts — including copies of the NPV map, fact sheet, FAQs, core message, signs and leave-behinds (all available at https://www.lwvfl.org/issue/npv/) — were well received. That, plus attendees’ high energy, enthusiasm, and interest in NPV, tell us this was an engaging and successful event. We are grateful to each person for their attendance, willingness to ask questions, and commitment to NPV.
….and attendees asked plenty of questions.
NPV On the Move Nationally as Additional States Proceed with NPV Bills
In previous years, Colorado and New Mexico passed NPV legislation in both Houses but not in the same year. Below are some quick updates on what is happening in each state.
Colorado: Senator Mike Foote is the sponsor of the National Popular Vote bill (SB19-042) which was voted out of the Colorado Senate State, Veterans, and Military Affairs Committee in this session. Former Colorado State Representative Joe Miklosi and Senator Rachel Zenzinger are also supporters of NPV. For more information about NPV in Colorado, contact Sylvia Bernstein at email@example.com.
New Mexico: An NPV Bill (HB55) was filed in New Mexico and was heard and approved by their Judiciary Committee on January 25th. It now goes for vote to the House Floor.
Virginia: Democratic Delegate Mark Levine is introducing a bill to end the Electoral College. He believes that presidents should be decided by the popular vote. Because this is an election year for delegates, it is unlikely that it will be passed this year.
Upcoming LWV Orange County Hot Topics to Feature NPV
LWV Orange County has invited Dr. Amar Vikram to speak at LWVOR “Hot Topics”, Wednesday, March 13, 11:00 a.m. at the Sorosis Club in Orlando. Dr. Amar is the Dean of the Law School at the University of Illinois and an expert on the National Popular Vote. If you are interested in attending, sign up after February 13th on the League’s website: https://www.lwvoc.org/. The event costs $25 for members and $35 for non-members and is expected to sell out early.
Mark Your Calendars…
LWVFL Summit, April 9 – 10, 2019, Tallahassee.
While education of both LWV members and the general public is our major focus this year, the April LWV Legislative Summit will provide a great opportunity to learn how to educate legislators. Everyone interested in learning more about how to communicate with Florida’s policymakers should attend this important educational opportunity.
LWVFL Bi-Annual Convention, June 7 – 8, 2019, Naples. NPV will hold a Caucus at the LWVFL Bi-Annual Convention. In addition to educating LWV members about the benefits of NPV, our major objective will be to get the delegates to vote to make NPV a legislative priority for 2020. We encourage as many members as possible to attend the Convention and the NPV Caucus.
December 2018 – Updates from the Chair
Welcome to our December 2018 update about our work on the National Popular Vote. There is much happening at the state and local level — so thank you to everyone who is contributing your time, energy and efforts. Happy holidays to everyone — and all the best for the new year.
2019 Objectives: NPV Education and Expansion of Support
The LWV Florida NPV team has set two objectives for 2019: Educating LWV Members and the General Public and Expanding the Number of NPV Teams
On the educational front, we’ll be encouraging local NPV teams to seize every opportunity to introduce and educate their fellow LWV members and the general public about the National Popular Vote. This will include participation in New Member Orientations, Hot Topics, and Cool Topics within the League. To reach the general public, we are planning presentations to groups interested in learning more about NPV, as well as writing letters to the editor and communicating through social media outlets.
Expanding the number of NPV teams is critical to our state-wide efforts so that all 29 leagues in Florida eventually have NPV teams. Additionally, we want those NPV teams with only 3 – 4 members to expand to 8 – 10. A larger number will enable us to communicate to more people within their communities.
To support these objectives, we held biweekly educational webinars this fall for our Local NPV Chairs (formerly called LLPs or Local League Partners) on topics such as deep dives into NPV, how to handle thorny questions, public relations tools and techniques and making effective presentations. All materials relating to communicating about NPV are housed on the LWVFL website under National Popular Vote, where we have information available to the public (see the accompanying image below as an example of what’s there), as well as information for members only on a protected section of the site. Please visit us at: https://www.lwvfl.org/issue/npv/
2020: Making NPV a LWVFL Legislative Priority
Our educational and expansion work in 2019 will prepare us for 2020 when we will turn our attention to the Florida legislature and work to get NPV heard in several committees, with the goal of having it sent to the floor for discussion (and eventual passage). To do this, we will need to make sure that NPV is one of Florida’s top legislative priorities for 2020. This will entail working with the 29 League Boards to make sure that NPV is forwarded as a priority to the LWVFL Board in late fall of 2019. Additionally, we will need to meet with all the members of the key committees to which NPV bills have been referred to get their support so that the bills are heard, voted, and referred for floor consideration. Finally, all 160 members of the Florida legislature will receive visits from our teams to learn about NPV and why its passage would be a very good move for Florida.
New NPV Florida Team Members
Two new LWV members have joined our NPV Florida leadership team. Kim Lansing will be assuming the role as Social Media Coordinator. After retiring from her nursing career, she worked as the volunteer coordinator and Social Media Coordinator for the Palm Health Foundation here in Palm Beach County. Impressed by the LWV’s Voter Guide, she had been eager to join the League and found NPV to be her niche.
Marcia Herman is known to many, especially in Palm Beach County, because she was the Speakers’ Bureau Coordinator this fall during the very busy Florida Constitutional Amendments. A relatively new member of the League, Marcia has a long history of volunteering, most notably with the National Education Association and welcomed the opportunity to join put her skills to work. She has also worked in management for Lowe’s in Colorado. She will take over Bonnie Greenberg’s role as Coordinator of the NPV Local Chairs and will also continue in her role as head of Palm Beach Speakers’ Bureau.
In addition to biweekly calls, the NPV Florida NPV team has held several meetings, most recently to set strategy for 2019 — and to introduce our new team members.
Attending the leadership meeting are standing, Helen Ostrowski, Marcia Herman, and Kim Lansing; sitting, Cynthia Archbold and Kathleen Crampton.
NPV Workshop on Friday, January 18 from 1:00 to 4:00
NPV will be holding a Workshop on Friday, January 18 from 1:00 to 4:00 pm prior to the beginning of the LWV’s annual Leadership Conference which starts on Friday, January 18 at 5:00 pm through Saturday, January 19. The Workshop and Conference will be held at the Doubletree Downtown Hotel in Orlando about a block from the new LWVFL offices. The workshop will begin with a lunch (salad/sandwiches) at 1:00, followed by an NPV educational session featuring a review of the NPV PowerPoint Presentation, the NPV Quiz, small group discussions, and some role-playing.
This workshop will be open to anyone attending the Leadership Conference who is interested in learning more about NPV. If you want to attend this workshop, please click here to register.
St. Petersburg Professionals Get the Lowdown on NPV
In October, NPV FL team member Deb Mazzaferro made a presentation about NPV to the Academy of Senior Professionals at Eckerd College (ASPEC) in St Petersburg. She started by asking, “Who thinks we should elect the president by popular vote?”. About 2/3 raised their hands. Then she asked, “Who thinks we should preserve the Electoral System?”. The other 1/3 indicated their preference. This is the same ratio we see in our national and state-wide polls. She then started her lecture with, “Well, this does both!” About 60 people attended.
NPV HOT TOPIC in Freezing Tallahassee
Despite a very cold November day in northern Florida, NPV turned out to be a HOT topic at the LWV’s monthly luncheon. Hosted by Teri Cleeland, President of the Tallahassee League, she introduced Kathleen Crampton whose NPV generated a lot of lively discussion with the audience asking plenty of questions. With over 50 in attendance, all were totally engaged in understanding how NPV would work — and wondered why they had never heard of it. Trish Neeley, NPV Coordinator, and Steve Carter, a member of the NPV Tallahassee team, managed the event.
October 2018 – Updates from the Chair
Welcome to our fourth update! A lot is happening — and we’ve been busy over the past few months, as you can see, buoyed by the many Leaguers who are stepping up their efforts at the local level.
Editorial: Michigan Introduces Popular Vote Legislation
Following on the heels of Connecticut’s passage of national popular vote legislation this past spring, a bipartisan group of state lawmakers are cosponsoring a package of bills that, if passed, would see Michigan join the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact (NPVIC).
With this legislation, Michigan joins three other big states that now have national popular vote bills pending in their legislatures: North Carolina, Ohio and Pennsylvania. This is in addition to states (like Florida) that plan to introduce legislation again.
However, because the Michigan sponsors represent both sides of the aisle, this is going to be a closely watched issue. Already, the Michigan media has been lighting up with a vigorous debate about the pros (to the supporters) and the cons (to the opponents) of the popular vote, and the state’s plan has also captured national attention. What is refreshing is that the debate — while spirited — is generally thoughtful and civil. We think this is a sign that people may be waking up to what it is going to take to get more voters involved — and to make their votes count regardless of where they live.
What seems to have pushed the issue to the fore in Michigan is the recognition that NPVIC would increase voter turnout and participation in the vast majority of states that aren’t battleground territory. Says one sponsor: “You’ve got people in both parties that are disengaged because the presidential race sets the tone, but that also spills down to people who aren’t as engaged in state politics or other races — and that’s . . . doing a disservice to citizen involvement.”
Michigan has 16 electoral votes. We applaud the bipartisan group of legislators who came together to introduce the legislation and urge their compatriots to carefully consider the many merits of the national popular vote to their state and the nation.
Working to Make NPV a LWVUS Priority
Following up on the vote to make the national popular vote a national priority at the LWVUS Convention in Chicago, Kathleen Crampton met with Celina Stewart, JD, Director of Advocacy and Litigation, and Jessica Jones Capparell, Policy and Legislative Affairs Senior Manager, at the LWVUS offices in Washington, DC. Patti Brigham, President LWVFL, joined the meeting by conference call. The LWVUS staff, despite their frantic workload with the upcoming mid-term elections, expressed their support of the national popular vote and looked forward to developing initiatives to support the passage of local legislation in states with enough electoral votes (98) to activate the election of the president by popular vote.
LWVUS has established an National Popular Vote Action Google Group as a way to facilitate communication between LWV members in states ready to consider passing national popular vote legislation. They will devote more resources to a potential coalition for this effort, which Patti Brigham strongly supports. Having LWVUS on board provides very positive momentum toward the election of the President by popular vote.
Nurturing the Network of Local League Partners
Under the leadership of Bonnie Greenberg, the national popular vote state team held four webinars this summer for local league partners (LLPs), attended by almost half of the LLPs at each session. The goal of the sessions is to engage and orient the LLP network of leaders, through a series of 10 segments that included such topics as available resources, messaging, a review of the 2019 legislative plan; educational “deep dives” into the national popular vote and the Compact; community outreach; and building a team.
Cynthia Archbold, center, meets with new LWVPBC members interested in NPV
“The response has been terrific,” notes Bonnie. “The participants are really stepping up to the plate with their local activities and haven’t been shy about sharing their frustrations along with their successes. In the process, we are learning a lot in terms of what we can do to help them.” In addition to providing additional materials and advice, the state team has committed to continuing the biweekly sessions at least through the end of the year.
In addition, the team was visible at the LWVPBC new member orientation in September. Cynthia Archbold, who serves as co-LLP for the county (in addition to helping with editorial content for the state public relations team), worked the room to cultivate new members interested in the national popular vote initiative, with an eye towards adding them to the team.
Legislative Efforts Start to Ramp Up
Representative Joseph Geller and Senator Victor Torres have agreed to introduce national popular vote legislation in the 2019 legislative session. Kathleen Crampton met with Representative Geller to discuss strategy and planning. Because the legislature is beginning its session next year two months later than the 2018 session, we have a bit more time. Kathleen and Deb Mazzaferro have developed a legislative plan, which has been shared with the LLPs, focusing heavily on the key committees to which the national popular vote bills will be referred. Stay tuned for more information about our plans here!
Left to right, Kathleen Crampton, Rep. Joseph Geller, and Kathy Jens-Rochow, LLP for Broward County
LWVFL to Field 2019 Voter Survey about the National Popular Vote
To gauge where Florida voters stand on the popular vote, the team is ramping up to field a follow-up to the 2017 public opinion poll, conducted by Florida Atlantic University, which showed that the majority of Floridians support the popular vote for President.
To that end, Helen Ostrowski and Kathleen Crampton met with Kevin Wagner, PhD, Chair of the Department of Political Science at FAU, and Craig Agranoff of Political Consulting.com, who works with FAU on social media political programs. The current plan is to conduct the survey in January and release it at a Tallahassee event shortly after the survey is completed so that the findings are in front of legislators as they begin their 2019 committee meetings and legislative session, which will run from early March through April. Also discussed was the possibility of a social media campaign.
Left to right, Helen Ostrowski, Craig Agranoff, Kevin Wagner and Kathleen Crampton meet to discuss 2019 public opinion survey.
Public Relations Team Releases Branding and Updated Materials
Thanks to the talents of Cynthia Archbold, Meryl Davids, Ann Morin, Lorna O’Connell and Carol Rinaldi, we’ve produced a new wave of materials for the public and Leaguers. Over the summer, the team, led by Helen Ostrowski, refined our messaging, using it to revise current materials and develop new ones. We are most pleased with our elegant branding. We’ve also completely revamped and streamlined the presentation about the national popular vote; rewritten our Frequently Asked Questions for League use, with a shorter companion piece for public consumption; revised the elevator speech, sample letter to the editor and the facts sheet about Presidential Elections and the National Popular Vote — and posted all of them on a refreshed national popular vote section of the LWVFL website. And we continued to issue our monthly In the News, our synopsis of major news items about NPV from around the US.