LWVGB Newsletter The Voter
February 2017 Edition

is now online!

Don’t miss another issue.




LWVGB rules for participation in a candidate forum.

Is your organization considering holding a candidate forum? Do you want the League of Women Voters to conduct or moderate the event? Here are the LWVGB rules for participation in a candidate forum.


Register to Vote!

Are you registered to vote? Have you moved since you registered? We're celebrating American democracy by registering voters in the Greater Birmingham area. We will share coming events here as we schedule more registration drives.

In Memoriam to Ruth J. Wright, LWV Champion

Update: A memorial service for Ruth will be held on February 11, 2017 at 2:00 at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Birmingham, 4300 Hampton Heights Drive, Birmingham, 35209. Please join us to celebrate and remember Ruth’s life.


Dear LWVGB Members and Friends,

It is with a heavy heart that we report that Ruth J. Wright, Life Member of the League of Women Voters of Greater Birmingham, has passed away. She died peacefully last night, January 18, 2017, at Brookwood Hospital due to respiratory complications. She was 93 years old. Ruth was an active leader in both the League of Women Voters of Greater Birmingham and of Alabama. She was a champion of the League and for all citizens of our community and state. 
Read more…


Stacks Image 8734
Thank you, T.K. Thorne, for sharing your personal story and research into the investigation of the 1963 bombing of the Street Baptist Church in Birmingham. Thank you, also, to all members and guests who attended the LWVGB Luncheon and shared this special time. If you missed the luncheon, read on to see what you missed.

LWVGB Annual Holiday Luncheon

Saturday, December 3, 2016
11:30 AM - 1:00 PM
The Club
1 Robert S. Smith Dr.
Birmingham, AL 35209

Guest Speaker:
T. K. Thorne

Author of
Last Chance for Justice:
How Relentless Investigators
Uncovered New Evidence Convicting
the Birmingham Church Bombers


Thank you for voting,
Greater Birmingham!

Unofficial 2016 Election Results for Jefferson County

Official 2016 Election Results The audit review required for certification of election results (state election result canvassing) takes place in the office each county judge of probate at 12:00 noon on the second Friday following the election. See the law: Alabama Code 17-12-15. When certified, results will be posted on this webpage.
Status of Provisional and Absentee Ballots Did your provisional or absentee ballot count? Check this webpage.


The following election information remains posted for your information.

Are you ready for Election Day 2016?

AL candidate and amendment info. at Vote411.org

Check all our election resources.
Get the information you need to
register, get informed, and
VOTE on November 8, 2016.




Get the scoop on all these stories in the LWVGB October, 2016 Edition of THE VOTER newsletter. Check it out!

Don’t miss another issue. Subscribe to THE VOTER. We’ll email you each month when the new issue is ready to view.



Thanks to all who attended the Payday Lending Study Public Forum and Member Consensus. The event was well attended. A report and photos will be posted soon.

Graphic complements of flickr/andrewbain

Sunday, October 16, 2016
2:30 - 5:00 p.m.

Vestavia Hills Library in the Forest
1221 Montgomery Highway
Vestavia Hills AL 35216

2:30-3:30 p.m. Payday Lending Community Forum (open to the public)
3:30-3:45 p.m. Break and prepare for closed LWVGB member consensus building
3:45-4:55 p.m. LWVGB Membership Payday Lending consensus building (for LWVGB members only)
5:00 p.m. Conclude

The Payday Lending study seeks to present a balanced view of the arguments for and against further regulation of
payday loans based on previous studies. The League of Women Voters never supports or opposes political candidates
or parties. It takes positions on issues after study, discussion and consensus. 

Read “Payday Lending Stores in Alabama: Facts and Issues,” the unbiased study report of the LWVAL Payday Lending Study Committee.
Members can access the complete Payday Lending Study Packet
This packet includes an overview of the League’s consensus process, “Payday Lending Stores in Alabama: Facts and Issues,” consensus questions and more. Members, please review packet materials, especially the Facts and Issues study report and the consensus questions prior to consensus taking on October 16, 2016. If you need access information, contact jjohnson@lwvgb.org.

The forum and consensus taking will be presented by Ida Tyree Hyche, Esq., LWVAL Study Committee Member and Board Director and LWVGB Member Haley Colson Lewis. The information presented will be provided by the LWVAL Payday Lending Study Committee.


What a fun evening!

Members and guests were invited to a…
Cocktail Reception Meet and Greet
Thursday, September 22, 2016, 5:30 – 7:30 PM at
City Club Birmingham
(formerly The Summit Club)
Regions-Harbert Plaza – Suite 3100 *
1901 6th Avenue North
Birmingham, AL 35203

See the photos at Flickr or on Facebook.


LWVGB Newsletter THE VOTER, SEPTEMBER 2016 EDITION, is now online!


We're busy building our democracy in this election season and having great fun doing it! Here’s what you’ll find in this September, 2016 issue of The Voter: a call for volunteers to provide rides to the polls, an invitation to our Cocktail Reception Meet and Greet at City Club Birmingham (Sep. 22), review and preview of LWVGB voter registration and education activities, including a very fun celebration of our Youth Voter Registration project and events surrounding National Voter Registration Day (Sep. 27), preview of our Payday Lending Community Forum (public) and Member Consensus Building (Oct. 16), a welcome to new member Judy Wade and welcome to our new Student Intern Shibani Chakrabarty, and last but not least, a sincere note of thanks to our current members and call for their LWVGB membership renewal. In The Voter and here, we want to express thanks to Curtis W. Gordon of the Gordon and Lathum, Attorneys at Law, for opening the firm’s conference room for use by the LWVGB Board.

Get the scoop on all these stories in the LWVGB September, 2016 Edition of
THE VOTER newsletter. Check it out!

Don’t miss another issue. Subscribe to THE VOTER. We’ll email you each month when the new issue is ready to view.


“Dog Days of Summer”? Not! It’s a busy time for LWVGB voter registrations and election education.

CEASE FIRE BIRMINGHAM is an initiative of "comprehensive strategies to strengthen and educate communities and implement various methodologies to reduce violence where we Live, Work, Worship and Play." The work is happening in Birmingham public housing communities with CAFE (Community and Family Enrichment) Days. On Aug. 13, 2016, LWVGB participated at the kick-off event in Elyton Village with a well attended voter registration booth. Thank you Christopher L. Burrell, Esq. for inviting LWVGB to participate.

On Aug. 19, 2016, LWV of Greater Birmingham and Alabama visited the Alabama Institute for the Deaf and Blind (AIDB) to present a Voting and Election Workshop. Despite the rainy day, this event was well attended. We were pleased to educate the group about elections and the importance of voting and to answer questions. We were particularly pleased to register some older voters who had never voted.

Photos soon.



Ragland Blue Devils rock! The students at Ragland High School were excited to register to vote on May 11, 2016! We registered during lunch outside of the cafeteria and then in the classroom. Thank you to Ragland HS Principal Roy Bliss and Counselor Mary McCullars for welcoming us into the school. Thank you to Voter Service volunteers Maggie Howard (VS Co-Chair), Jean Johnson, and Chris Underwood for working with the students! And thank you to Pete Johnson for making the arrangements to host our team! See all the photos.

Thank you Outgoing President Ida Tyree-Hyche, Esq. and all LWVGB members! YOU made it happen in 2015-2016!

And then it was time for the...
LWVGB Annual Business Meeting
Thursday, April 28, 2016
Dinner 5:00 p.m.
Business 5:30 p.m.
Sweet Tea Restaurant
2205 3rd Avenue South
Birmingham, AL 35233

Thank you to all who attended the LWVGB 2016 Business Meeting at Sweet Tea Restaurant!

At our Annual Business Meeting on Thursday, April 28, we adopted a new budget, re-adopted program for 2016-2017 and elected new members of the board. (No bylaws changes are recommended.)

We are very grateful to the outgoing board members - President Ida Tyree-Hyche, Treasurer Michael O’Donnell, Director Connie Arnwine, and Director Barbara Powell - for their leadership and so many accomplishments in 2015-2016. They and YOU, all our League members, have been a busy bunch this year! To get an idea of what your League has been up to, have a look at this little slide show “LWVGB Year in Review: 2015-2016” above. You can share it with this link:

The new board is excited to begin work! Continuing on the board are Jean Johnson as President, Arlene Godwin as Vice-President, Starr Culpepper as Secretary, Margaret “Maggie” Howard as Director, and Nancy Sales as Director. We welcome new board members Treasurer Rev. Albert Hyche and Director Mikesha Harvill. See the end of this message for names and full contact information for your new board. You are always welcome to attend board meetings. Feel free to contact any board member to volunteer and to make suggestions for how we can “Make Democracy Work” better in the Greater Birmingham community! We also thank outgoing President Ida Tyree-Hyche for accepting the position as Chair of the 2016-2017 Nominating Committee.

To read more about the business conducted by the LWVGB, see the
Business Meeting booklet available to members.

Pictures from the Business Meeting will be posted soon.





Decision 2016
Thank you, Jefferson County Citizens and Judicial Candidates!
Great turnout! Great participation!

Listen to the Decision 2016 Forum
Thank you to WBHM 90.3 FM and News Director Rachel Lindley for covering this event, making this recording, and inspiring JeffCo. citizens to become informed and vote.

Many thanks to the citizens and judicial candidates who turned out tonight, Feb. 8, for Decision 2016, a judicial candidate forum co-sponsored by the League of Women Voters of Greater Birmingham and the Upsilon Eta Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.. All 2016 Jefferson County judicial candidates, those on both the Primary and General Election ballots, were invited, and a solid majority of the candidates were present.

There was standing room only at the Central Library Auditorium in downtown Birmingham to hear what the candidates had to say. The voters were eager to hear the candidates' views and background. Questions asked of the candidates included, "How have your training, legal experience, and interests prepared you to serve as circuit/district judge?" and "What do you consider the three most important attributes of a judge?" The voters were able to meet with the candidates one-on-one following the forum and ask their own questions. Attendees were also able to register to vote or change their registration information at this event.

We were pleased to have Ms. Rachel Lindley, WBHM 90.3 FM News Director, present at the forum to record the proceedings. Be sure to tune in to WBHM to hear more about the forum. Depending on the recording sound quality, excerpts may be broadcast.
Update: Listen to WBHM's recording of the forum.

We wish to extend special thanks to the Birmingham Public Library for the use of the library auditorium, an excellent venue for the event, and for the library's full support of this public service.

Thank you again to LWVGB President Ida Tyree-Hyche and UEO-AKA President Michelle D. Harris and the many LWVGB and UEO-AKA volunteers who helped make Decision 2016 such a great success. Photos will soon be available.


ON @abc3340 Talk of Alabama 2/5/16, 9:45 am.
Ida Tyree-Hyche (LWVGB) and Ayla Russell (UEO-AKA) talk Decision 2016 Judicial Candidates Forum #alpolitics #JeffCoJudForum.

LWVGB President Ida Tyree-Hyche and UEO-AKA's Ayla Russell invited Jefferson County citizens to meet and hear the 2016 judicial candidates on Monday, Feb. 8, 5:30 - 7:30 pm at the Birmingham Central Library (main library downtown). They assured Talk of Alabama co-host Ebony Hall and the viewers that this is a nonpartisan forum and that voter registration/voter change of address service would be available. Also, they informed viewers that information and help would be available regarding restoration of voting rights. Attend Decision 2016 on Monday, Feb. 8 to meet and listen to our judicial candidates. Be an informed voter on March 1 and on November 8!

See the press release.

Decision 2016 Judicial Candidates Forum

Monday, February 8, 2016, 5:30 - 7:30 p.m.
Birmingham Public Library
Central Branch Auditorium
2100 Park Place
Birmingham, AL

Download this flyer for printing or download another flyer,
Create/share forum information in your
social networks with
#JeffCoJudForum. Thank you!

Come meet the Jefferson County Circuit and District Court judicial candidates running in the 2016 contested races and listen as they answer our questions. This public meeting is co-sponsored by the League of Women Voters of Greater Birmingham and Upsilon Eta Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.. Thanks also to the Birmingham Public Library Central Branch for free use of the Library Auditorium! For more information, contact LWVGB President ida Tyree-Hyche, Esq. at presidentlwvgb(at)gmail(dot)com or 205 601-8645.


Alabama Party Primary Elections

March 1, 2016


The "SEC Primaries" are right around the corner and Alabama is in that group of Party Primary Elections! Will you be ready to go to the polls on Tuesday, March 1 to cast your ballot?

  • Who's on your ballot?
  • Are you registered to vote?
  • Will you need to vote absentee?
  • Do you know what to carry with you to the polls?
So many questions and so little time! See our Learn and Vote section for answers to these questions and much more! And don't forget to attend our Jefferson County Decision 2016 Judicial Candidates Forum on Feb. 8. Details below!


Money in Politics (MIP):
A National Study of American Campaign Finance

money exchange.sm
On Sunday, January 17, 2016, LWVGB members gathered at the Vestavia Hill Library in the Forest to discuss unbiased research information on campaign finance and take consensus on this issue. Many thanks to the LWVGB "Money in Politics" Study Committee: Connie Arnwine, Chair, Haley Colson, and Nancy Ekberg for presenting the extensive study resource materials and to Yvonne Brakefield who served as Consensus Recorder. Discussion and consensus taking was restricted to LWVGB members, but the public was invited to attend and learn more about this issue so critical to American democracy.

Read more about this event (includes links to "Money in Politics" study resources). See photos at:


LWVGB wins grant to register high school students in the Birmingham Metro area.

The LWVGB Voter Registration Services Committee applied for and was awarded a grant from the National League of Women Voters Education Fund to implement a Youth Voter Registration Project in the Greater Birmingham Metropolitan Area.   Our task is to bring voter education and registration events to high school seniors in Birmingham City, Bibb County and St Clair County.  The project will kick off in early January, 2016.

Members, please contact the League at 205 583-5000 to lend your help with this exciting project. Not a League member, but would like to help? We will welcome you! This is a great opportunity to join the League and get involved.


LWVGB Holiday Dinner and Board Review reveals 2016 projects to strengthen democracy.

Tuesday, Dec. 15th
Sweet Tea Restaurant
2205 3rd Avenue S.
Birmingham, AL 35233

LWVGB Holiday Dinner 2015.collage.sm

December 15, 2015 --
A message from the President...

"YOUR League of Women Voters of Greater Birmingham's Board of Directors' presented a briefing to the LWVGB General Membership tonight. The Directors did an excellent job communicating what the League has done since August and the League's directions in 2016. Highlights: The League applied and was just awarded a Grant for voter registration and education services within inner city high schools in Birmingham, St. Clair and Bibb Counties. The League will be conducting a Consensus Study among its membership on "Money in Politics," and the League will host a judicial Candidates Forum. We were pleased to have several past Presidents present: Leonette Slay, Yvonne Brakefield, and Trish Crain. We were pleased to welcome our new member who joined in September: Javan Patton. We were equally pleased to welcome back Sheila Tyson. Directors giving reports were: Starr Culpepper - Membership, Nancy Sales - Voter Services & Outreach and Maggie Howard - Voter Services & Outreach, Barbara Powell - Observers' Corps, and Jean Johnson - Communications. Consider
joining or making a donation to the League of Women Voters of Greater Birmingham. Visit our website at www.lwvgb.org. We are a non-profit, non-partisan organization. The organization is also open for male membership. Currently our Chapter has several male members."

Ida Tyree Hyche, Esq., President LWVGB


Nov. 13, 2015

"Alabama agrees with DOJ to comply with motor voter law" via al.com

Get a Photo Voter ID if you need one. It's required to vote in Alabama!

Do you need to get a valid PHOTO voter ID? It is required to vote in the state of Alabama, so don't get caught without one when the next election rolls around! Acceptable IDs include a valid driver's license, valid passport, or in-state college/university/technical/professional school photo ID. (See the complete list of acceptable photo voter ID here.) If you do not have an acceptable photo voter ID, you will need to get one in order to vote! You can also get one at the DMV office in these area counties when getting a driver's license or renewing your license: Jefferson, Shelby, Blount, Bibb (if open), St. Clair (if open), Tuscaloosa, or Walker Co.. Also, the Secretary of State's Mobile ID units tour the state. See the AL Mobile ID Unit schedule here


League of Women Voters of Alabama sees DMV closures as threat to voting rights; calls for state legislation to suspend Voter ID Law

View and share LWVAL press release here.

The League of Women Voters of Alabama sees DMV closures as a threat to voting rights. The LWVAL calls for state legislation that would suspend the state’s voter photo ID law until the driver’s licensing centers are reopened. On Wednesday, October 7, 2015, the League of Women Voters of Alabama sent out a press release and an open letter to Alabama government leaders Gov. Robert Bentley, House Speaker Mike Hubbard, and President Pro Tempore Del Marsh, calling for this action. View and share the press release with letter.

Update: On Oct. 16, 2015, Gov. Bentley ordered ALEA to open closed AL DMV offices one day per month and denies racial motives for original closings. Read.


National Voter Registration Day a great success in Birmingham, AL!


In celebration of National Voter Registration Day 2015, LWVGB held four voter registration events on three Birmingham college campuses. League volunteers registered voters on Sept. 22, 2015, at Jefferson State Community College - Center Point Campus, Lawson State Community College - Birmingham Campus, and Brown Mackie - Birmingham Campus. LWVGB wishes to thank Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., Upsilon Eta Omega Chapter for their partnership and volunteer service at the LawsonState event. Thank you especially to AKA Sorority Sister Kristen Heard for her volunteer service and the photographs provided here of the Lawson State registration. Thank you LWVGB member Yvonne Brakefield for photos of the Jeff State registration event and to Leonette Slay for the photo taken at the Brown Mackie registration. And thank you to all League registration volunteers Yvonne Brakefield and Jean Johnson (Jeff State), Nancy Sales (with Kristen Heard) (Lawson State), Margaret "Maggie" Howard and Judith Hand (Brown Mackie - noon shift), and Leonette Slay, Michael O'Donnell, and Jo Taylor (Brown Mackie - evening shift). And finally we wrapped up National Voter Registration week with a spectacular registration drive at Jefferson State Community College Shelby Campus in Hoover on Sept. 24. Thank to all LWVGB volunteers, AKA-UEO volunteers, and college staff who collaborated to make this the most outstanding National Voter Registration celebration ever held in the Greater Birmingham area. The many newly registered voters are the real winners!. See the photos.

And we're just getting started! Find upcoming LWVGB registration in the column at left or browse our calendar. Bring your friends. We'll get all of you registered to vote. It only takes a few minutes. We need YOU to make democracy work!



UPDATE ON THIS ISSUE 9/17/15, 12:05 p.m.: AL Legislature has passed and Gov. Bentley has signed the state budget into law. Read the story here and here. The Second Special Session of the Alabama Legislature adjourned Sept. 16, 2015.


$300 million of additional tax revenue is needed to prevent severe cuts in the Alabama General Fund budget.

LWVGB urges members and the public to call their legislators to ask for $300 million in new tax revenue. We must have this additional revenue in order to sustain programs that are vital to the most vulnerable citizens in our Greater Birmingham community. Members of the Alabama legislature and the governor cannot come to an agreement on the state budget, and a number of legislators have publicly stated that they are not hearing "an outcry" from the public regarding cuts to the budget. Let's change that! We join with the League of Women Voters of Alabama and Alabama Arise in calling for increased state revenue. This is a matter of urgency.
Please see this Call to Action issued by the League of Women Voters of Alabama and take immediate action. Thank you!


League of Women Voters to celebrate 95 years helping to build democracy

We're celebrating 95 years of "making democracy work"®. Friends of the League are invited to attend our recepetion meet and greet at The Summit Club on Sept. 17. You must have a reservation. Email lwvgbreception2015@lwvgb.org by Sept. 15 with your request or questions. LWVGB issued the following media release on August 18.

Birmingham, AL -- The League of Women Voters of Greater Birmingham and The Summit Club will hold a cocktail reception meet and greet on Thursday, September 17, 5:30 – 7:30 PM at The Summit Club at Regions-Harbert Plaza – Suite 3100, 1901 6th Avenue North, Birmingham, AL  35203.

The League of Women Voters of Greater Birmingham (LWVGB) and The Summit Club invite all League members and guests to celebrate 95 years of Making Democracy Work® at every level of government. In 1920, the League was founded as an outgrowth of the movement that secured women the right to vote. Today, the League empowers all voters to improve their local, state and national government. LWVGB is a nonpartisan, grass-roots organization. Membership is open to all citizens, men and women, age 18 and older. Information about the League of Women Voters of Greater Birmingham is available at http://www.lwvgb.org.

For this celebration, The Summit Club Board of Governors has approved a special invitation to join The Summit Club to all members of the League of Women Voters of Greater Birmingham and their guests. Attendees will be invited to become a member of The Summit Club, a private business and social club in downtown Birmingham. The Summit Club is 25 years old and is an organization known for connecting business professionals and providing opportunities to foster relationships. With this preferred invitation, the Summit Club will waive the Club’s current initiation fee. Only a small application fee will apply. The Club will also welcome new members with the gift of a dining allowance.

Those wishing to attend the League of Women Voters of Greater Birmingham’s reception on September 17 should contact the League at lwvgbreception2015@lwvgb.org by Tuesday, September 15 to RSVP. Complimentary parking will be available for the reception in the Regions-Harbert Plaza Parking Garage.

Register to Vote!

Are you registered to vote? Have you moved since the 2014 elections? We're celebrating American democracy and National Voter Registration Day (Sept. 22) by registering voters in the Greater Birmingham area. Find a LWVGB voter registration location near you.
  • Sept. 15 - Jeff State Community College Shelby-Hoover Campus - 12:30-2:30 pm
More locations soon!

Happy Birthday to the 19th Amendment!
Ratified Aug. 18, 1920
The League of Women Voters has worked for many
decades for women's suffrage. See this nostalgic
19th Amendment slide show.

Women received the right to vote with the ratification of the 19th Amendment on August 18, 1920. It was first introduced in Congress in 1878. Alabama ratified the amendment on Sept. 8, 1953. The vote was not, in fact, assured for all until the National Voting Rights Act of 1965. (That act has been under attack and weakened in recent years. We hope you will join the LWV in restoring the #VRA!)

Flash back now with School House Rock's take on the 19th Amendment!


An Open letter to Alabama Speaker Mike Hubbard

The Alabama Legislature convened the 2015 First Special Session in an effort to pass a General Fund Budget for the coming fiscal year which begins on Oct. 1. When the session adjourned on August 11, a budget had not passed. Call for a Second Special Session is expected. The League of Women Voters of Alabama has made the following statement with accompanying letter to AL House Speaker Hubbard:

Alabama needs sustainable, equitable, long-term solutions to our state's fiscal problems, not short-term quick fixes. And let there be open discussion during the budget making process so that citizens are aware and can express their views, not announcement after deals are made behind closed doors. On July 27, 2015, LWVAL sent this open letter to Alabama Speaker Mike Hubbard expressing the League's views.

Keep up with this state-wide issue on the LWVAL website at
www.lwval.org. To contact your state legislature with your own views on this or any other issue before the Alabama Legislature (in your own name, not in the name of the League), you can get contact information for your legislators here. You can follow all legislation at the Alabama Legislative Information System Online (ALISON). Bills that impact the League's Principles and LWVAL issue positions are reported in the LWVAL Legislative Report here.


The National Voting Rights Act: What does it matter?

A lot! How did the Voting Rights Act of 1965 expand voting access in the United States? What was the impact of the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in 2013 to essentially make Section V of the Voting Rights Act (Shelby v. Holder) inoperable? In an interview with journalist Ari Berman, National Public Radio offers this overview of the weakened NVR and discriminatory attempts to restrict free, fair, and accessible elections. (Thank you to
LWV Mobile for pointing out this piece.)

Also see this article "50 Years After the Voting Rights Act Became Law, It Needs to be Restored" by LWVUS President Elisabeth MacNamara.


Each One Bring One: 4 Ways You Can Help Grow Your League

LWVGB Members, resolve to bring one new member into the League in 2015-2016! Here's how you can help...
  • Bring an interested guest to one of our very informative League meetings. Watch the LWVGB calendar for upcoming events.
  • Print out the LWVGB membership brochure (newly updated for 2013!) and give to your friends.
  • Print and cut out a few of these small, handy "Join the League" membership cards. Keep with you to give to friends.
  • Keep us in your "social circles".
         Like & share LWVGB articles on
         Follow & retweet LWVGB on

Let's grow the League!