© 1999 - 2003 League of Women Voters of Greater Birmingham and
League of Women Voters of the United States

The Voter

July - August, 2003

A Publication of the League of Women Voters of Greater Birmingham.
Re-formatted here for web publication with index and links added. Web Editor's navigational notes added in [bracketed italics].


President's Message

Newly elected officers and board members met recently with continuing board members in a day-long planning session. I am excited to be working with such a talented and committed group of League members! We all agreed that one of our most essential tasks is membership development. This organization must reach much larger numbers if we are to have an impact in the community. To that end we are planning a year full of informative meetings, a monthly Voter with a new look and increased attention to substantive content. We hope you like it and will let us know how you feel.

In our effort to increase membership and raise our visibility in the community, we will focus early efforts in the area of Voters Service. Elsewhere in this edition you will read of our first project involved with the important issue of Tax Reform. The 18 months leading up to the Presidential Election in 2004 will provide many opportunities for Voters Service projects and we will need your help. Remember we are a board of 8 dedicated people, but we need you to help with the work of the League. You can call any of us listed on this page to volunteer even a small amount of time

Sarah McDonald - President

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MARK YOUR CALENDAR for September 7th!

Plans are in the works for a League sponsored informational meeting on Riley's $1.2 billion Tax & Reform Package. The Meeting will be on Sunday, September 7 from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the Alabama School of Fine Arts (ASFA). This will be a great opportunity to have your questions about the tax reform amendment answered by people in the know. Plan on bringing friends and neighbors to this important event . ASFA is located at 1800 8th Avenue North, Birmingham, AL 35203. . If you would like more information about this upcoming event please contact Nancy Eckberg at 967-2897 or nanekberg@aol.com


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Sarah McDonald , new president of the Birmingham League, and Jean Johnson, incoming co-president of the state League, attended National Council in Washington June 6-9.

This meeting is traditionally for state presidents, president of Capitol City Leagues, presidents of large city Leagues, and the National Board. Birmingham is now on the list of Leagues in cities of large metropolitan areas.

A number of excellent workshops which offered solid advice for local League boards were offered. McDonald and Johnson covered all of them and came home with many good ideas for implementation here in Alabama.

Eleanor Holmes Norton, the congressional delegate from the District of Columbia, spoke on the undemocratic situation the District has been in for over one hundred years. Essentially they have Taxation Without Representation. The League has long called for and will continue to work for DC Voting Rights and control over budgetary issues for this most important city.

U. S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Sandra Day O'Connor spoke at the Council banquet. Her remarks were confined to the history of the Suffrage Movement.

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Voter Services

The Birmingham League will sponsor a table at the Alabama School of Fine Arts Open House on August 10, 2003. Information on the upcoming League sponsored Tax Reform Debate for September 7, the League's Voter Services and League membership information will all be available. This will be an opportunity to reach voters regarding the upcoming tax reform issues for which we vote on September 9. If you would like to help distribute information (only a short orientation will be needed) please contact Virginia Randolph at 699-5582 or vrand@bellsouth.net to volunteer an hour or two for this worthwhile effort.

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Legislative Update


Law Makers passed HB 419, the compliance legislation for the Federal Statute, Help America Vote Act of 2002 (HAVA) on the final day of the Alabama Legislature 2003 Regular Session. Following the controversial 2000 presidential election, Congress passed HAVA to improve the election process. The LWVUS actively participated in its development. The Act contains mandates for a single centralized list of registered voters, safeguards for polling places, more educational materials at polling places, procedures for provisional voting, accessibility for disabled and the elimination of certain types of voting equipment. Approximately $41 million dollars in federal implementing funds are available to Alabama with 5% matching state funds. This bill makes the Alabama Secretary of State the state chief election official and the administrator of Alabama's HAVA implementation. A major change for Alabama is that the management of voter registration procedures will be within the Secretary of State's office rather than a separate entity. LWVAL and local leagues can be active in the State's implementation efforts. If you would like to know more about HAVA, or you would like to volunteer in the league's implementation efforts please contact Cary Page at cpa323@aol.com.

Two Constitutional Reform Amendments Passed

Alabama Legislators approved two constitutional amendments. One removes racist language from the 1901 Constitution, even though the language has no practical legal impact. This will be an action by the Citizens of Alabama rather than just accepting the Federal Law. It will be an important statement by the people of Alabama.
The other amendment recompiles the Constitution in a shorter, more logical format. Voters will have to approve these amendments on September 9, the same day of the vote on Governor Riley's $1.2 

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LWVGB Board of Directors 2002-2003

3357 Cherokee Road
Birmingham, Al. 35223
Phone: (205) 968-9186

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About the Voter:

The LWVGB Voter is a publication of the League of Women Voter of
Greater Birmingham.

Voter Contact:
Kathyn Kerchof, Editor
4117 Shiloh Dr. Birmingham, 35213
Ph: (205) 802-7215
Email: kerchof@bellsouth.com

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July 8
LWVGB Board Meeting
3357 Cherokee Road
6 pm
July 12
LWVAL Board Meeting
1 pm
August 5
LWVGB Board Meeting
3357 Cherokee Road
6 p.m.
August 10
Voter Registration
Alabama School of Fine Arts

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