AAUW Women Continue to Advocate for
A More Perfect Union and
A More Perfect State!
Voting Rights Underpin ALL of Our Rights!
Defend Voting Rights by becoming an Election Judge.
It’s too late to become a Judge for the November 8, 2022, General Election, but not too soon to plan for becoming a Judge for the 2023 and 2024 election cycles.
General details for all election cycles here.
- Scroll down a bit or click here to find out about AAUW National Two-Minute Activist opportunities.
- Follow issues of particular importance to Minnesotans and Take Action on bills during the Minnesota Legislative Session here.
- Find out about actions YOU can take to address Climate Change here.
- See other resources and links for taking action here.
Two-Minute Activist – AAUW National
Two-Minute Activist is an AAUW National program that provides a quick and easy way to “send emails and texts to your legislators to fight for equal pay, family leave, stopping sexual harassment, equality in education and more.”
To become a “Two-Minute Activist” go to the webpage and simply click on the link for the issue you wish to support to read more about it, then:
- fill in your name and address
- use the suggested message text or personalize it as you wish
- click on “Send Message” and the message will automatically be sent to your US Senators and US Representative
End the Student Debt Crisis
“Women hold two-thirds ($929 billion) of the country’s $1.46 trillion student debt. As a nation, we rely on women to add to and strengthen our economy. That can’t happen under mountains of student debt. Ask your members of Congress to support legislation that would make college more affordable for all students and help millions of borrowers across the country pay off their student debt.” Read more and Take Action on the National AAUW website.
Support the EMPOWER Act
“When workers face harassment, it impacts their success in the workplace, and ultimately, their economic security. The Ending the Monopoly of Power Over Workplace Harassment through Education and Reporting (EMPOWER) Act would make it easier and safer for people to speak out when they experience workplace harassment and make it harder for employers to avoid accountability.” Read more and Take Action on the National AAUW website.
Find quick and easy Two-Minute Activist opportunities and signup to get regular action alerts on the National AAUW website.
Take Action Minnesota!
7/25/22 Update: Alert from the Minneapolis League of Women Voters (LWV)
A recent email to members of the Minneapolis LWV highlighted the activities of a partisan group called Minnesota Patriots:
“Minnesota Patriots is a partisan group active in promoting and reinforcing questions and doubts about the security and trustworthiness of our elections. They are well organized, well supported and have become much more active in local elections in recent months. They promote their message to County Boards, challenging local election officials in the conduct and security of local elections.”
According to the email, this group has two objectives:
– To challenge existing election practices to cause changes that will limit access to voting, and;
– To create a level of doubt and questions about the validity of election results.
More details about partisan efforts pushing for changes to election procedures in Minnesota counties may be found here.
We encourage our AAUW members to become Election Judges (see below) and to support the work of the League of Women Voters to ensure fair and free elections.
- League of Women Voters of Minnesota: https://www.lwvmn.org/
7/7/22 Update: Ensuring Fair Elections – Sign up to be an Election Judge!
9/30/22 Update: Consider becoming and Election Judge in future election cycles.
It is interesting work, and you are surrounded by other people who want to ensure fair and free elections. Election judges are needed in every county and large city throughout the state. Without enough election judges, lines at polling places are longer and sometimes the number of polling places are reduced – making it harder for people to vote.
It’s too late to become a Judge for the November 8, 2022, General Election, but not too soon to plan for becoming a Judge for the 2023 and 2024 election cycles. Contact your city or county election official to find out about specific application deadlines for your area next year and beyond.
FAQs on being an election judge
- How do I sign up? You sign up with your city or county. The Secretary of State’s office has a website explaining how to sign up, a mail in application, and links to cities and counties that allow online applications. It is Minnesota Secretary Of State – Become an election judge.
- Who can be an election judge? Anyone eligible to vote may be an election judge. You may be unaligned or a registered member of a political party, but certain duties can only be performed by persons registered with a political party (this is because the presence of 2 judges from different parties is required in certain cases where a voter needs assistance to vote). Certain 16- and 17-year-olds may also apply to be student poll workers.
- Is this paid or volunteer work? You can choose to be paid or to volunteer your time. The pay varies depending on location and whether you will be performing extra duties such as head judge. The base pay for a poll worker in Minneapolis is $17/hour.
- Can I work at the same place I vote? Yes, you can, although there are limits to family members working together. Candidates and their household members may not work in a place where the candidate is on the ballot. Because of lack of local judges in some neighborhoods and the need for judges from different political parties, judges may be asked to work in other precincts in their county or city.
- Will I need to attend training? Yes, you will need to attend a 2–3-hour training session. This is generally paid, unless you are volunteering. Most places offer multiple days and times for training, including nights and weekends.
- How long will I work on election day? Many places allow you to work either a morning (6am to 1 pm) or afternoon (1 pm to 8 pm) shift. However, depending on the number of election judges in the precinct, you may be asked to work the entire day from setup (around 6 am) until after the polls are closed and the counting of ballots and take down of equipment are complete (about 8 or 9 pm).
- What if I work – will I need to use vacation time? No, you cannot be required to take vacation time. Provided you give your employer 20 days’ notice before an election, they must give you paid time off to work as an election judge. The law does allow them to reduce the amount they pay you by the amount you are paid to be an election judge. You can choose to take vacation time and then also retain your election judge pay. The Minnesota Secretary of State website listed above provides more details on this issue.
Whether or not you are able to be an Election Judge, you can defend your own right to vote by VOTING in the November General Election.
To check your own registration status, or to find ways to help friends, neighbors, or family register to vote, visit the MN Secretary of State website.
6/27/22 Update: Preserving Reproductive Rights in Minnesota – taking action now!
The Supreme Court has overturned Roe v Wade and left reproductive rights up to the individual states. This means that the parties that control the legislature and governor’s office will decide whether this state passes laws that ensure that reproductive rights are preserved or restricted or eliminated. To get involved consider supporting the following:
The States Project is a national organization, with a chapter in Minnesota, focusing on state elections because:
”State legislatures drive every issue that impacts your daily life. If we want to move our country past the tyranny of a radical, self-interested minority, the work begins in the states.”
If you want to give money to support work by this group in Minnesota you can join Hold On Minnesota, a States Project Giving Circle started by a group of Twin Cities women. You could also start your own Giving Circle.
Why this is so important now?
As mentioned in an earlier post, abortions are still legal in Minnesota because the Minnesota Supreme Court, in the 1995 case of Doe v Gomez, ruled that the right to privacy under the state constitution extends to abortion, including the decision on whether to have an abortion
However, nothing stops a future state Supreme Court from changing its interpretation of the Minnesota constitution. In addition, a future legislature could pass laws to impose stricter limitations and impose new hurdles to abortions in this state.
All seats in the state legislature, as well as the governor’s office, and two state Supreme court justices are up for election this year.
AAUW National Position on Reproductive Rights
“AAUW believes that everyone can make their own informed choices about their reproductive lives within the dictates of their own personal moral and religious beliefs. Further, we believe that these deeply personal decisions should be made without government interference. Family planning fosters self-sufficiency, promotes preventive health care, and teaches people how to prevent the spread of sexually transmitted infections (STIs).” Read more here.
As regularly as possible during the Legislative Session, we will be posting information on one or two hearings of interest coming up in the following week. We will also continue to update the following links to bills related to elections and bills related to pay equity. If you are interested in tracking other legislation use the “My bills” link under Other resources for taking action.
Take Action on Climate Change
On Tuesday, March 30, 2021, Marilyn Baeker of our Public Policy and Environment Committee led a lively discussion asking “What Can WE Do about Climate Change?” Marilyn solicited ideas, comments, and strategies from those who attended the session by working through several main talking points:
- Eat a Plant Based Diet
- Live Car Free – or Drive Electric
- Avoid Flying
- Buy Green Energy
- Have One (or more) Fewer Children
- Reduce Waste
If you were unable to join the live Zoom, or simply want to refresh your memory of the many good suggestions for action, a recording of the session is available on our Program Videos page.
And a reminder: Any time someone contacts a Senator or Representative to say they support funding for climate change solutions, that’s a good thing.
Other Resources for Taking Action
- Find your Federal and State legislators here.
- Go to https://www.mnvotes.org/ to access comprehensive elections and voting information, including registration and absentee ballots, at the MN Secretary of State website.
- Set up a MyBills account: MyBills allows you to track House and Senate bills in the Minnesota State Legislature by bill number and topic. When you log in, your bills will be listed along with information about recent or upcoming significant action. You must log in to see this information, MyBills does not send email alerts.
- Check on individual bills of interest to you in the Minnesota State Legislature here.
Links to other organizations involved in advocacy:
- The Minnesota Women’s Consortium – now WoMN ACT® (Advocate, Collaborate, Transform): https://www.womnact.org/
- League of Women Voters of Minnesota: https://www.lwvmn.org/
- League of Women Voters 2020 Election Report: https://www.lwv.org/expanding-voter-access/2020-election-impact-report