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LWV

Preparing for stepping up its activity as this November’s election approaches, the Falls Church chapter of the League of Women Voters welcomed Nancy Tate, the executive director at the League’s U.S. headquarters in Washington, D.C., to speak at its monthly meeting last week.

The local chapter, though all volunteer efforts, is playing a major role in the organization of another round of the “Deliberation Day” activity in Falls Church. Involves two opportunities for citizens to mull issues around the prospective new City Center Redevelopment, one on the evening of Thursday, Oct. 25 and the other on Saturday afternoon, Oct. 27.

The League chapter is also preparing a comprehensive Voter Guide that will be published in the Nov. 1 edition of the Falls Church News-Press. That effort, spearheaded by Bev Raush, involved devising and commandeering the delivery and receipt of questions to all the candidates appearing on the City of Falls Church ballot, as well as the preparing and layout of the guide, itself.

The organization’s annual fundraiser will be held in early December, and it is involved in the preparation of a major report on the issues surrounding the contentious immigration debate that will be presented at a public meeting.

Tate provided a comprehensive overview of the activities of the League’s U.S. organization, with its 30-person staff, as well as its 800 local and 50 state chapters. Voter outreach and education are at the core of League efforts, along with promoting global exchange programs to promote democratic institutions. It spearheads voter registration efforts and sponsors even-handed candidate debates.

Among its most effective programs now is its on-line presence, including providing information for anyone in the U.S. on where to find a polling place. On election day last November, Tate said, there were an average of 1,000 “hits” per second on the League’s web site.

The two parties have different concerns about elections, she noted, one being more concerned about fraud and the other about access. An issue for Virginia, she noted, was seeing that “motor voter” registration laws are actually implemented.