Established 1826 — Oldest College Newspaper West of the Alleghenies

Oxford’s chapter of the League of Women Voters prepares for a busy election season

For Oxford’s chapter of the League of Women Voters (LWV), the weeks leading up to Ohio’s primary on March 19, have been busy.

“One of the primary things that we do for any election is educate voters,” Kathie Brinkman, the communications director for Oxford’s chapter, said. “We publicize the information that comes from the Secretary of State's office and the Board of Elections for voting dates.” 

On March 13, Oxford’s LWV held one of its last events before the March primary. Dr. Thomas Poetter, a professor at Miami University in the Department of Educational Leadership, hosted a lecture about how recent Ohio legislation has made it easier for private schools to receive funding from the state.

Poetter also talked about how more Ohio families qualify to receive a voucher to attend these schools under the new program. The lecture is part of a series of talks that the LWV hosts about causes they’re passionate about.

“[The LWV] takes positions on various topics like the environment and education,” Brinkman said, “[as well as] general positions [such as] having a healthy environment or sustainable schools.”

In addition to these events, Oxford’s LWV is focusing on its petition, “Citizens not Politicians,” which aims to put a ballot initiative to end gerrymandering in Ohio on the November election ballot.

Mollie Duffy, a third year public administration and organizational leadership student and a student member of Oxford’s LWV, said that getting the required amount of signatures for the petition is the league’s primary goal for the March primary.

“The League is doing petition circulation at the polls on election days,” Duffy said. “They'll have members or volunteers stationed outside of Kramer Elementary and Talawanda Middle and High School … they’ll be collecting signatures for the ballot initiative.”

While Oxford’s LWV has been busy preparing for Ohio’s March primary, the general election in November is where a lot of the LWV’s focus is being placed.

Elizabeth Wardle, the director of the Howe Writing Center and co-president for voter services, is working on creating a voter guide for members of the community.

“Every year, I help put together the voter information guide, which is then published in the Hamilton Journal,” Wardle said. “But, we are not producing a voter guide for the primary.”

The voter guide is a compilation of answers from candidates running for office in response to questions that the League of Women Voters sends to them. It also includes information about voting registration, important election deadlines and summaries of issues that may be on the ballot.

Enjoy what you're reading?
Signup for our newsletter

“We send the same set of questions out to each candidate,” Brinkman said. “It doesn't matter what party they are, the questions are the questions. We are completely nonpartisan. We're just trying to get information out to voters.”

In addition to creating the Voter Information Guide, Wardle is doing a slew of other activities in preparation for the November election.

“Last year, we did an Action for Democracy event,” Wardle said. “There were different stations and people could register to vote, learn what’s on the ballot, learn how to write op-eds, learn how to call their representatives, among other things. We will probably do that again this year.”

Although Oxford’s LWV is placing a lot of emphasis on activities and events for the November election, their main focus is always to help people learn more about elections, and to help the community in any way they can.

“[The League's] impacts are definitely felt everywhere,” Duffy said. “They are constantly present at uptown events. Registering voters, co-hosting community events and they’ll even go on campus for events sometime too. It's really cool seeing how this group has impacted our education and how we perceive things.”