Updated: Feb 7, 2021
At our local level, supported by the State and National League resources, members Jean Cowan, Marilyn Podesta, Judy Bowman, Georgia Roelof, and our publicity Chair, Patti Littlehales, worked behind the scenes to inform voters and get out the vote. This is our story.
In August, with pandemic precautions in place, we found ourselves again limited to virtual candidate forums and various media ads. Jean and Judy began targeting contested races, with Jean drafting letters to candidates inviting their submission of short statements and videos. Marilyn worked with County Clerk Dana Jenkins to ensure availability of voter registration forms and ballot drop boxes, among other issues, and Marta began designing graphics for Facebook posts illustrating Marilyn’s get-out-the-vote tips. Judy created a You Tube channel for our posts and candidate videos, in addition to posting on Facebook, for maximum exposure. Georgia and Patti provided press releases and worked with media partners; Marta and Judy participated in LWVOR voter service meetings to coordinate with state and other local chapters and access those resources.
LWVLC decided to cover the following contested races: State Legislature: Senate Dist. 5; House Dist. 9; and House Dist. 10. Countywide contested: County Commissioner; Circuit Court Judge; Central Lincoln PUD board; and all contested city races, both Mayor and City Council (29 candidates). In lieu of public forums, candidates were asked to provide two self-made videos: a 30 second introduction for posting to the LWV Lincoln County Facebook page, and an up to 10-minute video for YouTube. Of a total of 42 invitations sent, only 12 individuals did not respond. Throughout August, September and October, Judy spent eons posting over 20 candidate videos, which were viewed by hundreds of voters.
We ordered 200 Voters’ Guides from State, including 50 in Spanish, which were distributed by Georgia and Marilyn at senior residences, Centro d’Ayuda and a few other locations. Members also authored articles, wrote letters to the Editor, and did informal community outreach. Marta’s graphics spotlighted the League’s VOTE411.org, Oregon Votes, the Secretary of State’s Election site, and local registration and election information. Ads appeared on Facebook, News Guard-Lincoln City, News Lincoln County, Newport News-Times, and local radio.
Member Alice Vachss, working independently with The Disability Without Abuse Project, also set up a Zoom Candidate’s Forum event on Facebook which allowed attendees to ask chat questions of participants in real time. That format is a goal for future elections, even to supplement Live forums when those are again feasible.
Hope your candidates prevailed: one, our own Oregon Representative David Gomberg, will be featured at the December 10 Holiday Zoom; look for your invite!