Democracy Forum 5/15/20: Ranked Choice Voting: How’s It Working in 2020

Host: Ann Luther, League of Women Voters of Maine

We will talk about ranked choice voting (RCV) in the upcoming July and November elections in Maine
RCV developments in other states
The possible effect of a people’s veto and a pending law suit, and more.

Guests:
John Brautigam, senior advisor and counsel to the League of Women Voters of Maine. www.lwvme.org/who
Marc Roberts, Republican Representative in the Utah State Legislature www.robertsmarc.com/

To learn more about this topic:
Maine Republicans seek to repeal ranked-choice voting in presidential elections. Portland Press Herald, February 4, 2020
Maine Voices: Ranked-choice presidential primaries would give boost to moderates, Sandy Maisel Op-ed in the Portland Press Herald, March 3, 2020
Portland voters approve expansion of ranked-choice voting, Bangor Daily News, March 3, 2020
Ranked-choice voting backers file suit seeking to block Maine GOP people’s veto effort Bangor Daily News, April 16, 2020

Pre-recorded on 5/13/2020 using Zoom technology.

The mostly-volunteer team at the League of Women Voters – Downeast who plan and coordinate this series includes: Kirk Earl, Starr Gilmartin, Maggie Harling, Ann Luther, Maryann Ogonowski, Pam Person. Leah Taylor, Linda Washburn

FMI re League of Women Voters of Maine: www.lwvme.org

About the host:
Ann currently serves as Treasurer of the League of Women Voters of Maine and leads the LWVME Advocacy Team. She served as President of LWVME from 2003 to 2007 and as co-president from 2007-2009. In her work for the League, Ann has worked for greater public understanding of public policy issues and for the League’s priority issues in Clean Elections & Campaign Finance Reform, Voting Rights, Ethics in Government, Ranked Choice Voting, and Repeal of Term Limits. Representing LWVME at Maine Citizens for Clean Elections, she served that coalition as co-president from 2006 to 2011. She remains on the board of MCCE and serves as Treasurer. She is active in the LWV-Downeast and hosts their monthly radio show, The Democracy Forum, on WERU FM Community Radio -which started out in 2004 as an recurring special, and became a regular monthly program in 2012. She was the 2013 recipient of the Baldwin Award from the ACLU of Maine for her work on voting rights and elections. She joined the League in 1998 when she retired as Senior Vice President at SEI Investments. Ann was a founder of the MDI Restorative Justice Program, 1999 – 2000, and served on its Executive Board.

Democracy Forum 4/17/20: Voting in a Pandemic: The Upcoming Primary Election in Maine

Host: Ann Luther, League of Women Voters of Maine

Prerecorded April 15, 2020 using ZOOM meeting technology hosted by LWVME

We will talk about how the continuing COVID-19 emergency might change voting procedures in Maine’s upcoming primary election
What steps are being taken to protect the election, election workers, and the voting public.
What voters can do now to prepare

Guests:
Alison Beyea, Executive Director, ACLU Maine
Matthew Dunlap, Maine Secretary of State

To learn more about this topic:

Our View: COVID-19 will change Maine Election Day traditions, Portland Press Herald editorial, April 5, 2020.
A Primary? In a Pandemic?, The Atlantic, March, 2020
Voting in the time of the coronavirus, Sue Halperin, The New Yorker, March, 2020
‘It’s Madness.’ Wisconsin’s Election Amid Coronavirus Sparks Anger, NPR, April, 2020
“The Lessons of the Election of 1918,” New York Times, March, 2020

The all-volunteer team at the League of Women Voters – Downeast who plan and coordinate this series includes: Starr Gilmartin, Maggie Harling, Ann Luther, Maryann Ogonowski, Pam Person, Leah Taylor, Linda Washburn

FMI re League of Women Voters of Maine: www.lwvme.org

About the host:
Ann currently serves as Treasurer of the League of Women Voters of Maine and leads the LWVME Advocacy Team. She served as President of LWVME from 2003 to 2007 and as co-president from 2007-2009. In her work for the League, Ann has worked for greater public understanding of public policy issues and for the League’s priority issues in Clean Elections & Campaign Finance Reform, Voting Rights, Ethics in Government, Ranked Choice Voting, and Repeal of Term Limits. Representing LWVME at Maine Citizens for Clean Elections, she served that coalition as co-president from 2006 to 2011. She remains on the board of MCCE and serves as Treasurer. She is active in the LWV-Downeast and hosts their monthly radio show, The Democracy Forum, on WERU FM Community Radio -which started out in 2004 as an recurring special, and became a regular monthly program in 2012. She was the 2013 recipient of the Baldwin Award from the ACLU of Maine for her work on voting rights and elections. She joined the League in 1998 when she retired as Senior Vice President at SEI Investments. Ann was a founder of the MDI Restorative Justice Program, 1999 – 2000, and served on its Executive Board.

Democracy Forum 2/21/20: Super Tuesday Comes to Maine March 3

Host: Ann Luther, League of Women Voters of Maine
Engineer: Amy Browne

-How is the presidential primary going to work,
-How will delegates to national conventions be apportioned and selected,
-What role will municipal caucuses continue to play,
-What will be the differences among the parties.

Guests:
Kenneth Palmer, Professor Emeritus of Political Science at the University of Maine
Lisa Roberts, Executive Director of the Maine Democratic Party
Richard Rosen,, former Republican State Legislator and former Commissioner of the Maine State Department of Administrative and Financial Services

To learn more about this topic:
The Primary Versus the Caucus,” PBS Newshour, 2003
Primaries v caucuses: a handy primer,” Harry J Enten in The Guardian, 2012.
League of Women Voters of Maine, “Study Guide on Primary Elections,” 2018.
Maine switched to a presidential primary in 2020. Here’s why parties are still caucusing,” Bangor Daily News, February 9, 2020.
The U.S. Presidential Nominating Process,” The Council on Foreign Relations, January, 2020.
What to Know About the Iowa Caucuses, Pew Research Center, January, 2020
Primary Politics: Everything You Need to Know about How America Nominates Its Presidential Candidates 4th Edition, Elaine C. Kamarck, Brookings Institution Press, November, 2018

The all-volunteer team at the League of Women Voters – Downeast who plan and coordinate this series includes: Starr Gilmartin, Maggie Harling, Ann Luther, Maryann Ogonowski, Pam Person, Leah Taylor, Linda Washburn

FMI re League of Women Voters of Maine: www.lwvme.org

About the host:
Ann currently serves as Treasurer of the League of Women Voters of Maine and leads the LWVME Advocacy Team. She served as President of LWVME from 2003 to 2007 and as co-president from 2007-2009. In her work for the League, Ann has worked for greater public understanding of public policy issues and for the League’s priority issues in Clean Elections & Campaign Finance Reform, Voting Rights, Ethics in Government, Ranked Choice Voting, and Repeal of Term Limits. Representing LWVME at Maine Citizens for Clean Elections, she served that coalition as co-president from 2006 to 2011. She remains on the board of MCCE and serves as Treasurer. She is active in the LWV-Downeast and hosts their monthly radio show, The Democracy Forum, on WERU FM Community Radio -which started out in 2004 as an recurring special, and became a regular monthly program in 2012. She was the 2013 recipient of the Baldwin Award from the ACLU of Maine for her work on voting rights and elections. She joined the League in 1998 when she retired as Senior Vice President at SEI Investments. Ann was a founder of the MDI Restorative Justice Program, 1999 – 2000, and served on its Executive Board.

Democracy Forum 1/17/20 Census 2020: Everyone Counts

Host: Ann Luther, League of Women Voters of Maine
Engineer: Amy Browne

We talk about the upcoming decennial census
How it’s going to work
Problems on the horizon
The consequences for Maine and the nation.

Guests:
Margo Anderson, Distinguished Professor Emerits of History and Urban Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, author of the book, The American Census: A Social History
Matt Dunlap, Maine’s 49th Secretary of State, now serving his fourth consecutive term and seventh term overall. He also Chairs of the State’s Complete Count Committee.

To learn more about this topic:
The American Census: A Social History“, by Margo J. Anderson 2015.
The 2020 Census may be wildly inaccurate–and it matters more than you think,” Robert Shapiro for the Brookings Institution, August, 2017
Special Report: 2020 U.S. census plagued by hacking threats, cost overruns,” Nick Brown for Reuters, December, 2019

The all-volunteer team at the League of Women Voters – Downeast who plan and coordinate this series includes: Starr Gilmartin, Maggie Harling, Ann Luther, Maryann Ogonowski, Pam Person, Leah Taylor, Linda Washburn

FMI re League of Women Voters of Maine: www.lwvme.org

About the host:
Ann currently serves as Treasurer of the League of Women Voters of Maine and leads the LWVME Advocacy Team. She served as President of LWVME from 2003 to 2007 and as co-president from 2007-2009. In her work for the League, Ann has worked for greater public understanding of public policy issues and for the League’s priority issues in Clean Elections & Campaign Finance Reform, Voting Rights, Ethics in Government, Ranked Choice Voting, and Repeal of Term Limits. Representing LWVME at Maine Citizens for Clean Elections, she served that coalition as co-president from 2006 to 2011. She remains on the board of MCCE and serves as Treasurer. She is active in the LWV-Downeast and hosts their monthly radio show, The Democracy Forum, on WERU FM Community Radio -which started out in 2004 as an recurring special, and became a regular monthly program in 2012. She was the 2013 recipient of the Baldwin Award from the ACLU of Maine for her work on voting rights and elections. She joined the League in 1998 when she retired as Senior Vice President at SEI Investments. Ann was a founder of the MDI Restorative Justice Program, 1999 – 2000, and served on its Executive Board.

Democracy Forum 11/15/19 “Is government doing good: policy feedback effects and the civic divide”

Host: Ann Luther, League of Women Voters of Maine
Engineer: Amy Browne

Key Discussion Points:
We’ll talk about new political science research into policy feedback effects
How public policy design affects people’s sense of themselves as citizens and their propensity to participate.
What this means for legislators and advocates

Guests:
Amy Fried, Professor and Chair of the Department of Political Science at the University of Maine. umaine.edu/polisci/faculty-and-staff/amy-fried/
Don Moynihan, McCourt Chair at the McCourt School of Public Policy at Georgetown University. gufaculty360.georgetown.edu/s/contact/0033600001i3sNRAAY/donald-moynihan

To learn more about this topic:
Administrative Burden: Policymaking by Other Means, Pamela Herd and Donald P. Moynihan, December 2018
Citizens feel disconnected from government. If they knew what government did for them, they wouldn’t.” Interview with Susan Mettler, Washington Post, November 2018
Reforms at Risk: What Happens After Major Policy Changes Are Enacted , Eric M. Patashnik, 2009

The all-volunteer team at the League of Women Voters – Downeast who plan and coordinate this series includes: Starr Gilmartin, Maggie Harling, Ann Luther, Maryann Ogonowski, Pam Person, Leah Taylor, Linda Washburn

FMI re League of Women Voters of Maine: www.lwvme.org

Democracy Forum 10/18/19: Hate and Fear in Politics: How fear and Anger Endanger Democracy

Host: Ann Luther, League of Women Voters of Maine
Engineer: Amy Browne

Program Topic: Hate and Fear in Politics: How fear and anger endanger democracy

Key Discussion Points:

We talk about hate and fear in politics and whether they undermine democracy:
How panic and fear make space for abandoning the rule of law and the regular order;
How when we demonize the opposition, it makes room for extraordinary measures to stop them.

Guests:
Joanne Freeman, Professor of history and American studies at Yale University history.yale.edu/people/joanne-freeman
Steve Wessler, Maine human rights educator, trainer, and advocate specializing in conflict resolution www.stevewessler.com/

To learn more about this topic:
Trump and the Politics of Fear,” Molly Ball in The Atlantic, September, 2016.
America Descends into the Politics of Rage,” Joanne Freeman in The Atlantic, October, 2018.
The Upside of Anger,” Isaac Chotiner interviews Martha C. Nussbaum for Slate, August, 2018

The all-volunteer team at the League of Women Voters – Downeast who plan and coordinate this series includes: Starr Gilmartin, Maggie Harling, Ann Luther, Maryann Ogonowski, Pam Person, Leah Taylor, Linda Washburn

FMI re League of Women Voters of Maine: www.lwvme.org

Democracy Forum 9/20/19: Black, White, and Blue Lies: Lies that divide, lies that unite

Host: Ann Luther, League of Women Voters of Maine
Engineer: Amy Browne

We talk about the lies in politics and the politics of lying, Historical examples, and current practice.
How is the present moment in American politics different from others in our history? Or is it?
What are the consequences for democracy?

Guests:
Dallas G. Denery II, Professor of History at Bowdoin College. www.bowdoin.edu/profiles/faculty/ddenery/index.html
Nancy L. Rosenblum, the Harvard University Senator Joseph Clark Professor of Ethics in Politics and Government emerita scholar.harvard.edu/nrosenblum/home

To learn more about this topic:
How the Science of “Blue Lies” May Explain Trump’s Support,” guest blog at the Scientific American by Jeremy Adam Smith, March 2017.
Trump’s lies corrode democracy,” James Pfiffner for Brookings, April 2018.
A Behavioral Science Solution to Lies in Politics,” blogpost at Psychology Today by Gleb Tsipursky, June 2017.
Conspiracy Without the Theory,” by Russell Muirhead and Nancy L. Rosenblum in The Atlantic,
April, 2019.

The all-volunteer team at the League of Women Voters – Downeast who plan and coordinate this series includes: Starr Gilmartin, Maggie Harling, Ann Luther, Maryann Ogonowski, Pam Person, Leah Taylor, Linda Washburn

FMI re League of Women Voters of Maine: www.lwvme.org.

Democracy Forum 7/19/19: Town Government: Take 2. Listeners have spoken!

Host: Ann Luther, League of Women Voters of Maine
Engineer: Amy Browne

This month, back by popular demand, we’ll talk more about practicing politics and democracy at the most personal level, in local government.
What are the characteristics of the towns that have the most civic participation?
How can community members help create a culture of inclusion and civic engagement in their own towns?
What can go right; and what can go wrong?

Guests:
Susan Clark, is coauthor of Slow Democracy: Rediscovering Community, Bringing Decision Making Back Home. She serves as Town Moderator of Middlesex, Vermont.
Dick Thompson, an experienced moderator for the Towns of Palermo, China, Vassalboro, and others, Dick conducts moderator training for the Maine Municipal Association.

To learn more about this topic:
Slow Democracy: Rediscovering Community, Bringing Decision Making Back Home, Susan Clark and Woden Teachout, 2012.
Citizen’s Guide to Town Meeting, Maine Municipal Association.
For the People, by the People: What I saw when I participated in one of the truest forms of democracy, Amy Crawford in Slate May, 2013.
Americans Aren’t Practicing Democracy Anymore: As participation in civic life has dwindled, so has public faith in the country’s system of government, Yoni Applebaum in The Atlantic October, 2018.
We all should care more about local elections, editorial in the Bangor Daily News, July 6, 2019.
I’ll take the problems of local politics over the Washington chaos any day, Roger Bowen op-ed in the BDN, May 21, 2018.

More citizen education from the Maine Municipal Association here and tips on how to get involved in local government here.

The all-volunteer team at the League of Women Voters – Downeast who plan and coordinate this series includes: Starr Gilmartin, Maggie Harling, Ann Luther, Maryann Ogonowski, Pam Person, Leah Taylor, Linda Washburn

FMI re League of Women Voters of Maine: www.lwvme.org