These losers are voting

And they hope you aren’t. Vote in this years’ election on November 2nd.

For Marion County voters in Indiana, you can vote early – here’s the info:

Clerk’s Office, 200 E. Washington St., W-122
Begins: Monday, October 4
Ends: Monday, November 1 (at noon)
Weekday Hours: Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.,
Weekend Hours: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sat. & Sun.
They have weekend hours, folks, so no excuses.

If you don’t vote, Susan B. Anthony will cry. You don’t want that, do you?

Also, Alice Paul will picket your house, then have a hunger strike.

Frederick Douglass will deliver a fiery speech from your front porch. It will be awesome, but also embarrassing in front of the neighbors.

Continue ReadingThese losers are voting

90 years of women’s suffrage

90 years ago today, The Nineteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution was ratified, guaranteeing women’s suffrage in the United States of America.

Well done, Sister Suffragettes.

Women have been able to vote throughout the US for less than 100 years. We still have a long way to go before women enjoy true equality. Some Schoolhouse Rock for those of you who grew up in the 1970’s.

transcript of the video

Continue Reading90 years of women’s suffrage

Tactics and Techniques of the National Woman’s Party Suffrage Campaign

suffragetteSomething that caught my eye as I was wandering through the Library of Congress photographs of the women’s movement

Tactics and Techniques of the National Woman’s Party Suffrage Campaign

Founded in 1913 as the Congressional Union for Woman Suffrage (CU), the National Woman’s Party (NWP) was instrumental in raising public awareness of the women’s suffrage campaign. Using a variety of tactics, the party successfully pressured President Woodrow Wilson, members of Congress, and state legislators to support passage of a 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution guaranteeing women nationwide the right to vote. In so doing, the NWP established a legacy defending the exercise of free speech, free assembly, and the right to dissent.

The NWP effectively commanded the attention of politicians and the public through its aggressive agitation, relentless lobbying, clever publicity stunts, and creative examples of civil disobedience and nonviolent confrontation. Its tactics were versatile and imaginative, drawing inspiration from a variety of sources-including the British suffrage campaign, the American labor movement, and the temperance, antislavery, and early women’s rights campaigns in the United States.

Traditional lobbying and petitioning were a mainstay of NWP members, but these activities were supplemented by other more public actions-including parades, pageants, street speaking, and demonstrations. The party eventually realized that it needed to escalate its pressure and adopt even more aggressive tactics. Most important among these was picketing the White House over many months, leading to the arrest and imprisonment of many suffragists.

The willingness of NWP pickets to be arrested, their campaign for recognition as political prisoners rather than as criminals, and their acts of civil disobedience in jail shocked the nation and brought attention and support to their cause. Through constant agitation, the NWP effectively compelled President Wilson to support a federal woman suffrage amendment. Similar pressure on national and state legislators led to the ratification of the 19th Amendment in 1920.

Alice Paul Picketing
Alice Paul Picketing

Alice Paul
Alice Paul
Continue ReadingTactics and Techniques of the National Woman’s Party Suffrage Campaign

House District 97 Vote Recounts

Taking Down Words gives a nice run-down of what’s going on in my district with the “still-up-in-the-air-due-to-polling-screw-ups” race between Mahern and Elrod, who are just 65 votes apart.

Seems that the touch-screen voting stations available at each of the polling places weren’t counted, and the state has just now decided to turn them on and get the votes from them. The touch screens were in place for disabled voters, but were available for use by anyone. Why did someone decide not to count the touch-screen votes? Who knows.
Turns out in some precincts, voters weren’t given a choice and were told to use them. Why? Good question. No one has an answer.

There are over 500 of these machines, and with a difference of just 65 votes between the two candidates, this could mean a lot.

Continue ReadingHouse District 97 Vote Recounts

I voted

First time I’ve voted in the new neighborhood – at the Old Centrum church on 12th and Central. It’s a bit easier to get into and park than the firestation I used to vote at.

Jon Elrod was there, as well as one of Mahern’s nephews, handing out campaign literature. I forgot to wear my Democrats baseball cap today.

Oh, and I should report that I had not trouble voting even though I didn’t update my address on my driver’s license. The poll workers did note that it didn’t matter that my address was different — all that was needed was my picture and name.

Looks like others around the country are not having such luck, however, as compiled by Shakespeare’s Sister…

I voted
I voted
Continue ReadingI voted

Tomorrow is Election Day

Please remember – The polls close at 6 p.m. in Indiana, so vote early! Try to vote before work or at lunch. People often skip voting in mid-term elections, which is unfortunate since they tend to have a much greater impact on your daily life than the national elections. If you don’t know who your candidates are, Vote Smart is always helpful in figuring that out.

Where to vote: Indianapolis has a polling locator website. Unfortunately it seems to prefer Internet Explorer to Firefox, where the form to enter your address into is completely hosed. The screen is better in Safari for the Mac; at least you can enter your info. Way to be accessible, people. Incidentally I’ve noticed lots of the city website is only useable in IE.

If you live in Indianapolis (especially downtown) and are concerned about GLBT issues, here’s a great rundown of the candidates on that issue from Mark St. John of the Indiana Equality PAC. I should clarify I grabbed this information from an email list from our neighborhood where people were asking Mark directly what he thought about candidates, so some of his personal preferences might be included with official positions of IE.

In Marion County the House of Representatives candidates with which IEPAC has been working in support include Susan Fuldauer (D) in House District 88 (running against Representative Brian Bosma), Representative David Orentlicher (D) in House District 86 (running against Kathryn Densborn), and John Barnes (D) in House District 89 (running against Larry Buell). All three – Orentlicher, Fuldauer, and Barnes – have stated positions in opposition to the marriage amendment and in favor of the inclusion of sexual orientation and gender identity in the state’s civil rights laws.

As for House District 97 (which includes most of downtown Indianapolis, including the Old Northside, Chatham Arch, etc.), the candidates are the incumbent, Representative Ed Mahern (D), and the Republican candidate John Elrod. Mahern is a strong supporter of LGBT civil rights issues, and voted in opposition to the proposed marriage amendment. He has a gay brother, and his entire family is highly supportive of the LGBT community. Elrod has stated his opposition to the marriage amendment, although mostly in private, one-on-one conversations. He has put out some pretty nasty mailings during the campaign, twisting around votes made by Mahern regarding illegal immigrants and child abuse so as to make Ed appear to be the Devil incarnate. Just a few minutes ago I received a killer call on behalf of Elrod, stating that Mahern is a career politician who is only worried about taking care of himself. Please be aware that Elrod is an attorney, and serves on the advisory board of Center Township. Elrod is in opposition the proposed consolidation of Marion County fire departments – hence, Elrod is busy protecting his political friends in township government and his own bottom line. For me, the real bottom line – Elrod is a Republican who will vote for Brian Bosma to be Speaker of the Indiana House of Representatives – something that is very dangerous to the future for the LGBT community.
In other races, both prosecutor candidates, Melinda Kennedy (D) and Carl Brizzi (R) have expressed support for hate crimes legislation (to include sexual orientation and gender identity). Melinda appears to be far stronger than Brizzi on domestic violence issues. Brizzi has included sexual orientation (and gender identity, I believe) in his office’s non-discrimination policies. My vote is for Melinda.

In the Senate District 31 race the challenger, Russell Brown (D) has announced his opposition to the marriage amendment and in favor of LGBT civil rights protections. The incumbent, Jim Merritt, voted in favor of the marriage amendment in both 2004 and 2005. Pretty simple choice here.

In Congressional District 7, what can I say? Julia Carson has been with the LGBT community through thick and thin. Her support of the changes to the Indianapolis Human Rights Ordinance were key to the enactment of local protections for the LGBT community. It’s essential that we remember our friends.
Mark St. John

Continue ReadingTomorrow is Election Day

Make Sure You’re Registered to Vote!

In all the recent hullabaloo surrounding the GOP purging voter rolls in Indiana, it turns out that although I returned my postcard with my corrected new address on it promptly, my voter registration was not updated. I talked to at least one other person who discovered that they are no longer registered to vote either after calling the Marion County Election Board Voter Registration. They returned their registration card also, and they didn’t have the additional wrinkle of having moved recently.
Contact Marion County Election Board Voter Registration and make sure you’re registered to vote!!
Do it quickly — you have to be registered by October 10th!
If you’re not in Marion County, you can find your county election board here.

Continue ReadingMake Sure You’re Registered to Vote!

Having Trouble Voting?

Source: Fast Company “Trouble voting? Call or text these 3 resources to report election problems now

Call, text, or visit these resources:

Election Protection – 866 Our Vote
This is a coalition made up of voting-rights and civil-rights groups. Its hotline is 866-OUR-VOTE. USA Today reported earlier that it expects thousands of calls before the day is over. In addition to calling the number, you can also text OUR VOTE to 97779 to report an issue.

This resource from the Pew Charitable Trusts partnered with ProPublica to monitor issues related to voter access. You can report an issue by texting VOTE or VOTA (for Spanish) to 81380. You can also report an issue to this group using WhatsApp or Facebook.

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ).
This is not the most user-friendly interface (few government websites are), but voters can and should report issues to the federal government, especially rights violations. The DOJ has an online form where you can file a complaint if you believe your voting rights have been violated.

Continue ReadingHaving Trouble Voting?

Anti-Women’s Suffrage Buttons

Under the heading of “HOLY CRAP!” :Check out the price on this eBay auction. Now I know that women’s right to vote memorabilia does go for a lot of money, in general, but I’ve never seen anything like this.

UPDATE: since the item is no longer there, more info: the object was a simple lapel button from the early 1900s, and it was an anti-women’s suffrage button. The auction price was over $3,000. Part of this was because some universities were attempting to purchase it for their historical archives.

It’s sort of shocking to read some of the anti-women’s suffrage materials; try to check them out on eBay or on the internet. It’s tough to remember there was a time with this sort of thing was said out loud by people in public.

But when you think about it in the context of today’s issues, specifically gay rights, you start to recognize the same sort of bigotry. I tried to collect some of these items and managed to get a few postcards, but the cost of them is so high on eBay that they were tough to collect.

Continue ReadingAnti-Women’s Suffrage Buttons