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Unauthorized Immigration: The Case for Earned Legalization

by Patricia Hatch and Katherine Fennelly
As a result of the LWVUS Immigration Study, the League supports a path to earned legalization as part of comprehensive immigration reform. This essay highlights reasons why creating a pathway to legal status for unauthorized immigrants already in the U.S. would be preferable to mass deportations for both the immigrant families and their U.S. citizen neighbors.

Election Day Reality: No Registration = No Vote (in most states)

by Shirley Tabata Ponomareff and Jeanette Senecal
In 2004, 2000 and 1996, 27.9 percent, 30.5 percent and 29.1 percent of eligible voters were not registered to vote. If these eligible voters were registered to vote, would they turn out to vote at the 80–90 percent rate at which registered voters did go to the polls in the past three presidential elections? They probably would. This means 44–49 million more people would have voted in 2004. Let’s get them registered in 2008! This article contains tips for organizing League-sponsored voter registration drives.

Federal Health Coverage Programs: Building Blocks for Coverage of the Uninsured

by Diane Rowland and Adele Shartzer
As the 2008 presidential election year opened, health care reform ranked just below Iraq as a public priority. Filling the gaps in coverage that leave millions uninsured, constraining rising health care costs, and improving the quality of care are the goals of reform efforts. In 2006, 47 million Americans lacked health insurance coverage. This article reviews the role of public programs as building blocks for coverage of the diverse group of people that are uninsured.

A Fair, Impartial and Independent Judiciary

by Justice Sandra Day O'Connor
In her essay, Justice Sandra Day O’Connor shares her thoughts on the importance of a fair, impartial and independent judiciary at the national, state and local levels. She notes that close to 98 percent of the litigation in this country takes place in state courts, and most states select or retain their judges through partisan or non-partisan elections. Furthermore, in many states, judicial elections have turned into expensive, partisan political campaigns. The upcoming 2008 elections of state supreme court judges in several states is of grave concern in this regard. Justice O’Connor admits that it will not be easy to change the systems in those states where judges are elected, but she offers some steps that might be taken to improve the systems.


Compliance with the NVRA: Not Optional

by Michael Slater
The National Voter Registration Act (NVRA) requires states to offer voter registration opportunities at public assistance agencies. Voter registrations at such agencies numbered 2.6 million in l995–96 when the Act was first implemented; the number has dwindled to 528,000 in 2005–06. One simple reason for this drop: A majority of states are failing to comply with the law. Compliance with the NVRA could help up to 2.5 million additional low-income Americans register to vote.


There is No Free Lunch: But There Are Cost-Effective Solutions

by Pamela W. Person
Following on our cover story on climate change, this article from the LWVUS Climate Change Taskforce focuses on greenhouse gases (GHG) that are affecting the changes in our climate. It presents nine basic energy concepts and key strategies for reduction of GHG emissions, using technology that is commercially available today and projected to be available by 2030.

The Heat is On: Climate Change and Emerging Policies

by Robin Tokmakian
This article from the LWVUS Climate Change Taskforce defines climate change, reviews international as well as U.S. federal and state responses to this global issue, and takes a look at what’s ahead.

Voter Fraud?

by Michael Slater
Taking a hard look at the politics of voter fraud, this article provides evidence that we are the victims of an organized effort to persuade us that voter fraud is a serious problem. We are advised to ask some tough questions. What’s the evidence? Who’s making the claim? What’s their agenda?

The Race for the White House

by Anthony Corrado
Experts are predicting a $1 billion 2008 presidential race; the total cost could end up being almost double the $760 million spent by all 2004 candidates. What’s causing this surge in campaign fundraising? Is there a solution to this money race?

Election Day Front Line: Poll Workers

by Jeanette Senecal
Well-managed polling places and well-trained poll workers are vital on Election Day and in the early voting process in many states. In 2006, despite millions of dollars spent on improving election administration, polling places continued to struggle with problems, and voters suffered the consequences. What can we do to help improve poll worker recruitment and training?