Oct. 28-Nov. 3, 2008
Vote two ways in seven days
In the next seven days, you’ll have two chances to make a huge difference.
First is the election. Vote early until this Thursday, Oct. 30. Or vote on Election Day, Nov. 4. Scroll down to What's Missing for detailed resources and information.
This Friday, Oct. 31, cast your vote for Chicago’s women and girls by coming to our 23rd Annual Luncheon and Symposium. You can still register online for the free morning symposium and still buy tickets for the luncheon. Learn about art and social justice, hear Denyce Graves talk about her role in “Margaret Garner”—and connect with our grantees’ stories. Register now: Space is going fast and you don’t want to miss this event.
Spotlight on Margaret Garner
Although the tragic story of Margaret Garner’s experience with violence occurred more than 150 years ago, it presents the all-too-familiar scene of a woman being victimized. The fight to end violence against women continues today. That is why our stars are the organizers of the Be Bold Be Red campaign. They make visible the struggle of women of color against violence and ask us all to take a bold stance by wearing red this Thurs., Oct. 30.
How you can get involved:
1. Un-silence the epidemic of violence against women of color. Share your experiences at the Be Bold Be Red campaign website.
2. Watch the campaign's new video, “How Do You Keep a Social Movement Alive: Why We Can’t Wait”
3. Get connected with other anti-violence activists through CyberQuilting, a women of color-led project.
4. Learn more ways that art and social justice are connected at our free symposium this Fri., Oct. 31 at McCormick Place – register online.
To learn more about Margaret Garner, read a synopsis of the opera Toni Morrison based on Garner's life.
More than 30 million women of color are registered voters, but many do not go to the polls. Among women registered in 2004, 70 percent of Asian Americans, 69 percent of Latinas and 40 percent of African Americans did not vote, says Mable F. Yee. She is founder and CEO of EngageHer.org, “a new online organization focused on educating and activating women, minorities and communities on leadership, educational and voting initiatives,” and she wrote an article for the Women’s Media Center on the reasons—cultural, social and political—that women of color may not be voting.
The Congressional Quarterly’s non-partisan “Notes, Votes and Quotes” analyzes Obama and McCain on ten key issues, using their platforms, voting records and public statements. Go to "Notes, Votes and Quote." Chicago Foundation for Women provides this information for educational purposes only.
Voter Education Edition
“As women, every right we’ve ever gotten in this country, we’ve had to fight for,” said Ramona Gupta. This is one reason she does voter outreach with the South Asian Progressive Action Collective, or SAPAC—and why she emails voting resources to all her friends before local and national elections. “As I started collecting info and registering voters, I learned how common these questions are,” Gupta says. Read some of her Illinois tips below.
What are we voting for on Nov. 4 in Illinois?
• U.S. President and Vice President
• U.S. Senator
• U.S. House of Representatives (all districts)
• State Senators (Districts 2, 3, 5, 6, 8, 9, 11, 12, 14, 15, 17, 18)
• State Representatives (all districts)
• Cook County State's Attorney, Circuit Court Clerk and Recorder of Deeds
• Judges at all levels of the state judicial system
• Board of Review (two districts, Cook County suburbs only)
• Metropolitan Water Reclamation District Commissioners
• Retention of judges
• Sanitary District Commissioners/Trustees (Cook County suburbs only)
• Various statewide, countywide and local referenda questions
What will my ballot look like? Where do I go to vote?
Gupta says, “Remember that you can print out your ballot, mark it up with your voting preferences, and take it into the voting booth with you. You do not have to vote on memory alone!” See your exact ballot and your polling place for the City of Chicago or suburban Cook County. For collar counties, follow these links to Kane, McHenry, DuPage, Lake and Will. In other parts of Illinois, find links to your local election authorities.
What is early voting and where/when can I do it?
Vote early until Thurs., Oct. 30. You don’t need a reason or excuse, but you do need a photo ID. You will use a touch-screen machine. “It's great for people who have busy schedules or are planning to help with the elections on Election Day,” Gupta says. Find early voting sites in Chicago, Cook County suburbs (PDF) and other parts of Illinois.
How do I get an absentee ballot?
“Unlike Early Voting, you must have a reason to request an absentee ballot. The most common reasons are that you will be out of town, hospitalized, serving on a jury, or in the military on Election Day,” according to Gupta. Thurs., Oct. 30 is the deadline to request an absentee ballot in Illinois. Find instructions on requesting an absentee ballot in Chicago, Cook County suburbs
and other parts of Illinois (PDF).
How do I learn about the judges up for retention or election?
“Voting for judges is important. It’s a big part of your ballot, but it doesn't take a lot of extra work to figure out which ones to support,” Gupta says. According to Cook County resource VoteForJudges.org, judicial elections are often won by fewer than 100 votes. See their non-partisan voting guide for judges in Cook County. For judicial elections elsewhere in Illinois, choose your county from this Illinois map.
What's the Constitutional Convention, and how do I know if I support it?
Every 20 years, Illinois voters get to decide whether they want to hold a constitutional convention, or “con-con,” to amend the Illinois Constitution. It will appear on our ballots this year. Learn more about the "con-con" here, or see what a Google search for “Illinois Constitutional Convention” turns up.
How do I use the touch-screen machines?
“For the general election, both optical-scan ballots and touch screens will be used,” Gupta says. Instructions on using both types of machine are at the Cook County Clerk's webpage.
What if I show up and they tell me I can't vote?
If you believe you are registered to vote and are at the correct polling place, ask for a “provisional ballot.” The election judges must provide you with one; they cannot turn you away. Take these numbers to the poll:
Gupta says, “Don't be shy about this. You know from previous elections and even reports from this year that people tamper with elections. You have every right to cast your ballot without interference or intimidation. And you have every right to tell your election authority to get their butts out to your polling place if anyone gives you trouble.”
I heard I can’t wear T-shirts or buttons supporting a candidate when I vote. Is this true?
Yes. It’s considered electioneering. You may be asked to turn a shirt inside-out or put a jacket on over it. We recommend that you save your swag on candidates or referenda for your post-voting party.
Voters’ Bill of Rights
1. Cast your ballot in a non-disruptive atmosphere free of interference.
2. Vote if you’re in line by 7 p.m. on Nov. 4. [If voting early, you must be in line by the time polls close that day.]
3. Vote by provisional ballot if your registration is not found.
4. Vote a full ballot at your old polling place if you have moved within 30 days of the election.
5. Request voting assistance, if needed [including disability access and language assistance].
6. Bring newspaper endorsements or sample ballots into the voting booth.
7. Protect the secrecy of your ballot.
8. Receive a new ballot if you make a mistake or change your mind.
9. Review your ballot to ensure it’s complete and correct.
10. Have your ballot counted fairly and impartially.
This is also available in Spanish (PDF) and Chinese (PDF). For Korean resources (PDF, in Korean and English), read this from the National Korean American Service and Education Consortium.
If you have other questions, Ramona Gupta has generously offered to answer them. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line “Tuesday Blast voter.”
Job openings: We are still accepting applications from people interested in becoming our Jessica Eve Patt Internship and our Grants Manager. Read the job descriptions (in PDF format) and send all inquiries to the contact information enclosed.
Read more at our Press Room and our Past Events at cfw.org.
Announcement: Share stories of barriers to abortion access
Tell your story (PDF) and help us celebrate the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark Roe v Wade decision. On Jan. 21, 2009, Chicago Foundation for Women and the “Our Voices, Our Choices” coalition are hosting an event to hear the personal stories of women who encountered barriers trying to access abortion information and services—told by the women themselves and by those who have shared the stories. A moderated discussion involving the audience will follow the monologues. The evening event (time to be announced) will be at the Center on Halsted, 3656 N. Halsted St. in Chicago. To share your story and possibly be included in the event, respond to the coalition’s Call for Submissions by Fri., Nov. 14. Download the Call for Submissions (PDF) and please distribute it widely.
Find more advocacy opportunities at our Online Action Center.
Our website calendar lists all our programs, events and cosponsorships.
In the spotlight
NOV. 7 (Fri.): "Jarred: A Hoodoo Comedy" by Teatro Luna (fundraiser for the
Latina Leadership Council), 7:30-9:30 p.m.
NOV. 12 (Wed.): Celebrity Bartending with the Lesbian Leadership Council, 6-8 p.m.
NOV. 13 (Thurs.): Grantees: Creating an Evaluation Plan for Your Organization,
9 a.m.-12 p.m. (please note time change)
NOV. 20 (Thurs.): Grantees: Executive Director Roundtable: Creating an
Organizational Communications Plan, 12-1:30 p.m.
NOV. 20 (Thurs.): Queer Funding Strategies for Women-Led Organizations and
Women Leaders (second in Lesbian Leadership Council series), 6-8 p.m.
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