How to Reach Graduating High School Seniors

How to Reach Graduating High School Seniors

How to Reach Graduating High School Seniors In the Era of Covid-19 by Pam Maldonado   Serena Cummins and her Senior Check-Out Day committee were hard at work firming up details for one of Voter Service’s annual activities – registering graduating seniors as they pick up their caps and gowns at approximately a dozen Title I schools in Palm Beach County. But then along came the Coronavirus pandemic, which shut down schools and dashed the hopes of graduates who dreamed of walking across the stage to receive their diplomas. The graduates’ disappointment is shared by a large group of League volunteers who look forward to participating in this joyous activity every year. Last year they registered over 800 graduates! It is a very exciting time for our Young Leaguers because all of the students are 18 or older and are immediately eligible to vote. The thought of losing access to

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Inmates Give Rousing Applause to League of Women Voters!

Inmates Give Rousing Applause to League of Women Voters!

The Reason: Our Positive Actions Helping Inmates Regain Their Rights   By Pam Maldonado   On March 12th, I had the pleasure of giving a brief presentation on Amendment 4 for about 175 inmates at the Sago Palm Re-Entry Center in Pahokee. This was my second visit to this prison that houses men who are within three years of completing their sentences. The inmates were thrilled that the League of Women Voters believes in second chances and that people should not be judged only by the worst thing they’ve ever done.   “No one understands the power of the State more than someone who has been through the system,” I said, reinforcing what a previous speaker had said.   Former inmate Wilfred Dorsey had shared the shock of seeing the cover of his pre-sentencing documents stating: “The United States of America vs. Wilfred Dorsey.”  “Boy, that’s heavy!” he said.   We’re proud that The League fought

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Voter Services Targets New Citizens, Graduating Seniors

Voter Services Targets New Citizens, Graduating Seniors

By Pam Maldonado   Marc Bruner’s Naturalization Ceremony voter registration “corps” has really hit their stride with USCIS (U.S. Customs and Immigration Service,) with an outstanding February total of 382 registrations.   For the last few months, they have been averaging four or five USCIS events, netting about 59% of the attendees each time.  The action is frenzied once the new citizens leave the ceremony, requiring 5 volunteers each time to be able to accommodate everyone who wants to register.  It’s all over in about a half-hour.   As we move into election season, the Supervisor of Elections has asked us to cover even more of ceremonies, so we’re looking forward to an outstanding March.   May means High School Senior Check-Out Day (SCOD) season when graduating seniors pick up their caps and gowns.  For the last five years, Leaguers have registered students at these events at more than a

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Voter Services Readies for 2020 Elections

by Pam Maldonado For about a year we have been registering voters at naturalization ceremonies. Recently, Young Leaguer Andrea Trainor was instrumental in bringing in two new volunteers who worked as voter registrars while wearing signs around their necks saying “Hablo Español” and “Pale Créole”. Their assistance helped yield 96 registrations–our best one-day total ever! Thanks to Team Leader Diane Marks for her quick work, too, because we were only scheduled for the morning ceremony. A USCIS staffer caught her by surprise when she asked if they would be back in the afternoon. Ever confident, Diane replied “Yes,” after which she immediately began to burn up her cell phone calling in volunteers. Fortunately, enough volunteers responded to be able to staff the second ceremony. After an otherwise quiet holiday season, Voter Services is gearing up with re-charged batteries for what we expect to be an intense year in 2020. Our

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Push for Voter Registration- article

Groups fan out to churches in push for voter registration By Abraham Mahshie Special to The Post Posted Nov 17, 2019 at 6:42 PM Read the article online at the Palm Beach Post   Volunteers were at five local churches Sunday to register voters and provide checklists for former felons, often called returning citizens, to get their voting rights restored. They also gathered signatures in support of assault weapons ban. WEST PALM BEACH — Before the organist at Tabernacle Missionary Baptist Church had pressed his fingers to the keys Sunday morning, 75 parishioners had signed a ballot initiative calling for an assault weapons ban. Several had registered to vote, and many more learned that their friends and family who had served their time for committing a felony could not be held back by any law or court fees — there was a path to voting again. “If we’re religious folk, forgiveness is part of our

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Operation Green Light

Operation Green Light

OPERATION GREEN LIGHT EX-FELON REGISTRATION By Phyllis Applebaum On Saturday, October 19, the County Clerk’s office opened all four of its courthouse locations for “Operation Green Light”, a massive event aimed at helping those with outstanding court fees or fines and suspended driver’s licenses to get back into compliance.  Offenders benefited from the waiving of collection agency fees – some as high as 40 percent – for those who paid off their court obligations in full or signed up for a monthly payment plan. Snaking around the building, the lines were hours long.  People, some with small children in tow, resigned themselves to spending most of the day there.  But those stalwarts who persevered and completed the process walked away with huge smiles of relief on their faces after having their suspended licenses reinstated.  Many ex-felons (returning citizens) were also there to pay outstanding obligations. Eager to take advantage of

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September Voter Registrations

September Voter Registrations

LEAGUE VOLUNTEERS ROCK SEPTEMBER REGISTRATIONS by Pam Maldonado Tired League volunteers are justifiably happy to see September come to an end! It has been an exciting, but exhausting month of activities, which had teams of voter registrars up at Jupiter High School at 7:00 am on a Monday morning and others at 8:00 pm in Belle Glade on a Friday night, as well as everywhere in between. Constitution Day, celebrated on September 17th, commemorates the signing of the Constitution. A federal mandate requires each educational institution that receives Federal funds to hold educational programs about the Constitution for its students. That means the League is much in demand throughout the County that day each year. Teams spread out among all five campuses of Palm Beach State—Belle Glade, Lake Worth, Loxahatchee Groves, Palm Beach Gardens and Boca Raton, as well as two campuses of Keiser University and Lynn University. Kudos to Nancy

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Constitution Week Voter Registration

Constitution Week Voter Registration

Constitution Week Voter Registration at PBSC Loxahatchee Groves  By Phyllis Applebaum New to Florida and new to the League of Women Voters, I’d never been to Loxahatchee Groves, although the name filled me with curiosity.  Our Team Leader, Nancy Ballen, and I agreed to pick up our third team member, Helen Laurence, at her home, not too far from the college.  We wandered through idyllic horse country, with white picket fences and very green grass, and even saw a couple of early riders sharing the road. Opened in February 2017, Loxahatchee Groves is the fifth and newest campus of Palm Beach State College.  Their website boasts: “The campus is nestled on a beautiful 75-acre site with preserved wetlands, virgin woodlands, and cypress trees.”  They offer an Associate in Arts transfer degree, the first two years of a bachelor’s degree, which guarantees admission to a Florida public university.  Their focus is on

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Voter Services Gearing Up For A Busy Season

Voter Services Gearing Up For A Busy Season

by Pam Maldonado After a quiet summer, Voter Services is preparing for a flurry of activity as the school year starts, highlighted by National Voter Registration Day (NVRD) and Constitution Week activities in local high schools and colleges. Rather than doing registration in all 23 high schools on a single day this year, the League, in coordination with the School District, will be having NVRD events in four or five schools a day, spreading the effort over the week of Sept. 23 – 27.  This will make logistics and staffing much easier than last year. More information on NVRD events and how you can participate will be coming soon, so stay tuned.  Diane Marks is coordinating the event for the League.  You can reach her at:  dimarks@gate.net or 561-752-8311. Starting in mid-September, all five branches of Palm Beach State College and two Keiser University campuses will have Constitution Week events

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Pam Maldonado – Voter Services

Pam Maldonado – Voter Services

Below are videos, images and an article produced by Pam Maldonado.  The images are of events she organized, awards she has won and the video link takes you to interviews with NEW voters sharing their first moments being American Citizens.   ARTICLE: PARTYING AT THE POLLS Voter Services Committee Partied Till They Dropped By Pam Maldonado, Voter Services Chair   Voter Services capped their successful year by celebrating democracy with Parties at the Polls in Belle Glade, Riviera Beach and Greenacres. What’s a Party at the Poll?  It’s an event that awards voters for their effort with topical themes, games, food, election souvenirs and fun, fun, fun. It also creates a fair-like atmosphere so that early voters can tell others to come, vote and enjoy. It highlights the importance of being a voting role model for adults and educates children that voting is a right and an obligation.  Marcia Halpern led the Riviera Beach

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