Your Vote is Your Voice Series explains new laws and procedures and encourages participation

September 4, 2020

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The former and late Supreme Court Justice, Louis Brandeis, once noted, “The most important office, and the one which all of us can and should fill, is that of private citizen.”

Regardless of party affiliation, voting is a constitutional right—one that must be exercised and defended. The United States recently celebrated the centennial of the women’s suffrage movement. While the 19th Amendment was ratified on August 18, 1920, after almost a century of debates and protests, it would take another 40 years to achieve voting equality, including for women of color. This year, Virginia passed several laws to ensure all eligible voters can participate and have their voices heard.

To encourage every eligible community member to vote in this election cycle, as well as in every future local, state, and national election, the Jewish Community Relations Council is providing educational resources and webinars.

On Sunday, August 23, the Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC) of the United Jewish Federation of Tidewater partnered with Virginia’s Jewish communities from the Peninsula, Richmond, and Northern Virginia to discuss Virginia’s voting law changes with Delegate Carrie Coyner (R) and Delegate Marcus Simon (D). A few of the newly passed provisions discussed include no-excuse absentee voting and repealing photo ID requirements. Delegate Coyner and Delegate Simon informed the webinar attendees that the Virginia General Assembly Special Session would raise several new voting laws, including pre-paid postage on absentee ballots and ballot boxes across the state for early voting ballots.

Questions from the attendees poured in as soon as the webinar started alluding to the confusion around current voting procedures and the need for clarification. The Delegates answered all questions and promised Virginia would continue to publish updates and provide resources to ensure every vote in the state is counted. In fact, JCRC has created a voting resource guide to alleviate any outstanding questions and confusion. Go to JewishVA.org/VOTE2020 to learn more.

JCRC Your Vote is Your Voice Series
Wednesday September 30 and Tuesday, October 20, 7:30 pm, via Zoom
September 30: Author Eitan Hersh, a young and dynamic associate professor of Political Science at Tufts University, will discuss his book, Politics Is for Power: How to Move Beyond Political Hobbyism, Take Action, and Make Real Change. Hersh’s book is a groundbreaking analysis of political hobbyism—treating politics like a spectator sport—and an urgent and timely call to arms for the many well-meaning, well-informed citizens who follow political news, but do not take political action.

October 20: New York Times reporter and author, Jennifer Steinhauer wrote The Firsts: The Inside Story of the Women Reshaping Congress, a riveting inside look at the Congresswomen elected during the 2018 midterms. The Firsts delivers fresh details, inside access, historical perspective, and expert analysis as these women—inspiring, controversial, talented, and rebellious—do something surprising: make Congress essential again.

Both Eitan Hersh and Jennifer Steinhauer remind about the importance of exercising each person’s right to vote.

The JCRC’s Your Vote is Your Voice Series is free and open to the community. Visit JewishVA.org for updates and event registration. Contact Megan Zuckerman, director, Jewish Community Relations Council at MZuckerman@ujft.org, with questions.

- Megan Zuckerman

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