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LWV prepares for upcoming election

By Megan Wehring 

HAYS COUNTY – The League of Women Voters of Hays County is gearing up for the upcoming election season. 

“This year, we are going to focus on ensuring that every person who lives in Hays County and is eligible to vote has the opportunity to vote,” said Mary Earls, Board President of the LWV of Hays County. “We have found over the last couple of years that there is a need to educate our community so that is one of our biggest focuses this year – to educate and inform Hays County residents about the importance of voting.”

The National League was founded in Chicago in 1920 – six months before the 19th Amendment was ratified and women won the vote. The League was formed by the suffragists of the National American Woman Suffrage Association; it started as a “mighty political experiment” to help 20 million women carry out their responsibilities as voters. 

The Hays County League is a “nonpartisan, grassroots civic organization” that encourages informed and active participation in government, works to increase understanding of major public policy issues and more. Membership is open to people 16 years and older, of all gender identities. 

Earls said the League intends to go into rural and other areas where residents are not informed. 

“They are not aware of what the impact could be for them in their communities, families, schools and neighborhood organizations,” Earls said. “They have no idea what the vote would mean as far as bringing resources in and putting the right person in the position who is going to serve the community.”

Ensuring that every resident has the opportunity to vote means working closely with business owners, schools and community leaders, according to Earls. 

The LWV of Hays County named new board members for 2022-2023: 

President, Mary Earls

Past-President, Teresa Carbajal Ravet

Vice-President for Programs, Helen Lowman

VP for Membership, Laurie ODonnell

Co-VP, Voter Services (Forums and Debates), Sheryl Davis

Co-VP, Voter Services, Marilyn Minnaar

Treasurer, Charles Minnaar

Earls said she is honored to be able to serve the community in this capacity.

“I come from a large family,” Earls explained. “My parents [were]very direct in their guidance in us to always look for the opportunity to help. … The LWV has such a tremendous history of not only doing what’s right by people but empowering people to do what every American desires to do and that is to vote their voice. Your vote is your voice.”

About Author

Megan Navarro (formerly Wehring) graduated from Texas State University in May 2020 with a bachelor's degree in journalism and mass communication. In June 2020, she started a summer internship at the Hays Free Press/News-Dispatch through the Dow Jones News Fund and Texas Press Association. She then earned her way to a reporter position later that summer and now, she serves as the editor of the newspaper. Working for a small publication, Navarro wears multiple hats. She has various responsibilities including managing a team of reporters, making editorial decisions, overseeing social media posts, fact checking, writing her own articles and more. Navarro has a heart for storytelling and she believes that journalists are equipped to share the stories that are important to the community.

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