The La Crosse League of Women Voters has been “empowering voters and defending democracy” for nearly 100 years. A nonpartisan organization that focuses on ensuring every resident is informed about their right to vote, their motto is “Everyone Vote,” a charge they take seriously and literally.
To achieve that goal, the La Crosse league participates in various community events to register voters and educate them about upcoming elections. They also present in several venues, such as area postsecondary and high schools, the jail and APTIV, focusing on why, when and how residents can vote.
Chris Haskell is a member of the La Crosse league.
If you could change or enact any new legislation, what would it be?
I would change or enact any legislation that made it easier for people to vote. That would begin at the national level by rescinding changes that have made the Voting Rights Act less effective. I would also like to see our country show the commitment to voting by making federal election days a national holiday.
At the state level, I would rescind the restrictions on drop boxes and other rulings that have made absentee voting more difficult. I would also like Wisconsin to follow the lead of other states that have adopted automatic voter registration. AVR is a process in which eligible individuals are automatically registered when interacting with a participating government agency, such as a department of motor vehicles.
What’s the most valuable thing you ever learned in school?
I was a student for 18 years and then a teacher for 35, so I’ve learned a lot in school. Much of it goes back to that book, “All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten.” Learning to get along with everyone and understanding that we’re all trying to make it in life as best we can is important to me. It makes my nonpartisan work in the league easy. I understand that people have all kinds of reasons for believing what they do. The other lesson that is crucial for me is that integrity is everything. I strive to be unfailingly honest and principled in all aspects of my life, including my work with the LWV.
How does the LWV measure success?
Our Voter Services Committee looks at voter turnout in La Crosse County as a statistical measure of our success. I’m proud to say that our county has a growing number of our citizens voting. A record-breaking number of people voted in the latest election.
We also see a growing number of followers on our League’s Facebook, Instagram and Twitter sites at lwvlacrosse.com. Our website is seen as a strong source of non-biased voting information.
Other measures of our success include the growing number of members that we attract and the number of community organizations and businesses that want to work with us. We have the reputation of being a group of people who work hard in a nonpartisan manner to be sure that Everyone Votes.