HomeAtl HubAtl Hub NewsChapters merge to become League of Women Voters of Monmouth County

Chapters merge to become League of Women Voters of Monmouth County

Three local chapters of the League of Women Voters (LWV) have merged to create a unified organization – the League of Women Voters of Monmouth County.

The local chapters that merged to create the new organization were the LWV of Greater Red Bank, the LWV of Southern Monmouth and the LWV of Western Monmouth.

The announcement of the new organization was made during a press conference that was held at CentraState Medical Center, Freehold Township, on Aug. 11.

Representatives of the three chapters said the move was made to enhance the LWV’s ability to carry out its mission of empowering voters and protecting democracy in the county.

The LWV is a nonpartisan, grassroots civic organization that encourages informed and active participation in government, works to increase understanding of major public policy issues, and influences public policy through education and advocacy, according to a press release.

During the press conference, the former presidents of the three local chapters who are now the co-presidents of the new organization – Barbara Chaudhry, Evelyn Murphy and Sharon Steinhorn – spoke about the importance of the LWV and the merger.

“Over the past few years, national and local events have awakened a keen interest in the central mission of the League of Women Voters to empower voters and defend democracy … The Monmouth County leagues see this merger as the strategic next step to build on and expand this successful collaboration,” Chaudhry said. “Consolidating the three local leagues codifies and improves the effectiveness of what we do, as well as the efficiency with which we do it.”

Regarding the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which overturned Roe v. Wade and returned the issue of abortion to the states, Murphy said, “LWV believes quality healthcare should be available to all. We are concerned about the harmful impact (of the Dobbs decision) on people who may become pregnant.”

Chaudhry, Murphy and Steinhorn have joined with Monmouth County Clerk Christine Hanlon at the local level to focus on issues that are important to area residents.

“Coming together will bring so much strength to the community,” Hanlon said.

Hanlon discussed recent changes in the way residents may vote, including a period of time that is now referred to as early voting, conducted prior to Election Day.

She said Monmouth County has seen 13% percent of voters opt for early voting and she credited the LWV with bringing that option to the attention of the public.

In discussing the merger, Chaudhry said the presidents realized their chapters’ boundaries were overlapping. She said a survey of LWV members supported a unified Monmouth County organization. The merger became official on July 26.

Steinhorn said the merger will allow for more efficient operation of the previously separate organizations. The new LWV of Monmouth County has more than 250 members.

To become a member, an individual, male or female, must be 16 years old or older. A registration form may be completed at https://www.lwvsmc.org

The LWV conducts mock voting events during the election season so its members who are too young to vote can learn how to vote once they turn 18.

The co-presidents said the LWV will continue to educate people of all ages and they said they are excited for the future of the organization and the impact it can have.

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