A Message from the AAUW President

This campaign has at times felt like it would never end, but we’re only 12 days away from the election. What better way to celebrate than a party? Do you know where you’re going to watch the results come in? Why not throw or attend an election watch party? It’s simple: Gather some friends around the screen of your choice, have some food and drink, and watch democracy in action.

The stakes couldn’t be higher. Not only is the presidency up for grabs, but political experts also believe it’s possible the House or the Senate could change hands. At the state level, 11 states will vote on governors, 49 states will vote on state legislatures, and 38 states will vote on ballot initiatives. Sounds like a busy day to me!

The AAUW Action Fund has resources to help you get ready for election night parties. While we can’t order the pizza for you, we can provide you issue fact sheets to get you up to speed on key issues like pay equity, contraception, college affordability, and getting women back to work. You can also use our Congressional Voting Record to see how your legislator voted on key issues, our report on the Obama administration to see what the president has done on our issues and where he has fallen short, our voter guides that compare candidates head to head, and our convenient CVR poster to keep track of the issues. If you live in Florida, Idaho, Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, Montana, Oklahoma, or Washington, make sure you check out information about your state’s ballot initiatives where AAUW has taken a position.

If you do throw or attend a party, make sure you take a picture! Not only do we want to record this historic night, we also want to share your stories to inspire other members into action in the future. We’d love to feature the election parties in our campaign wrap-up and use the pictures for future campaigns and our convention next year, so send your pictures to When you do, please note who is in the picture and where it was taken.

I hope you’ll use these tools not only to educate yourself and others, but also for inspiration as we move into the final sprint toward Election Day. These issues are of critical importance to all women, and remind us that elected officials can have a significant impact on our daily lives. Elections matter. That’s why this mantra never gets old: It’s My Vote: I Will Be Heard!

Yours in AAUW,

Carolyn Garfein
AAUW President



  • Featuring AAUW branches from California, Florida, Minnesota, New York, and Washington state, as well as an exciting announcement about AAUW DebateWatch parties!


  • AAUW Releases New Report on Pay Gap, Student Loans
  • Teens Most Worried About the Economy, Education
  • Majority of Americans Support Access to Contraceptives

GET OUT THE VOTE: Election News

  • Last Presidential Debate Focuses on Foreign Policy, Touches on Domestic Policy
  • Arizona County Lists Incorrect Election Date on Spanish Voter Cards
  • Center for American Women and Politics Launches Tool to Analyze Women’s Vote
  • New Tool Tracks Newspaper Endorsements of Presidential Candidates


  • AAUW’s Voting Shoes Campaign – Put Your Right Foot Forward and VOTE!
  • Use AAUW Action Fund Voter Education Tools
  • AAUW Action Fund Debuts “The To Do List,” Other Social Media Efforts


If your branch requested It’s My Vote postcards to use for your get-out-the-vote efforts, it’s time to turn in the information and get those postcards in the mail! Here’s what you need to know:

  • After the voter fills in their address and returns the postcard to your AAUW volunteers, make a list of all the people who filled out postcards and their contact information so you can use that list for potential member recruitment and to advertise upcoming It’s My Vote events.
  • As soon as possible, send the list of names and contact information to so AAUW can sign up those individuals for Two-Minute Activist alerts and inform them of other voter education resources and events.
  • Then buy the required number of stamps and get those postcards in the mail as soon as possible. The volume of mail going through the U.S. Postal Service increases drastically leading up to an election, so it can take longer than usual for a postcard to arrive.
  • You can submit your receipt for the postage to


With the presidential and vice presidential debate season over, AAUW is happy to report that our members and supporters hosted more than 130 AAUW DebateWatch parties! We are still collecting data on how the parties went, but so far we know that more than 1,400 people attended an AAUW DebateWatch party this year! Thanks to everyone who hosted an AAUW DebateWatch party – voter education is key in this election, and your parties helped make it happen. Help us carry that momentum through the final 12 days of the election season by sharing the AAUW Action Fund VoteHER Toolkit. If you hosted a party and still haven’t reported the number of people in attendance, please fill out this short form today! We’d also love to see pictures from your party! Please email pictures to

The Oroville Branch in California, along with the League of Women Voters of Butte County, held a forum on October 24 about the pros and cons of the California state ballot initiatives.

The St. Lucie County Branch in Florida sponsored a candidate forum on October 20. A total of seven candidates from the following races attended: State Senate District 21, State House District 84, Supervisor of Elections, Clerk of the Circuit Court, and County Commissioner for District 3.

The Rockland Branch in New York held a candidate forum on October 21 with the following candidates in attendance: the 96th Assembly District, Ken Zebrowski (D); the 97th Assembly District, Ellen Jaffee (D) and Joseph Gravagna (R); the17th U.S. Congressional District, Nita Lowey (D), Joe Carvin (R), and Frank Morganthaler (We the People); the 38th State Senate District, David Carlucci (D) and Janis Castaldi (R); and the 39th State Senate District, Christopher Eachus (D), (Rep. Larkin declined the invite). The Jewish Community Center Rockland, Rockland Chapter of AARP, Hadassah Nanuet Hebrew Center, Rockland League of Women Voters, National Council of Jewish Women, Rockland Section- Rockland Chapter, and the Statewide Senior Action Council cosponsored the event.

The St. Lawrence County Branch in New York will hold an issues panel on October 25 at the SUNY Potsdam campus to discuss the Republican and Democratic approaches to the economy, taxes, and public investment in such areas as education and infrastructure. The panel will also talk about the role of gender in politics. The panel will feature Dr. Jacqueline Goodman, Director of Women’s & Gender Studies; Dr. Susanne Zwingel, Associate Professor of Politics; Dr. Michelle Pinard, School of Education, Carolyn Corcoran, Office of Financial Aid; and Donna Seymour, Public Policy Director of AAUW of New York State.

The San Mateo and the San Francisco Branches in California registered students at the Academy of Arts University on September 17. One of the San Mateo branch members, also a faculty member at the university, registered students in her classes. Fourteen students were registered, 10 of whom were millennial women.

The Stanwood-Camano Branch in Washington state held a candidate and issue forum October 17. The following candidates attended: Island County Commissioner District 1, Helen Price Johnson (D) and Jeff Lauderdale (R); Island County Commissioner District 2, Angie Homola (D) and Jill Johnson (R); State Representative, Position 1 (District10), Aaron Simpson (D) and Norma Smith (R); State Representative, Position 2 (District 10), David Hayes (R) and Tom Riggs (D); State Senate District 10, Barbara Bailey (R) and Mary Margaret Haugen (D); U.S. Senate, Dan Bisbee for Michael Baumgartner (R); Congressional District 2, Rick Larsen (D) and Dan Matthews (R); Washington State Auditor, Matt Miller for Troy Kelly (D) and James Watkins (R); Washington State Supreme Court Justice Position 9 (nonpartisan), Richard B. Sanders; Public Utility District No. 1 (nonpartisan), Eric Teegarden and Kathleen Vaughn. The forum also discussed Ballot Initiative #1240: Public Charter Schools, represented by Dr. Jana Carlisle (pro statement) and Jennifer Smolen (con statement), and Referendum 74: Same-Sex Marriage, represented by Josh Friedes (pro statement) and Chuck Whitfield (con statement).

The Faribault Branch in Minnesota held a candidate forum on October 12 for the School Board of Grand Rapids District 318. Ten candidates are competing for four open seats, and all candidates were invited to attend.

To have your branch’s events featured in Campaign Update or at, email us at Please make sure to include the date of the event and the AAUW branches and coalition groups involved. If the event has already occurred, please include the results (such as how many people attended or which candidates attended) and any pictures.


AAUW Releases New Report on Pay Gap, Student Loans
On Wednesday, October 24, AAUW released its newest research report, Graduating to a Pay Gap, showing how the gender pay gap affects the student loan debt burden for women college graduates. Check out some of the media coverage of the report in The Washington Post, Reuters, USA Today, and U.S. News and World Report!

Teens Most Worried About the Economy, Education
A new poll shows that teenagers between the ages of 14 and 17 are most concerned about the economy and education this election season. The poll also found that teen girls were more likely than boys to be concerned about education and finding a job. When asked if they would vote this election if they were old enough, 86 percent of teen girls and boys said they would. However, 17 percent of teen girls said they would not vote in this election, compared with 11 percent of teen boys.

Majority of Americans Support Access to Contraceptives
The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy released a new poll showing that the majority of Americans support access to contraception. Seventy percent of respondents said insurance companies should not charge a copay or deductible for contraception, and 79 percent said anti-abortion lawmakers should support contraception, since it helps prevent unplanned pregnancy. Support for that idea held true across political party lines.

GET OUT THE VOTE: Election News

Last Presidential Debate Focuses on Foreign Policy, Touches on Domestic Policy
In their last debate on Monday night, President Obama and Governor Romney discussed the Arab Spring, the possibility of a nuclear Iran, U.S.-China relations, the war in Afghanistan, and other key foreign policy issues. Both candidates briefly mentioned women’s rights when talking about changes they would like to see in societies that have gone through the Arab Spring. Although the debate was supposed to be focused on foreign policy, the candidates veered into discussing topics of domestic policy, especially taxes and the national deficit, that had figured prominently in their earlier debates.

Arizona County Lists Incorrect Election Date on Spanish Voter Cards
Arizona’s Maricopa county listed the wrong election date on 50 of nearly 2 million new voter registration cards. The error occurred on the Spanish translation of the cards that were handed out in the county election office. The county says in a statement that it has updated the card with accurate dates, in both Spanish and English.

Center for American Women and Politics Launches Tool to Analyze Women’s Vote
The Center for American Women and Politics at Rutgers University has created Women’s Vote Watch 2012 to analyze the women’s vote this election. Resources include polling, media coverage, and analyses of the gender gap in races across the country.

New Tool Tracks Newspaper Endorsements of Presidential Candidates
The Atlantic has created a tool to help voters keep track of newspaper endorsements across the country for the 2012 presidential election. The tool also shows the paper’s record of endorsements since 2000 and lists the paper’s reasoning behind its 2012 presidential endorsement.


AAUW’s Voting Shoes Campaign – Put Your Right Foot Forward and VOTE!
On Tuesday, November 6, you have some serious choices to make – and from the ballot box to your closet, we’re with you all the way. That’s why we’re asking you to show off your personal, patriotic style by sending us a picture of the shoes you’ll wear to the polls. To submit your shoes, e-mail your first name, state, age, and the picture of your shoes to Be sure to tell us why you picked these shoes: sneakers for a workout, heels for the office, black flats for a restaurant job, or perhaps some bunny slippers or combat boots for folks filling out an absentee ballot This way, you can plan the logistics of how you’ll get to the polls and the pair of shoes you plan to wear!

Use AAUW Action Fund Voter Education Tools
The AAUW Action Fund’s voter education tools include:

  • The VoterHER Toolkit, an essential guide to how candidates and elected officials stack up on issues important to women this election year. The toolkit includes the Congressional Voting Record for the 112th Congress (January 2011-September 2012), voter guides for the presidential and key Senate races, and a report on the Obama administration’s first term.
  • Summaries of key ballot initiatives and explanations of AAUW’s position.
  • Fact sheets on access to birth control, employment opportunities, college affordability, and fair pay.

Use these tools to educate yourself and others. Share them with your friends and family. Take the voter guides and Congressional Voting Record to town halls to ask candidates why they hold that position. Speak up and make your voice heard!

AAUW Action Fund Debuts “The To Do List,” Other Social Media Efforts
Throughout the election season, the AAUW Action Fund has been producing public service announcements and videos to support the message of the campaign and help get women to the polls. Watch our latest video, “The To Do List,” and share it with your friends, family, and colleagues today! The video is part of the Action Fund’s social media efforts on Tumblr, Twitter, AAUW Dialog (our blog), YouTube, and Facebook to quickly, concisely, and effectively spread information and generate excitement among young women!


AAUW and the AAUW Action Fund is proud to work with the coalition partners featured in this week’s campaign update: League of Women Voters of Butte County; Jewish Community Center Rockland; Rockland Chapter of AARP; Hadassah Nanuet Hebrew Center; Rockland League of Women Voters; National Council of Jewish Women, Rockland Section- Rockland Chapter; Statewide Senior Action Council in New York; SUNY Potsdam; Academy of Arts University; and the College of San Mateo.