League of Women Voters to host voter education forum


Rachel Brown, Public Relations Manager

The Bartlesville League of Women Voters is hosting a public forum entitled “News or Nonsense? Finding Truth in What You See, Hear and Read” next Monday, April 23 from 7 to 8:30 p.m.in the Bartlesville Public Library.

  The purpose of the forum is to help the public discern real news from the abundance of fake news that is shared rapidly on social media.

  “It’s a confusing and overwhelming time in terms of what is out there in the media,” organizer Connie Lavoie said. “With all this talk about fake news, I think there is something to consider.”

 The forum will include three panelists: Kelly Burley, director of KOSU, Sarah Burkhead Whittle, librarian at Northeastern State University, and Kevin Burnett, BHS graduate with a degree in communications from Stanford University. The forum will be moderated by Darla Tresner, the journalism teacher at BHS.

  “We want to focus on the process so they can make the right decisions for them,” Lavoie said. “I think we have to really think about where we get our information and consider the source.”

  The League of Women Voters is a nonpartisan group, which strives to help in areas of voter registration and education, Lavoie explained.

  “The league is concerned with helping people get information to make the right decision through candidate forums, voter registration and information on how to contact legislators,” Lavoie said. “Also by helping people figure out how to evaluate the information that comes at them. I think it is one of those sources that is credible and that serves our democracy.”

  Lavoie said she realizes how important the league’s work is now that she is more involved.

  “I started just by volunteering with voter registration, but I’ve come to see it’s more important than just that,” Lavoie said.

  The league is also holding a voter registration drive at the event for people to vote in the November elections.

  “Voting is a privelage and a responsibility,” Lavoie said. “We have a tendency to take that for granted, but if we don’t vote, we are letting someone else decide.

  According to Lavoie, the league has been working on planning this event since August.

  “We really want young people to be there,” Lavoie said. “It’s free and it’s open to the pubic, and we hope that people will come and have something to take away from it.”