Making Democracy Work

A Voice For Citizens, A Force For Change

The League of Women Voters is a nonpartisan political organization encouraging the informed and active participation in government. It influences public policy through education and advocacy.

Convention Time is rapidly approaching - Register by June 2

We are closing in on our convention date and Leaguers need to mark their calendars and register. The deadline for room reservations in MAY 12 to guarantee the League rate of $90/night +tax (Double Occupancy). Contact the hotel directly and be sure to let them know you are with the League.

Speakers have been contracted and should challenge members to plan ahead as we continue to work on the protecting voter rights. Nancy Rodrigues, Virginia Secretary for Administration, Dahlia Lithwick, Senior Editor of Slate, Lloyd Leonard, Senior Director for Advocacy of LWVUS, and Brenda Rogers, LWVUS Liaison to LWV-VA will bring up-to-date on key issues effecting the League.

Break out sessions planned include: 1) Voters' & Civil Rights in Virginia; 2) What's Next for Redistricting in Virginia? 3) Report on the 2017 United Nations Commission on the Status of Women; 4) Gun Safety: Can the Tide be Turned? 5) Transparency Virginia; 5) ERA: 2 Away!

This year we are asking you to register and Pay Online using PayPal at SignUpGenius. Watch for instructions that will be available soon. Registration can be mailed in if you are uncomfortable paying online.

Click Here to access the registration flyer.

League Announces the Release of Two New Reports

The League announce tow new reports.

Lois Page and Dianne Blais, Co-Presidents of the League of Women Voters of Virginia announced the release of reports on voter activities in Virginia in the 2016 elections and the 2017 General Assembly. According to Page, "We hope this is the beginning of increased data collection so that we can make a better case for the value of our efforts. Thanks to all who responded and made this possible."

"Virginia Results of the LWVUS Voter Service Study for the 2016 General Election" All thirteen of the Leagues in Virginia participated in this effort to varying degrees. Total voters registered to vote reached 2,100 due to the 2,300 volunteer hours put in at 155 events. All the usual methods and materials were utilized in the effort to register and encourage people to vote. Four key areas were examined and the lessons learned included: 1.) Voter registration - Leaguers could consider increasing the outreach to some of the other categories listed in the survey, such as in minority communities. 2.) Leagues might consider turning their voter registration drives into a more full-service voting information opportunity. 3.) Voter Protection and Get Out the Vote. We all need to find different ways to remind people to vote. 4.) Visibility and Recruitment - Leaguers have obviously learned the value of working with other organizations. 

Click here to read the full report.

"Working the General Assembly - The League in Action" Representatives from each League, 112 in all, responded to the request for input on their activities in support of the Election Modernization grant. Strategy sessions were held the night before each Women's Legislative Round Table (WLRT) to prepare and update participants on what to expect the following day. The 38 attendees over the five evenings were provided talking points for use with Legislators.

Seventy-two Leaguers reported on their visits to their Legislators (42 in all) after the WLRTs and 32 attended committee meetings the day before or later on Wednesdays. Around one-third of the state's Legislators were visited. Redistricting discussions were the number one topic (discussed 35 times), school discipline was second and voter suppression was third. Most visits were made by a single individual, but in other cases groups of two or more went together on visits.

Click here to read "Working the General Assembly".

Hear Ye, Hear Ye!! Calling all Virginians!!

This is an important election year for VA. The Governor, LG, AG, and all 100 seats in the House of Delegates are up for election.

If you know of any 17-year olds who will be 18 by the next General Election day (November 7th, 2017) please take note of the important information below. These 17-year old can register to vote now AND participate in the Primary on June 13th -- even though they're still 17!! They just need to be 18 by November 7th.

Here is the link to the VA Department of Elections website on how to register to vote & what the criteria for eligibility are. The easiest and most efficient way is Online, of course, where they can go ask their parents for their SS# in the privacy of their home. Read More

Why this nearly 100-year-old organization is seeing a resurgence thanks to Trump's election

By Colby Itkowitz February 9 at 6:57 AM

A friend suggested to Marie Gauthier (on right) that she check out the League of Women Voters as a way to channel her sudden urge to be more civically engaged after November's election. But Gauthier had to call her friend back with bad news. It looks wonderful, she recalled telling her friend, but there's not a chapter here in Franklin County in central Massachusetts. To which her friend replied: "So, maybe you should start one then."

Read entire article Here.

LWV-VA Receives Grant for Election Modernization Initiative

LWV-VA recently received a grant to advocate for Automatic Voter Registration (AVR). We're excited about this grant and how our Local Leagues (LLs) can benefit by advocating for AVR, with promotion of redistricting reform and No-Excuse-Needed Absentee Voting (NEAV) as an added advocacy focus.

WHAT IS AUTOMATIC VOTER REGISTRATION (AVR)? The Problem: Our outdated paper-based voter registration system diminishes full participation of eligible Virginians in our elections. Our online voter registration system is cumbersome and not always available in a timely way. Resources for modernization are limited. Virginians do not have full confidence in the election process. The Solution: We need to make common sense reforms to modernize Virginia's voter registration system to be smart, secure, and efficient so every eligible Virginian can make their voice heard without barriers and obstacles. Modernization is needed in order to serve Virginians properly and fairly, to promote confidence, and to ensure integrity in our election administration. How we get there: It will take all of us lifting up our voices to ask our elected officials to support modernization of our voter registration system. Our influence is needed to decrease the barriers to participation in voting and to promote the integrity of our elections.

For details about this initiative, how you can be involved, go to our website under "Election Modernization" under "Members Information" or Click Here.

Upcoming: State Consensus on Fracking

LWV-VA is preparing a fracking program for consensus that will culminate at LWV-VA's June Convention. Hydraulic fracturing (a.k.a. fracking or fracing) is a method to release natural gas and oil trapped inside bedrock that could not be economically retrieved with traditional methods. Fracking is a fiercely debated political and environmental issue. Advocates believe it is a safe and economical source of clean energy that provides jobs, assures energy independence, and boosts the economy. Critics claim it pollutes the air and drinking water, affects health, promotes seismic activity, contributes to the greenhouse gases, and will delay the development of renewable energy sources.

League of Women Voters of Virginia - Natural Resources website has been developed to provide members with a source of materials for League studies pertaining to natural resources.

Click Here to access information on fracking.

The League of Women Voters Is Changing

In its 96th year, the League of Women Voters (LWV or League) is committed to change. The clear message emanating from the recent LWVUS 52nd Convention in D.C. is that in order to meet the challenge of staying relevant in 21st century America, we must find ways to successfully engage today's fast-paced, technologically advanced, and more diverse electorate, even if that means changing the way we do things.

As newly elected LWVUS President Chris Carson said in the June 24 "League Update" about the 2016 Convention: "There were key themes of change, focus, engagement and urgency woven into each corner of the weekend." She further states: "We've invited you on a change journey to work with us in telling our collective story and creating our winning plan. That means accelerating the pace of change within the League and having a bias toward action, taking advantage of alternative engagement opportunities, focusing our agenda, and wrestling with the tough questions of whether our current structure and approaches reflect a 21st century organization." Click Here to go directly to the full article.

Keeping Up With the Times: Articles Worth Reading

Your Vote Counts. "Nobody will ever deprive the American people of the right to vote except the American people themselves and the only way they could do this is by not voting." Franklin D. Roosevelt