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.

Voter Registration Deadline Extended Through Friday

Virginia voters and potential voters just won big! A judge just ordered the voter registration deadline extended to midnight tomorrow night, Friday, October 21st. Anyone who has submitted a voter registration at any point between the original deadline and now will be accepted. Registration can be done online, in person or by mail. Registration forms postmarked before midnight tomorrow will be accepted.

Let's use this time to make sure every Virginian who is eligible can vote!

(See related Story below.)

Governor McAuliffe Statement on Ruling Extending Voting Registration

RICHMOND + Governor Terry McAuliffe released the following statement today after a federal judge ordered that Virginia's voter registration process be extended until 11:59 PM on Friday, October 21, 2016:

  "I am pleased that the court has agreed with the request to extend Virginia's voter registration period after unprecedented web traffic prevented many people from completing their registrations online before the original deadline. The Commonwealth will fully comply with the court's order and extend our registration process online, in-person and through the mail.

  "The Virginia Department of Elections and the Virginia Information Technology Agency have been working overtime since Monday night to expand the capacity of the system that allows Virginians to register to vote online, and I am confident that the steps we have taken will provide an improved experience to people who use it.  

"However, I do want to urge Virginians who are interested in registering to vote to act as quickly as possible and, if they are able, to take advantage of all of the available ways to register to vote during this period, including visiting a local registrar's office or a Department of Motor Vehicles office.

  "Additionally, in the event that there are unexpected technology issues, we urge Virginians to contact the Department of Elections and indicate that they are attempting to register, so that staff can follow up and ensure that they make it through the process."

League Voices Opinion on Voter Registration Failure

The League of Women Voters of Virginia recognizes that there is more than one source contributing to the failure of Virginia's online voter registration system during an unprecedented heavy load on the citizen portal. This crisis is a nonpartisan issue that demands action to protect the Virginians who intended to register online on Monday, October 17th. The extreme wait time online is similar to waiting in-person in a long line on the last day of registration and on Election Day at 7:00 PM. Those Voters are accommodated. So should those Virginians waiting to register online.

Wherever the burden of correction lies, action is needed immediately.

The League of Women Voters, a nonpartisan political organization, encourages informed and active participation in government, works to increase understanding of major public policy issues, and influences public policy through education and advocacy. We never support or oppose any political party or candidate.

Virginia Constitutional Amendments Explained

This year's election contains two statewide constitutional amendments are proposed for consideration by the voters of the Commonwealth. To review the amendments with a simple explanation, including the pros and cons on our website:

Click Here for the Right to Work Amendment

Click Here for the Tax Relief Amendment

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.

Probe looks at how dead Virginians came to be registered to vote in Harrisonburg: No fraudulent ballots were cast

Police in Harrisonburg, Va. are combing through voter-registration forms linked to a private group founded by a prominent local Democrat after an incident in which authorities discovered that 19 dead Virginians were registered to vote in the Shenandoah Valley city.

Click Here to read the entire The Washington Post article.

Virginia Supreme Court denies Republican effort to hold McAuliffe in contempt over felon voting rights

The Supreme Court of Virginia on Thursday rejected a Republican effort to have Gov. Terry McAuliffe held in contempt over his ongoing efforts to restore voting rights for felons.

In a unanimous one-page order, the Supreme Court said it would not force McAuliffe to return to court to prove that he is complying with the court's July 22 ruling that struck down the governor's first attempt to restore voting rights to more than 200,000 felons via executive order. The court also said it would not allow Republican General Assembly leaders to seek documents from the McAuliffe administration through a new discovery process. (Picture by Bob Brown/Times Dispatch.) Click Here to read more.

Gun Safety Task Force Report

Ruth Hoffman (LWVFA) presented a Power Point presentation on firearms safety at the recent LWV-VA workshop in Charlottesville. The report covers three main points: 1.) Where does the Gun Violence Prevention (GVP) movement Stand? 2.) Where do we, as the LWV-VA, fit in? 3.) How can we/you take action and make a difference?

This presentation can be used by local Leagues for League and/or community events. Click Here to view Ruth's presentation.

Electing a President

The presidential primaries, caucuses, and party conventions are over. On Tuesday, November 8, 2016, registered voters will cast their votes for president and vice president in the 58th presidential election. Many voters will also vote absentee on or before Election Day in many states. By voting, citizens choose the electors who will represent their states in the Electoral College that will meet at noon on the first Monday after the second Wednesday in December following their election (December 19, 2016) to cast their ballots as prescribed by law. This article is intended to review the processes, the players, and the timing of this quadrennial event.

Click Here to read the full study.

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.

State League Voter Registration Promotion Video Just Released

In its continuing effort to encourage voter registration, the LWV-VA has released a video asking the viewer if she/he cares about various concerns that might cause a person to realize voting is important to the future of our nation. Co-Presidents Lois Page and Dianne Blais hope that this video will get widespread distribution through websites and facebook pages of local Leagues and fellow coalition organizations before the October 17 deadline for registering in time for participating in the November election.

To view the video Click Here.

State League Initiates Effort to Encourage College Students to Register to Vote

The League of Women Voters of Virginia Co-Presidents Lois Page and Dianne Blais have announced a major effort by the Leagues in Virginia to encourage college student to register to vote in time for the November election. "Many college students are so entrenched in college life studies that they forget they have a right and duty to participate in the election process. For various reasons they are not registered," stated Page. This has resulted in the creation of a campaign to provide questions and answers on registering to vote.

The League has prepared a flyer with five key questions in order to clear up misconceptions about the registration process. These flyers will be distributed around college campuses in Virginia by the 12 local Leagues around the state in time to allow students to register before the October 17 cut-off date.

Click Here to access the flyer.

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