Making Democracy Work

Making Democracy Work

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

Special Election: Tues, Apr 8

Here are the candidates running in the Special Election for County Board: Alan E. Howze (Democrat); Stephen W.C. Holbrook (Independent); Janet H. Murphy (Independent Green Party); John E. Vihstadt (Independent)

Absentee voting is open. To vote absentee-by-mail, the Registrar must receive your application by 5 pm, Tues, Apr 1. (See for details.)

In-person absentee voting is now open from 8 am to 5 pm M-F through April 5. The Registrar will have extended hours on Thurs (4/3) till 7 pm and on Sat (4/5) 8:30 am to 5 pm. Vote at 2100 Clarendon Blvd, Suite 320.

Appreciating Our Public Servants

We thank Arlington's state Senators and Delegates for an informative public forum on the 2014 legislative session.

And we thank Dorothy Nieweg - winner of a Virginia LWV "Making Democracy Work" award - for her decades of service to the cause of good government.

Richmond Redux - March 22, 2014

Please join all seven of your state lawmakers for a roundup of the January-March legislative session. March 22, 11 am to 1 pm, Arlington Career Center, 816 S. Walter Reed Dr. Sponsored by the LWV and AAUW of Arlington.

Annual Meeting - Save the Date!

Our annual meeting will be Saturday, May 17, 9:30 am to noon. We are delighted that our keynote speaker will be award-winning political reporter (and Arlington resident) Molly Ball of The Atlantic magazine.

The meeting registration form will come in the next two Bulletins.

Love us? Then "like" us!

We post fun articles and news about Arlington on our Facebook page.

Key Election Dates

Special Election, County Board (to fill the seat vacated by Chris Zimmerman): Tues, April 8

Democratic Primary, 8th Congressional District (to nominate a candidate to run for the seat being vacated by Jim Moran): June 10

General Election: November 4

Recent Monthly Bulletins

Agriculture Policy & What We Eat - Feb 23, 2014

"Our Food: Who, What, How, and Why?"

Please join the Falls Church League for a public discussion of how agricultural policies and procedures affect our daily lives.

Sunday, February 23, 3:00 - 4:30 p.m., Falls Church City Community Center, 223 Little Falls St.

Speakers include Forrest Pritchard, family farmer, public speaker and author of Gaining Ground, A Story of Farmers' Markets, Local Food, and Saving the Family Farm; Bill Garvelink, ambassador (ret), senior adviser for Global Strategy for International Medical Corps, and initiator of "Feed the Future, the President's Global Food Security Initiative"; Elaine Apter, a member of the League of Women Voters of Montgomery County, Maryland's agriculture committee; and Chris McMaugh, manager, The Local Market, Falls Church City.

Good luck in Richmond

Thanks to the Arlington state Delegates and Senators for hearing out constituents at last night's annual pre-session public hearing.

Join us in 2014!

The Arlington League is gearing up for a busy winter and spring as we prepare to:

- Host our annual public forum in which Arlingtonians can provide guidance to our state Delegates and Senators before the legislative session begins;

- Discuss local and national priorities, including formulating a new position on agriculture policy;

- Support the state League as it works to educate citizens about the Voter ID law scheduled to take effect on July 1;

- Plan public forums on running for office and on the accomplishments of the 2014 General Assembly session.

Interested in helping out? Contact

Election Day is Nov 5

The candidates' answers to your questions are at

Want to vote absentee? It's easier than you think.

Vote411: Guide to the 2013 Virginia Elections

Vote411, the League's online voter guide, is up and running!

Go there to get personalized information on the races on your ballot, including candidates' positions and priorities. Most Arlington races are accessible, though the site will continue to be updated as candidates submit their information. Click the Vote411 icon to see your personalized voter guide.

October 2013 Bulletin

Want to help us encourage more women to run for public office? We're starting to think about this question.

September 2013 Bulletin

Election activities and more here.

Summer 2013 Bulletin

Voting rights, voter registration and education -- it's all here

A Busy Year Ahead

On behalf of our new board, welcome to the League of Women Voters of Arlington!

With local and statewide elections coming up in November, we are looking forward to a busy few months registering voters and producing a guide to the candidates.

We also will continue our work in the community, supporting emerging leaders and educating Arlingtonians about important policy matters.

If you would like to join us, please send us a note at

For updates on issues that concern us, "like" our Facebook page:

The League is one of the best ways to get to know your community.

Happy summer --

Kristin Goss, President

April 2013 Bulletin

Please read our April 2013 bulletin for important information regarding 2013 events!

February 2013 Bulletin

Please read our February 2013 bulletin for important information regarding 2013 events!

LWVFA Uranium Mining Program

Please read the attached study that was written to inform LWVFA about uranium mining and the issues to be raised during the upcoming legislative session.

January 2013 Bulletin

Please read our January 2013 bulletin for important information regarding 2013 events!

November-December Bulletin 2012

Please read our November-December 2012 bulletin for important information regarding Winter events!

2012 Voter Guide

Here is the League's 2012 Voter Guide, covering races for US President, US Senator, US Representative (8th Congressional District), County Board, and School Board. In each case, the candidates have provided a short bio and answers to pressing public policy questions posed by the League.

The Guide also contains information on the County's four bond referenda and the two proposed amendments to the state constitution.

If you prefer, you can also check out the statements at, the League's free voter-education service. On the homepage, just enter your home address, then press the link for "Get personalized information on candidates and issues." You will follow the prompts to confirm your address and language preference, and then the site will take you through side-by-side comparisons of the candidates.

LWV Candidate Forum on TV

Here's the *broadcast schedule* for the 2012 Candidate Forum, featuring candidates for US House and County Board.

When? Oct 18, 10:30 am; Oct 20, 10 pm; Oct 25, 10:30 am; Oct 27, 10 pm; Nov 1, 10:30 am; Nov 3, 10 pm.

What Channel? Comcast channel 69, Verizon channel 38, and online at

Thanks to Arlington Independent Media for covering this terrific event and to AAUW for co-sponsoring it with us.

October 2012 Bulletin

Please read our October 2012 bulletin for important information regarding Fall events!

September 2012 Bulletin

Please read our September 2012 bulletin for important information regarding Fall events!

HOT OFF THE PRESS: LWV Arlington's Summer Bulletin!

Please read our Summer 2012 bulletin for upcoming summer events. Also, please note the urgent need for Voter Registration volunteers. See page 1 for dates and places and then volunteer now!

LWV Arlington: April 2012 Bulletin

Please read our April 2012 bulletin for recent news, updates, and upcoming events. Don't forget to read an important letter from our President, Mary Finger!

LWV Arlington: March 2012 Bulletin

Please read our March 2012 bulletin for a Letter from the President, Mary Finger, as well as recent news, updates, and upcoming events.

Voter Guide - 2012 County Board Special Election

Here is the Voter Guide for the March 27, 2012, special election for County Board. Voters will select one candidate to fill the seat vacated by Barbara Favola, who was elected to the Virginia Senate.

The candidates (in alphabetical order) are: Audrey Clement (Green); Libby Garvey (Democrat); and Mark Kelly (Republican).

The Voter Guide contains a brief bio of each candidate, along with his/her issue priorities.

Absentee voting is open! Don't forget to vote on (or before) March 27!

LWV Arlington: February 2012 Bulletin

Please read our February 2012 for a Letter from the President, Mary Finger, as well as recent news, updates, and upcoming events.

February 15, 2012: League Meeting at Mt. Olivet Methodist Church, Room L-5

7:00pm. The speaker is County Board Chair Mary Hynes on her plans to reinvigorate the Arlington Way and increase community input into county decision-making. As this topic is central to the League's purpose of promoting civic participation, it should be of interest to us all and give us ideas on how the League can be supportive.

Board Meeting: Thursday, February 16th

Glebe Elementary School 7:00-8:30 p.m.

LWV Arlington: January 2012 Bulletin

Please read our January Bulletin for a Letter from the President, Mary Finger, as well as recent news, updates, and upcoming events.

Upcoming January 2012 Events

Please attend!

January 4: Pre-session Legislative Hearing, County Boardroom, 7:00-9:00pm

January 14: Program Planning Meeting and Social Event + Arl/US, Goodwin House, 9:30am

January 19: Board Meeting, Glebe Elementary School, 7:00-8:30pm

December County Board Report

Full minutes of the December County Board Report will be available after they are approved at the January 21 meeting.

LWV Arlington: November 2011 Bulletin

Please read our November Bulletin for a Letter from the President, Mary Finger, as well as recent news, updates, and upcoming events.

Federal Role in Education

Members, Please Attend!

LWVUS Study: The Role of the Federal Government in Education

A Discussion Session to Arrive at Consensus on Policy Questions
Led by Marjorie Hobart

Saturday, November 19, 2011
9:30 a.m. to Noon
Fairlington Community Center, Room 104, 3308 S. Stafford Street

Election Day, November 8: Get Informed!

2011 VOTER GUIDE: Read the candidates' bios and hear their views on important issues from public education to transportation. All state and local races are included. The Guide for all Arlington races is here: 2011 Voter Guide; a MS Word version is here: 2011 Voter Guide (Word)

To read about just the candidates on your ballot, go to Click on the box, upper right, that says, "On Your Ballot." Once you enter your address, you will see the races on your ballot and the candidates' answers to the League's questions.

The Northern Virginia Leagues thank WRC-TV and for providing this web site information to their audience. For additional election information turn to WRC on TV and on line.

Copies of the full Guide are also available at Arlington libraries and community centers.

On behalf of the Arlington units of AAUW and of NOW, we thank the candidates and audience members who participated in our Candidate Forum on October 30!

Election Laws Update

Check out the Virginia LWV Election Laws Position!

The League of Women Voters of Virginia believes that democratic government depends on the informed and active participation of its citizens; that voting is a right and responsibility; and that election laws, regulations and administrative procedures should be uniformly designed and applied, and adequately funded to facilitate and increase voter participation throughout Virginia.

Role of the Commonwealth

Funding the cost of maintaining a statewide system of voter registration, and providing equal and easy access for voting throughout Virginia, are responsibilities shared by the Commonwealth and local governments. The Commonwealth should provide additional funding where localities are financially unable to support an accessible and well-managed election system.

The State Board of Elections must be given adequate authority and resources to: enforce election laws and mandatory standards for local election offices; encourage best practices in registration and elections management, especially in training election officers and officials; provide adequate oversight of registration and elections at locality and precinct levels; and oversee implementation of election laws, regulations and policies to ensure their consistent application across the Commonwealth.


Because the system of voter registration affects voter turnout, and because federal legislation has extended the availability and ease of voter registration in Virginia,

  • Voter registration opportunities must be available, by mail and in person, consistently throughout the Commonwealth;

  • A uniform system of voter registration is required to facilitate voting and prevent fraud; and

  • Additional measures should be adopted to increase the availability of voter registration, especially those that utilize technological advances or provide cost savings, including:

  • Online voter registration,

  • Reducing the interval between the registration deadline and Election Day to the smallest number of days consistent with effective elections management, and

  • Same-day registration at county and city central election offices.

In defining domicile and abode to determine residency for purposes of registration, a statewide policy should be applied and enforced to ensure:

  • Uniform interpretation
  • Broad construction
  • Presumption of intent
  • Consistent application

Voter registration by political party should not be adopted in the Commonwealth.


Election laws must be designed to facilitate voting and encourage participation of a large percentage of citizens in all elections. To this end, laws, policies and procedures affecting the voting process should be applied consistently in all parts of the Commonwealth, both prior to the election and at the polls on Election Day.

Prior to the Election

The LWV-VA supports:

  • Legislation to allow all registered voters to vote absentee, without specifying a reason, prior to Election Day. Both choices+ voting in person or by mail-- should be offered. (This no-excuse absentee voting is sometimes called "early voting.")

  • The use of satellite voting facilities, in areas where distance or inadequate transportation make it difficult for voters to reach a central election office for in-person absentee voting;

  • The provision by all localities of evening and weekend voting hours at central and satellite offices, for several weeks before general elections;

  • The use of electronic means for submitting absentee ballots by military and overseas voters if it can be accomplished while maintaining ballot security and integrity; and

  • A pilot program of all-mail voting to test its use in some elections.

At the Polls

The following should be required throughout Virginia to ensure an efficient voting process:

  • Electronic poll books, with back-up paper copies for emergencies;

  • Appropriate precinct sizes and numbers of voting machines to minimize voting delays;

  • Well-trained officers of election; and

  • Polling places selected to maximize voter participation and near public transportation, wherever possible.

The LWV-VA is concerned that Virginia's polling hours might not be optimal for all areas of the Commonwealth, especially those close to adjacent states, and also concerned about the effect of long hours on officers of election. Split shifts and poll closing specialists should be used in all localities to ease the burden on officers of election, help in their recruitment, and ensure well-managed elections.

Legislation should be enacted to provide authority to the Courts to extend the polling hours in case of disasters and other emergencies that prevent the voters from getting to the polls, and include the provisions needed to ensure fair access to the polls throughout the Commonwealth. (2011)