The League of Women Voters is a multi-issue organization, whose mission is to encourage the informed and active participation of citizens in the government and to influence public policy through education and advocacy. View a presentation on the League's history.
September 20 Washington County Annual School Election
The Annual School Election will be on Tuesday, September 20. View sample ballots here.
Early voting will be at the County Clerk’s office in the Washington County Courthouse, 280 North College, Fayetteville, beginning Tuesday, September 13, 2016. Hours are 8:00AM to 4:30PM Tuesday through Friday and on Monday, September 19.
Polling places on election day are open from 7:30AM to 7:30PM. According to the Washington County Election Commission, all eligible voters in the Fayetteville and Farmington School Districts will be able to cast their vote at any of the polling places listed below:
The Awakening Church, 5763 E. Mission Blvd, Fayetteville 72701
Baldwin Church of Christ, 4399 Huntsville Ed, Fayetteville 72701
Central United Methodist Church, 6 W. Dickson Fayetteville 72701
Covenant Church, 4511 W. Wedington Dr, Fayetteville 72704
Farmington Baptist Church 49 West Main St., Farmington 72730
Goshen Community Building, 346 Clark St., Goshen 72701
Sang Avenue Baptist Church, 1425 N. Sang Ave., Fayetteville 72703
Sequoyah Methodist Church, 1910 Old Wire Rd., Fayetteville 72701
Trinity Fellowship, 1100 Rolling Hills Dr., Fayetteville 72703
September 22: Voting Rights and Voting Accessibility: The Ongoing Challenge
You are invited to a League of Women Voters of Washington County (LWVWC) meeting to discuss important current issues affecting and impeding voting rights and voting accessibility. The LWVWC program will be on September 22 at the Fayetteville Public Library, Walker Community Room. A social time at 5:30PM will be followed by a program at 6:00PM to 7:30PM. Parking is free and available in the attached library parking garage.
Voting rights have always been central to the national League of Women Voters, which emerged as an organization ninety-seven years ago from the work of the suffragettes to gain the vote for women. The League believes anything that unnecessarily impedes or inhibits the free expression of voter opinions through their vote needs to be vigorously challenged by civil society.
Our local LWVWC supports this effort wholeheartedly. In this election year, our first fall meeting will reaffirm the importance of voting rights and the need to be vigilant in defending them for all Americans. We will discuss what is happening here in Arkansas and at the national level in terms of policies and actions that affect voter rights and share our thoughts in an open discussion of ways to improve voter accessibility in Arkansas.
For additional background, we suggest watching the video of the keynote address at this year’s national League convention, which was given by Ari Berman. He is a well known political speaker and writer, and author of the book Give us the Ballot (title taken from a quote from Martin Luther King). His book documents the history of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and recent challenges to it that disenfranchise voters in a number of ways. The video is available here:
Please join us to learn about and discuss this important topic in our state and locally. Share your thoughts about what can be done. We look forward to seeing you!
For questions about the meeting, contact Rita Officer at (479) 200-0412 (no text, calls only).
October 5: Be Ready to Vote in November: Learn about Ballot Issues
The League of Women Voters of Washington County wants to make sure voters are well-informed of several issues they must decide on the November ballot. Though these issues often fly under the radar, the ones that succeed will change Arkansas statutes or even the state Constitution.
Among other issues, voters will decide ballot questions involving marijuana for medical use, limits on lawsuit damage awards and government-funded business development incentives. To share information on these issues, the League will host a forum on Wednesday, October 5th in the Walker Community Room at the Fayetteville Public Library. The program is from 6 - 7:30PM with a membership mixer at 5:30PM
Panelists explaining the issues include Kristin Higgins, a program associate with the University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture’s Public Policy Center; Berni Kurz, staff chair of the UA Extension Service in Washington County; and Greg Harton, editorial page editor of the Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.
Issues on the ballot this year include:
-- two separate issues regarding medical marijuana (one initiated act and one constitutional amendment).
-- a constitutional amendment that would limit damage awards in medical lawsuits.
-- a constitutional amendment changing term length for elected county officials.
-- a constitutional amendment setting the powers of the governor when traveling out of state,
-- a constitutional amendment that would remove certain restrictions on government-funded incentives for business development projects.
-- a constitutional amendment to allow three casinos in Arkansas, including one in Washington County.
The Division of Agriculture’s Public Policy Center exists to provide Arkansans with timely, credible, unbiased and research-based information and education about public issues. The center's goals are to increase citizen knowledge, awareness and understanding of public issues; enhance public participation in decisions regarding public issues; and help citizens craft, evaluate and implement alternative solutions to public issues.
For more information on the forum, contact League member Laura Kellams at (479) 445-8750.
Laura Kellams, NWA Director for Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families and LWVWC board member, has written Falling Behind: State Loses Ground on the Education of Its Children. Learn where Arkansas stands on the funding of its Arkansas Better Chance program. Read the colum was published August 7, 2015 in the Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.
Arkansas State Board of Election Commissioners Replacement pages to the 2014 Poll Worker Guide (in light of the decision striking down the voter ID law) are here.
Voter ID amendments to the Arkansas Constitution have been proposed in the 2015 legislature (see above) but without the exception for residents of a long-term care or residential care facility licensed by the state that was in Act 595.
Three important amendments to the Arkansas Constitution proposed by the Arkansas Legislature and a petition-initiated act were approved by voters in the November 4 election. The texts of the approved measures are:
Revised by-laws of the League of Women Voters of Washington County were approved by membership at the LWVWC Annual Meeting on May 14. Read the revised by-laws here.
American Voting Experience Report and Recommendations
The American Voting Experience: Report and Recommendations of the Presidential Commission on Election Administration was released on January 22, 2014. Because many voters in the 2012 election experienced long lines and waits of many hours, President Obama apppointed a ten-member Commission to study and provide recommendations on improving the voter experience. Co-chairs of the Commission were the chief counsels to the 2012 Obama and Romney campaigns. The report and recommendations, which included ways to shorten waiting, expand early voting, and improve technology, were presented to the President after a six-month investigation. Read the report and the news release.
10/2013 Marion Orton Recycling Drop Off Center Grand Opening
Members of the League of Women Voters of Washington County gathered on Oct. 26 for the grand opening of the Marion Orton Recycling Drop Off Center. Marion was a long-time League member, a Fayetteville city director and mayor, and a pioneer in environmental policy. Serving on the Pollution Control Committee of the City of Fayetteville, Marion took the lead in establishing a recycling center, which opened in 1971. She managed that center and encouraged the local, Arkansas, and national Leagues' interest and advocacy in recycling. Mayor Lioneld Jordan, LWVWC President Mary Alice Serafini, and Waste Reduction Coordinator Brian Pugh were speakers. Read Mary Alice's remarks about Marion here. See more photos on Flickr.
6/2012 Joyce Hale Awarded Dragon Slayer Award
The Arkansas Citizens First Congress and Arkansas Public Policy Panel honored Joyce Hale, former President of the League of Voters of Washington County, with the Brownie Ledbetter Dragon Slayer Award on June 23 at the 4H Center in Little Rock. She was honored for working tirelessly through the League of Women Voters, Sierra Club, and other groups to champion a range of issues from fair elections to clean water to make Arkansas a better place. "She was one of the first, and most forceful, in the state to raise concerns about the impacts of natural gas fracking on water quality and landowners." Congratulations to Joyce Hale on this richly-deserved honor!
3/2012 Woman's History Award Honorees
Five women who have made significant contributions to Washington County will be honored at the Women's History Month Banquet at the Clarion Inn on March 26 at 6:00. Congratulations to League of Women Voters of Washington County Second Vice President (and former President) Joyce Hale, to League members Senator Sue Madison, Jane Scroggs, and Bobbie Nell Templeton, and to Lib Horn!
3/2010 Governor Proclaims League Day
In celebration of the 90th anniversary of the League of Women Voters of the United States on Tuesday, March 2, Governor Mike Beebe spoke about the League beneath the rotunda of the Arkansas State Capitol and proclaimed the League of Women Voters Day in Arkansas:
...WHEREAS: In June 1919, the U.S. Congress passed the 19th Amendment to the Constitution, and Arkansas became the twelfth state to pass the amendment on July 18, 1919, during a special session of the Arkansas General Assembly; and
WHEREAS: Ninety years ago, women were finally guaranteed the right to vote, moving our Nation forward on the path toward equal civil and political rights for all...
3/2010 President of League of Women Voters of the U.S. at Clinton School
On March 1, Mary Wilson, President of the League of Women Voters of the United States spoke at the Clinton School of Public Service on "2010: A Year of Celebration and Climate Concerns," about the League's 90th anniversary and its efforts to promote public policy responding to the effects of climate change.
Fayetteville Mayor Lioneld Jordan presented LWVWC President Joyce Hale with a proclamation in honor of the 90th anniversary of the League of Woman Voters of the United States on Saturday, February 13:
...I, Lioneld Jordan, Mayor of the City of Fayetteville,
Arkansas do hereby proclaim Saturday, February 13, 2010
as "LWV MAKING DEMOCRACY WORK DAY"
in Fayetteville, Arkansas in honor of the League of Women Voters' 90th Anniversary
and urge all residents of Fayetteville to pay tribute and respect to the League of
Women Voters for all they do to make our community healthy, vibrant and strong.
The ceremony was hosted by the Chi Omega Sorority at the University of Arkansas, where a Chi Omega member read a speech given by Little Rock suffragette, Florence Cotnam, to the first LWV Convention in Chicago on Feb. 14, 1920. Ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment granting women the right to vote was completed on August 18, 1920. More photos at Flickr.
11/2009 LWVWC Presents Carson DVD to Public Library
J.P. Peters of the League of Women Voters of Washington County presents Fayetteville Public Library Director Shawna Thorup with the DVD, "A Sense of Wonder," the story of Rachel Carson, whose 1962 book, Silent Spring, helped launch the environmental movement. Filmed at Ms. Carson's cabin in Maine, the documentary focuses on the last year of her life. As she struggles with cancer and with the critical attacks from the chemical industry, the government, and the press, she uses her remaining energy to spread her message to the American people and to Congress. Supplemental materials include discussion of Carson's legacy by leading environmentalists, a visit with former Interior Secretary, Stewart Udall, and interviews with Carson's adopted son, Roger, and with actress/producer, Kaiulani Lee.
4/2009 Genie Donovan and Wanda Stephens in LWVAR Hall of Fame
Genie Donovan and Wanda Stephens were inducted into the League of Women Voters of Arkansas Hall of Fame on Saturday, April 25, at the LWVAR Convention in Fayetteville. Both have served as president of the League of Women Voters of Washington County, and both have made numerous other contributions to the local League and to the community. Donovan currently serves on the LWVWC Board as Voter editor.
3/2009 Women's History Banquet Awards
Five women from the community were honored at the 11th annual Washington County Women's History Month Banquet at the Clarion Inn, Monday, March 23. Honorees include League President and longtime mental-health advocate Elizabeth "Libby" Wheeler and and Bettie Lu Lancaster, League Voter Services Chair and League Board member, whose many other contributions to the community include starting a library for women in the county jail. Also honored were Patsy Brewer, Edith Hawkins, and Gail Segers.
3/2009 Conservation Tax Credit Bill Signed
After LWVAR studied the use of tax incentives for land preservation, hosted a conservation easement forum, and advocated passage of HB1577, a new water protection program became law without a single vote of opposition. Landowners may now receive state tax credits for conservation easements protecting their riparian zones and wetlands. Governer Beebe signs the bill which now becomes Act 351. Bill sponsors, League members, state agency personnel, and conservation organizations were in attendance at the Capitol for the signing ceremony on March 16, 2009.