League of Women Voters

League of Women Voters
of Washington County, AR

A Nonpartisan Political Organization


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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.

The Washington County League provides non-partisan political information, a guide to elected officials, candidate forums, programs on current issues, a citizens' information guide (Spanish), and other resources to help citizens participate in the political process.

Upcoming Events

Drinks & Dialogue Oct. 18

Here is your chance to join an informal conversation about issues and League of Women Voters interests. Topics will change with each organizer. Discussions will be limited to one hour.

Who: All persons, members and non-members are welcome.

What: Drinks & Dialogue topic - Where Do We Stand? Learn about the advocacy positions the LWV of Washington County has taken on.

Where: Fresco Restaurant, 112 W. Center St. #100 (Management Special: ½ price per bottle for those who want to share)

When: Wednesday, October 18, 5:30-6:30PM

Contact: Please call or text Angela Danovi 479-295-7717 if interested so that seating can be arranged in advance.

Lifelong Housing: Learn from the Builders Oct. 25

Remaining in one’s home rather than a care facility is the desire of most people. Steps can be taken to extend that time at home, if people plan ahead. A program to discuss the issue of building housing to meet the needs of an aging population will be held Wednesday, October 25, 5:30 to 7:30PM at the Washington Regional Pat Walker Senior Center auditorium located at 12 E. Appleby, Fayetteville. Panelists will include Tim Janachek, Janachek Remodeling of Rogers, Suzanne Lantz of the Stitt Group in Rogers, and one additional panelist TBD.

The February LWVWC program on lifelong housing kicked off activity with architects, builders, organizations and city officials that is ongoing to address this growing residential accommodations need. Actions they take have the potential of leading to legislation and policies supporting financial incentives for home construction that address special needs.

There is no charge for attending this panel. Contact Beth Barham at beth.barham5@gmail.com or call 445-4116 for more information.

Stop Gun Violence, Help Save Lives

On Thursday, November 9, the League of Women Voters of Washington County will host a panel discussion and question and answer session in the Walker Room of the Fayetteville Public Library. Please join us at 5:30PM to increase your knowledge base on gun violence and safety factors. Members of the panel will be Steve Boss, PhD, Professor of Geosciences at the University of Arkansas; Nicole Clowney, Advocate for Moms Demand Action; Steven Gahagans, Chief of University of Arkansas Police Departmen; and Greg Leding, Arkansas House of Representatives District 86. The panel moderator will be Ann Rosso.

League Planning Materials

On September 27, Pat Landis, of the Pulaski County League, gave an excellent talk on League building. She recommended several valuable resources that are listed below.

  • MLD Handbook. The MLD (Membership and Leadership Development) Program provides many ideas for League Building.
  • LWV Education Fund Clearinghouse. "...contains studies and research conducted by League members. Visitors may download and print the documents. League members may submit documents for this site."
  • LWVWC Issues Page. Links to local, state, and national League policy documents. The national document is LWV's Impact on Issues. "In addition to the official statements of position for each program area, this guide briefly traces significant past actions and achievements and indicates links among positions."

Voter ID Update

In March 2017, the Arkansas legislature enacted Act 633, which mandated a voter verification requirement similar to the one that was struck down in 2014. It will also be presented to voters in the 2018 general election as an amendment to Amendment 51 of the Arkansas Constitution.

Emergency Rules For The Verification Of Voter Registration were approved on July 20 and are effective as of July 31, 2017. The Rules will, therefore, be in effect for upcoming special elections around the state. This document describes photo identification as "(1) A document or identification card that satisfies all of the following conditions: (a) Shows the name of the person to whom the document was issued; (b) Shows a photograph of the person to whom the document was issued; (c) Is issued by the United States, the State of Arkansas, or an accredited postsecondary educational institution in the State of Arkansas; and (d) If displaying an expiration date, the document or card is not expired or expired no more than four (4) years before the date of the election in which the person seeks to vote." Consult the whole document for more information.

Also in effect as of July 31, 2017, are Emergency Rules On Poll Watchers, Vote Challenges, and Provisional Voting. Additional Arkansas election rules are here. Training resources for election officials and commissioners are provided here by the Arkansas Board of Election Commissioners. A summary of Act 633 and other 2017 Arkansas election legislation is provided by the Arkansas State Board of Election Commissioners here.

New Voter ID requirements per Act 633 explained by the Washington County Election Commission are here.

On October 15, 2014, the Arkansas Supreme Court unanimously struck down the Voter ID Act 595 of 2013. Read the decision here.

Two Federal Election-Related Commissions

Two specialized federal election-related commissions have been in the news recently. They are linked from the Election links section on LWVWC Links page.

The U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC) "was established by the Help America Vote Act of 2002 (HAVA). EAC is an independent, bipartisan commission charged with developing guidance to meet HAVA requirements, adopting voluntary voting system guidelines, and serving as a national clearinghouse of information on election administration. EAC also accredits testing laboratories and certifies voting systems, as well as audits the use of HAVA funds." News reports have indicated that this important commission may be abolished.

The Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity was established in May by executive order of the President to study the registration and voting processes used in federal elections. Concern has been reported in the news that the commission's work might lead to vote suppression.

Lifelong Housing: Homes for All Ages

Lifelong Housing: Homes for All Ages, a public panel, was presented on Thursday, February 16, 2017. Sponsors were the League of Women Voters of Washington County, Age-Friendly Fayetteville, City of Fayetteville, and AARP Arkansas.

Program materials, including a video of the program, panelists' presentations, and useful internet resources are here.

Election Results

Washington County Election Results (Washington County Election Commission)

State of Arkansas Results (Arkansas Secretary of State)

Presidential Primary Calendar, with Electoral Vote Results and Running Totals (New York Times)

Mental Illness and the Judicial System

Nancy Kahanek, a member of the Judicial Equality for Mental Illness Task Force (JEMI) and a League member has written a very informative column Treat, Don't Jail, the Mentally Ill in the August 20, 2015, Arkansas Times. Read the article here.

"Mental Illness and the Judicial System" was the topic for the April 16, 2015, program sponsored by the League of Women Voters of Washington County, Mental Health America in Northwest Arkansas and the Judicial Equality for Mental Illness Task Force (JEMI). Handouts at the meeting and additional resources are provided here.

Early Childhood Education in Arkansas

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.


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.

Keystone Pipeline

Resources for learning more about this important issues and the national LWV's stand on it include the LWVUS position, an LWVUS press release, videos and additional information, and an article from The Hill's Congress Blog.

League Programs on YouTube

View the League's excellent programs on shale economics (October 2013), watersheds (September 2013), immigration law (April 2013), the Common Core Education Standards (January 2013), and cyberbullying (October 2012) on the Internet.

Women in the Arkansas Legislature: 90 Years (1922-2012)

Former legislator Lindsley Smith has produced a fascinating video on the history of women in the Arkansas General Assembly 1922-2012. This work was supported by the University of Arkansas Women's Giving Circle and the Diane D. Blair Center of Southern Politics and Society.

LWVWC on Facebook
Interact with the League of Women Voters of Washington County on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/lwvwc/!!!

Resources for League Programs and Studies
LWVWC Lifelong Housing Resources prepared for the February 2017 meeting. Updated 9/2017.
LWVWC Mental Illness and the Judicial System Resources prepared for the April 2014 meeting. Updated 8/2015.
LWVWC Fraud Prevention for Seniors Resources prepared for the March 2014 meeting.
LWVWC Arkansas Voter ID Resources prepared for the February 2014 meeting. Updated 10/2014.
LWVWC Fayetteville Shale Play Resources. Updated 12/2013.
LWVWC Immigration Resources for the April 2013 meeting. Updated 2/2015.
LWVWC Local Emergency Preparedness Resources for the January 2012 meeting. Updated 1/2012.
LWV Privatization Resources for the Spring 2011 meeting and LWVUS study. Updated 12/2011.
LWV Education Resources for the October 2011 meeting and LWVUS study. Updated 12/2011.
LWVWC Transportation Resources for the April 2011 meeting.
Resources on Rising Child Poverty in Northwest Arkansas for the 2010-2011 LWVWC study. Updated 2/2011.
Redistricting Resources for the Sept. 2010 meeting.
Health Care Reform Resources for Jan. 2010 meeting. Updated 6/2012.
LWVAR Transition from Foster Care to Adulthood Study Materials
for a consensus meeting on Dec. 16, 2009. Updated 6/2010.
LWVAR Providing State Tax Incentives for Land Conservation Study Materials for the 2008 state study.
National Immigration Study materials for the 2006-2008 LWVUS study.

League Meetings on Television

Fayetteville residents can view programs on Fayetteville Access TV on Cox Channel 218 or AT&T Uverse 99, and anyone can view them on streaming video at scheduled times. Check the schedule here.

Upcoming Elections

Visit the Washington County Election Commission for dates,
voter information, sample ballots, and precinct maps
for upcoming elections, to learn how to register to vote, or
to check your voter registration.

Register to Vote!


10/2013 Marion Orton Recycling Drop Off Center Grand Opening

LWVWC at 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.Orton/Serafini 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

Joyce HaleThe 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

Women's History Month 2012 HonoreesFive 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

LWV 90th AnniversaryIn 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...
More pictures at Flickr.

3/2010 President of League of Women Voters of the U.S. at Clinton School

LWV 90th AnniversaryOn 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.


Video of speech. Photo gallery. News story.

2/2010 League Celebrates 90th Anniversary

LWV 90th AnniversaryFayetteville 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

LWVAR Hall of FameJ.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

LWVAR Hall of FameGenie 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

Conservation Bill Signing

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.


League of Women Voters of Washington County, AR
P.O. Box 4, Fayetteville, AR 72702