Frequently Asked Questions

What is the League of Women Voters and what are the LWV guiding principles?

The League of Women Voters (LWV) is a national organization divided into independent but affiliated national, state and local levels. Founded in 1920 at the culmination of a 72-year struggle to gain women’s suffrage, the LWV took as its first charge helping to educate women on how to exercise their new political rights and responsibilities. Today, there are over 700 League of Women Voters chapters.

The LWV believes in representative government and the individual liberties established in the Constitution of the United States.

The LWV believes that a good democratic government depends upon the informed and active participation of its citizens.

The LWV believes that the right to vote must be protected for every citizen, that every person should have access to free public education that provides equal opportunity for all and that no person or group should suffer legal, economic or administrative discrimination.

The LWV believes that efficient and economical government requires competent personnel, clear assignment of responsibility, adequate financing and coordination among the different agencies and levels of government.

The LWV believes that government should be responsive to the will of the people. Government should maintain an equitable and flexible system of taxation, promote the conservation and development of natural resources in the public interest, share in the solution of economic and social problems which affect the general welfare, promote a stable and expanding economy and adopt domestic policies which facilitate the solution of international problems.

The LWV believes that cooperation with other nations is essential in the search for solutions to the world’s problems and the development of international law is imperative in the promotion of world peace.

Who runs the LWV-Houston?

We are a volunteer-powered organization. There are no full-time staff members and there is no Executive Director. Instead, we rely on our Board Members and the energy and commitment of our community to advance our mission in Houston.

Is the LWV-Houston just for women?

The LWV-Houston is not just for women. We are a vibrant organization that activates genders of all ages, backgrounds, political identification and civic experience.

How does the LWV-Houston differ from other civic engagement groups?

The LWV-Houston is different from many organizations because what it accomplishes comes directly from the involvement of its members. It is a grassroots organization providing every member with opportunities to learn and educate others about government and taking action on public policy. The LWV-Houston members discuss topics in a nonpartisan setting. They learn effective techniques for public discussion and how to advocate specific policies. Our study and consensus process ensures that we are fully informed on issues before we take a stand. This approach has earned the LWV-Houston a national reputation for integrity and thoroughness.

Is the LWV-Houston a nonpartisan organization?

Yes, the LWV-Houston is a nonpartisan organization. A person’s perception of the LWV-Houston is largely based on the position they have and the prism through which they look at activities, events and positions. Our members identify as Democrats, Republicans, Independents, Libertarians, Green and other party members.

The LWV-Houston does, however, take action on a selected issue once a) the issue has been studied, b) consensus of the members on the position is gained and c) that position is later adopted at the national convention. 

You can find the full list of positions that the LWV has taken on issues here.

If the LWV-Houston is nonpartisan, why do you take positions on issues?

The LWV-Houston was founded over 100 years ago by activists who secured voting rights for women, but the LWV-Houston has always worked to promote the values and processes of representative government. Protecting and enhancing voting rights for all Americans, assuring opportunities for citizen participation, working for open, accountable, representative and responsive government at every level, securing equal rights and equal opportunities for all, promoting economic justice and health safety of all Americans, seeking to work cooperatively in an interdependent world and wisely managing natural resources in the public interest all reflect the deep and long-held convictions of the LWV-Houston.

You can find the full list of positions that the LWV has taken on issues here.

I see that the LWV-Houston is nonpartisan—what events do you put on that are nonpartisan?

The LWV-Houston produces and distributes the nonpartisan Voters Guide.

The LWV-Houston supports the nonpartisan websites lwvhouston.org and vote411.org

The LWV-Houston sponsors nonpartisan candidate forums and debates.

The LWV-Houston partners with the media, including providing nonpartisan voting information and staffing the Phone Bank on election day.

The LWV-Houston provides nonpartisan speakers for a variety of groups.

The LWV-Houston organizes and coordinates nonpartisan voter registration events including volunteering at USCIS naturalization ceremonies, area high schools, colleges, restaurants, food distribution sites, community activities and many other places.

Which conservative and progressive organizations have you worked with?

The LWV-Houston will work with any conservative or progressive organization that wishes to help promote the LWV-Houston’s values.

Does the LWV-Houston endorse candidates?

The LWV-Houston is officially nonpartisan—it neither supports nor opposes candidates or parties. The LWV-Houston’s mission is to provide factual, impartial information about issues and candidates.

When is the Voters Guide available?

The Voters Guide is generally available by mid-October approximately a week before Early Voting takes place.

What benefits do I receive as a member?

Your participation in the LWV-Houston will expose you to a breadth of experiences and issues. The LWV-Houston will inform you and also create greater opportunities for civic engagement. You can spend as much or as little time involved as a member as you wish. The LWV-Houston will excite, use, and nurture your civic curiosity, ideals and desire for action.

By joining the LWV-Houston, you will be supporting and participating in activities that promote an open democratic society. Our volunteers work year-round on activities, including organizing and overseeing voter registration events, providing citizenship education in the community and schools, hosting candidate forums and debates, providing civic information at media phone banks, partnering with other like-minded groups, receiving materials and training from the state and national LWV organizations, compiling and creating the Voters Guide and making friends with a vibrant group of members.

Where do my member fees go?

The LWV-Houston keeps only a small portion of our members’ annual dues, while the majority goes to the National and State chapters. Every dollar you give directly to the LWV-Houston ensures we can focus on building our community together

How do I register voters in Texas?

In order to register voters and submit voter applications, Texas requires that a person be a Volunteer Deputy Voter Registrar (VDVR). For Houston, Harris County regularly offers free one-hour VDVR training.

Where can I get registered to become a VDVR?

Harris County is now holding VDVR virtual training sessions on Zoom. To RSVP for one of these sessions, follow these steps:
Go to www.hctax.net
Click on Voter Registration (a drop box will appear)
Click on Volunteer Deputy Voter Register
Scroll to the bottom of the page and find the 2020 Virtual Zoom Training Schedule
Select the training of your choice and click on the RSVP button to fill out the required information

How can I join the LWV-Houston’s VDVR team?

If you are already a registered VDVR, email Voter.registration@lwvhouston.org about wanting to volunteer with the League as a VDVR.

Do I have to be a VDVR to volunteer with LWV-Houston?

No, while it is preferred that you become a VDVR, LWV-Houston often has volunteer opportunities where that is not required. Email voter.registration@lwvhouston.org and ask to be placed on the mailing list to learn of opportunities.

What can I do as a volunteer?

Not only will you have the opportunity to volunteer at any of our events, but you will also have the opportunity to develop leadership skills and become more actively involved. Additionally, the LWV-Houston is always looking for new opportunities to expand our outreach and we welcome all members’ suggestions.

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