The League of Women Voters takes action on an issue only when we have a position addressing it. If the members have not studied and come to consensus on it, the League has no position and therefore cannot take action. Studies (whether national, state, or local) are a defined process lasting one to three years, during which we undertake thorough pursuit of facts and details, both positive and negative, and come to consensus about policy.
What Studies Are There?
Studies from across the nation are in our League of Women Voters Education Fund Clearinghouse.
What Is The Study Process?
- Study Committee members fashion consensus questions that are then asked of the membership as part of a study kit. Kits often include articles, books, data in the form of charts and graphs, videos, suggested speakers, discussion questions, and other resources. Members use the study kit internally and often with their community to better understand the issue.
- Consensus is the overall decision-making process by which substantial agreement among members is reached on an issue. Often this happens over the course of several meetings, but may include surveys and other methods. If the members reach consensus, the board forms recommended positions based on that consensus. Those recommendations are submitted to the Study Committee.
- The Study Committee then reviews all the submissions. It works to form a consensus statement - the statement resulting from the consensus questions - that becomes a recommended position.
- That recommended position is then reviewed and voted on by our members (usually by delegates at our Convention). The proposal may be approved, amended, or be rejected at that time.
- If a position is adopted, firm action can then be taken on the particular issue addressed by the position. Without a position, action can not be taken on that issue.
Read the national Guidelines for LWVUS Studies.
The League's "program" consists of those governmental issues that the League has chosen for concerted study and action, or advocacy, at the national, state or local level. The program process is specified in the bylaws and includes the following steps:
- formal adoption (by members at an annual meeting or by state/national convention delegates) of an issue for study;
- member study and agreement on broad concepts;
- formulation of a position by the appropriate board of directors based on results of the study;
- action as directed by the board of directors;
- annual or biennial re-adoption of the position.
Local Leagues may work simultaneously on local, state, national program issues but action may be taken only in those areas where there is member understanding and agreement based on the study process.
Local Leagues can act based on positions developed after study at the national or state level. State Leagues may act based on positions they develop from their own studies or from those conducted by the LWVUS.
Details of current and past Delaware state-level studies are available on the LWVDE website League Studies page.