Bonnie Cox, LWVIL President
FromFrom the President:   
Dear LWVIL members,
Best holiday wishes to each of you and your boards from all of us on the LWVIL Board and our staff. This week we will get together for our annual holiday luncheon. It's a time of thanksgiving, celebration, and reflection ... as holiday events typically are for families, faith communities, colleagues, friends, or neighbors. I've been pondering how we often use "light" (candles, stars, luminaria) to symbolize meaning for these gatherings.
Two references to "light" and the LWV come to me from the voices of two patriots and leaders in our nation's history: President George Herbert Walker Bush and the Honorable Carol Mosely Braun. My husband and I feel a personal connection to both tied to election night, November 1992. Both President Bush and John lost their bids for reelection but how we rejoiced to know that Illinois would be sending its first woman and first person of color to the US Senate.
As the nation has honored President Bush's legacy in recent days, we've heard again the words of his 1989 inaugural address.  He compared America's volunteer organizations to "a brilliant diversity spread like stars, like a thousand points of light against a broad and peaceful sky." " The old ideas are new again because they are not old, they are timeless: duty, sacrifice, commitment, and a patriotism that finds its expression in taking part and pitching in." What better, more apt description of the LWV could there be than that!
Recently, Carol sent me a note after attending the LWVIL State of the State event in September. She referred to the LWV as a "beacon to the republic." I again found this metaphor for the LWV to be meaningful and powerful.   We do strive to illuminate for our nation some central tenets of this great experiment we call our American democracy: that the supreme power of a republic rests in the body of its citizens and that as citizens entitled to vote, we are called to be responsible in choosing and influencing the representatives that will exercise that power.
Thank you, LWVIL members, for shining so brightly!
Yours in League, 

Bonnie Cox

A group of members have generously pledged $5000 to match year-end donations dollar-for-dollar.  Please help us reach this match requirement, and start off 2019 strong.  Click here to give now!
IllinoisVoter Service

This past November, 57% of registered Illinois voters cast a ballot, an 8 percent improvement from the midterm election of 2014. Let's review the ways that LWV made a difference in voter turnout.

LWVIL Election Impact

Several Leagues reported their voter registration activities, and the numbers from these six Leagues are pretty amazing!  

These Leagues coordinated 67 events for 388 volunteers who donated over 1000 hours. They registered nearly 2500 voters and engaged (provided voting information) with close to 4000 people.

We know that many of your Leagues contributed as well, not just on voter registrations but additional activities such as hosting candidate forums.

Submit your stats!  - LWVUS is soliciting input nationally on voter service activities. If you haven't already, please have ONE PERSON from your League  take a few minutes to fill out the survey . Where you do not have exact numbers available, estimates are fine. Survey data is used to develop helpful resources for Leagues, identify areas of needed training and support, and measure the full impact of our organization's work to protect, register, and engage voters in 2018.

When you complete your survey, the Illinois State League would appreciate a copy. Please forward to Usage and Statistics

We have some more numbers to share with you for our statewide voter guide
tool. was our online voter guide for the 2018 Midterm Election.  

From the period Sept. 30 to Nov. 6, Over 27,000 individuals statewide accessed our site.
Here are some of the activities they performed:
  • 408,640 candidates were viewed and users accessed 220k issue stances for those candidates
  • 143,577 candidates were saved to a personalized ballot
  • For ballots that included referenda, 39k viewed the referenda and 15k were saved to ballots
  • Over 3500 users used Illinois Voter Guide to find their polling place and 2500 scheduled a reminder to vote.
  • LWV questionnaire responses were accessed over 5000 times - exclusive candidate information on the site!
As you can see, referring voters to our online resource also helps us measure our impact. Thank you for promoting the Illinois Voter Guide. If you want some tips or suggestions, our Illinois Voter Guide Toolkit is always available on the LWVIL website. 

Preparing for Municipal Elections

LWVILEF has contracted the same site for the Feb, 26, 2019 Primary Consolidated Election as well as the April 2, 2019 Consolidated Election.  Here are some suggestions and requests to make the tool as informative as possible.

League Questionnaires  - Exclusive content
Your League may consider asking 3 - 5 questions in writing of your candidates for these upcoming elections. When you receive the answer (electronically in writing) they could be posted on the site. This is value added for the IVG site besides additional information for voters! C ontact for information. 

Defining Election Boundaries  The accuracy of some local races is based on whether our partner Civic Engine has the appropriate electronic map of the election. Because the municipal elections are not centralized with the State, help us contact your local election board to obtain GIS/shape files. If you are willing to assist, please notify - we will track which Leagues are taking ownership to avoid duplicated effort. Thank you in advance for your assistance!

Accuracy of the Ballot - Additional Candidate Information
The information used by Illinois Voter Guide is what is available publicly . When the site is published, it is based on information available at that time. If you are aware of new information, or are informed by a candidate that they believe information is missing, the site does include a link to submit updated information.

Moderator Training

We trained another 20 Leaguers as moderators this Dec. 1 st !  We keep a list of trained moderators who are willing to moderate a candidate forum/debate.  These 20 women have been added to our list. If you have been previously trained and would be willing to help out another League with an upcoming candidate forums, please let us know at .

The 2019 Women's March is scheduled for January 19. As in 2017, the main march will occur in Washington, DC with sister marches happening in many cities around the country. As of early December, LWVUS does not have enough information to determine if it will participate as an official partner.

LWVIL has previously collaborated   with Women's March Chicago ( WMC) , organizer of the first two January marches in Chicago.   WMC is not affiliated with the national Women's March organization.  This fall, LWVIL and several local Leagues participated in the WMC  March to the Polls  event on October 13, 2018, in lieu of a January march. As a state organization we will not be participating in the January 19 march .  

We encourage local Leagues to find out more about sister marches in your area. There may be opportunities for local Leagues to contribute to developing the platform for local marches. The full  Criteria for League Participation in Marches & Events can be found on the LWVUS League Management Site. If a League is invited to participate in any official capacity, we ask that you evaluate if the event aligns with our core Making Democracy Work Issues, if the event is nonpartisan, the planners are transparent and inclusive in their planning, all advantages and risks are assessed, and that your League has the bandwidth to participate. 

Is there news from your local League that you would like to share? Consider submitting an item to the LWVIL monthly E-News. Send it to
Remember to check out state and local League events on the LWVIL website calendar. 
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League of Women Voters of Illinois 
332 S. Michigan Ave., Suite 634 | Chicago, Illinois 60604
p. 312.939.5935 | f. 312.939.6887 |