Issue, Study, Consensus, Position...

The League of Women Voters of Howard County is a local unit under the League of Women Voters of Maryland (LWVMD) and part of the League of Women Voters of the United States (LWVUS). As such we support positions taken on issues of public interest by the LWVMD and LWVUS. 

Issue Positions are developed through research and study of available facts, leading to a consensus of members as to the policy recommendations meriting League support. 

The League is proud to be nonpartisan, neither supporting nor opposing candidates of political parties at any level of government, but always working on issues of vital concern to our members and to the public. 

The League encourages informed and active participation in government by citizens at all levels, and works to increase understanding of major public policy issues, and influences policy through education and advocacy. 


The process begins with the selection of an issue during program planning. These issues may address any level of public policy.


The next step is the creation of a study of the issue. Studies (whether national, state, or local) are a defined process lasting one to three years, during which facts and details, both positive and negative, are revealed. The purpose of a study is to educate members so that they can be informed participants in consensus and provide the necessary data for formulating the ultimate position


Study committee members frame consensus questions that are then asked of the membership as part of a study kit. In League terms, ‘consensus’ refers to agreement by a substantial number of a representative group of members, reached after study and discussion. It is not a simple majority and is not reached by vote. Consensus is a prerequisite to any position the League takes on issues. It determines what action can be taken. It is meant to assure that members are not only informed but in basic agreement.


If the members reach consensus, the board forms positions based on that consensus. It is the consensus statement - the statement resulting from the consensus questions - that becomes a "position”.

Member Action

Most League action consists of working to influence governmental decisions based on the positions adopted at all levels of the League. An official League position is publicly presented only by the President (or designated member). Members are encouraged to speak or write, as individuals, in support of positions held by the League. Actions may include testifying before a political body, letters, emails, petitions, letters to the editor, meetings with public officials, and other common but non-partisan activities. 

Without a position, action cannot be taken on an issue.