Making Democracy Work

Because democracy is not a spectator sport

The League of Women Voters is a nonpartisan political organization encouraging informed and active participation in government. It influences public policy through education and advocacy.


LWV Chicago is busy preparing for the upcoming Illinois primary election! Early voting begins February 21.

Be sure to check out our Voter Information pages - you can find out about voter registration, election information, and the services LWV Chicago provides to get you ready to cast your ballot.

Ballot Ready Logo Use BallotReady to learn about your ballot - the candidates and their positions. Available for Illinois February 20.

LWV Chicago registers voters at Cook County Jail, supports HB4469

voter registrars at cook county jail
LWV members, including our student affiliates from the UChicago Democracy Initiative - UCDI, teamed up with members of Chicago Votes and Indivisible Chicago-South Side for another successful day of voter registration at the Cook County Jail on February 11. The team registered 100 new voters -- putting our total since November at more than 1,000! Many were unaware that, as detainees not convicted of a crime, they retain their full constitutional voting rights.

Thousands of pre-trial detainees in Illinois face enormous hurdles to exercising their voting rights. And thousands more, who have had their voting rights restored after a past felony conviction, are unaware of those rights. That's why the League of Women Voters of Illinois and its local chapters, including LWV Chicago and League of Women Voters of Cook County, are among more than two dozen organizations supporting HB4469, to help re-engage these citizens in civic life.

Fact sheet for HB4469

Ask your state legislators to support HB4469! Find your representatives

STATE OF THE CITY - April 25, 2018

Join the League of Women Voters of Chicago for our annual luncheon and panelist discussion moderated by WBEZ reporter and author Natalie Moore.

A Tale of Two Cities: Bridging Chicago's Opportunity Divide

What we can do to make one Chicago

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

11 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.

Union League Club of Chicago

65 W Jackson Blvd

Proceeds benefit the League of Women Voters of Chicago Education Fund, a 501(c)(3) organization.

For more information or to become a sponsor of this program, contact

League of Women Voters 98th Anniversary

group photo of LWV Chicago members in attendance at briefing.
Chicago League members attending the State Issues Briefing

It's the League's 98th anniversary February 14, and we're still going strong! We celebrated by attending the LWV Illinois Issues Briefing, where our members learned more about policy issues that we will be advocating for this year.

We discussed bridging the partisan divide with former Illinois State Representative Elaine Nekritz, who expressed worry over the current polarization in government but suggested the active recruitment of worthy new candidates as a possible solution.

State Representative Lou Lang updated us on the status of the ERA in Illinois. He hopes a vote will come in the spring legislative session, but explained that it will take raising awareness to make it happen. Contact your representatives now and ask them to support the ERA!

A number of expert panelists came together to speak on criminal justice reform as well. They suggested a number of initiatives: decreasing the prison population by reducing the use of money bail, implementing prison diversion programs such as drug court, decreasing recidivism by connecting those with criminal records with employment, and educating past convicts on their right to vote.

Experts also presented on many more topics, including the cost of segregation, the role of property taxes in funding education, community organizing around clean water initiatives, the Fair Tax, the public health approach to preventing firearm injury and death, redistricting, and implementing automatic voter registration.

What are you advocating for this year? Join us to get involved!


WOMEN'S MARCH CHICAGO: MARCH TO THE POLLS LWV Chicago voter registrars (15 people) with signs and balloons before the march

On Jan 20, 2018, approximately 300,000 people attended this march in Chicago to promote voter engagement. LWV Chicago was out in force! A team of volunteers spread out around the march, armed with March 20 voter information bookmarks,voter registration materials and patriotic balloons to identify themselves. Check out our facebook photo album for additional pictures from the event.


September 6, 2017 The League of Women Voters of Chicago announces today that it will support efforts to change the name of Balbo Drive, the heavily traveled street on the lakefront, and proposes that the street bear the name of Ida B. Wells Barnett. The group is asking city residents to contact their aldermen and ask for the name change to honor the suffragist, civil rights activist and investigative journalist who was an early leader of the civil and women's rights movements, worked against segregation in Chicago's public schools and helped found the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.

Read the full press release.

The League suggests that citizens who wish to join in this campaign contact their aldermen. Locate aldermen information at: Ward and Alderman Search