Our nonpartisan policy protects the good name of the League of Women Voters. The League as an organization does not support or oppose any political party, candidate for elective office, or any group that supports candidates. This applies whether a candidate is running under a party designation or in a non-partisan election.
The board of directors is responsible for carrying out the nonpartisan policy and seeing that there is member understanding and public awareness of the League’s nonpartisan stance.
Board members may have party affiliations and should certainly carry out the responsibilities of every voter in exercising the franchise, including the responsibility to become informed about candidates.
Board members may contribute to political parties and candidates and attend political meetings on the basis of individual judgement. The LWVSPA president and Voter Services chair need to exercise particular caution in areas where their active participation may be publicized and bring to question the League’s nonpartisan stance. Political activity of partner, spouse or other family member is separate and distinct from that of a board member.
Campaign literature is not distributed during League meetings. A board member must resign: (a) as soon as she/he declares an intention to be a candidate or (b) before working in a highly visible position for a political party or candidate.
A board member may not hold elective political office during his/her term of office on the board of directors. The board may determine how soon after a member holds office or is actively involved in a campaign that that person is eligible for a board position.
The board will deal with specific cases as they arise, on an individual basis. For guidance, refer to the Bylaws of the League of Women Voters and the League chapter on nonpartisan policy.
(Adopted as amended 7/09; re-adopted 11/11.)
Board of Directors
- The board has the responsibility of maintaining the nonpartisanship of the organization.
- When Board a member plans to engage in political activity, that member must ensure that the activity will not affect the community’s perception of the League’s nonpartisanship.
- The President and the Voter Services Chair may not take an active, visible role in a campaign for a political candidate or for a non-League issue.
- Any Board member who chooses to run for elective office shall resign from the board when candidacy is announced.
- Elected officials shall not hold Board positions.
- The political activities of a spouse or relative of a board member shall be considered as distinct from the activities of the board member.
Once League (local, state or national) takes a position on an issue, members may not identify themselves as League members in publicly expressing an opinion that is in opposition to a League position.
Members representing the League in the community should be sensitive to their responsibilities. When acting in the public as League representatives, members must not allow partisanship to be discernible. These members should be fully aware of League position
Serving on Commissions
Members may serve on governmental commissions at their own discretion. If the appointment is League-related, the appointee should be fully aware of the League positions as they relate to the commission’s responsibility. Delegates of the League may not make any binding commitments for the League on major issues without approval of the Board.
Only the President or a member designated by the President may speak for LWVSPA. Letters, press releases, speeches, etc. put forth in the name of the League shall be approved by the President before release.
Members in the leadership roles at unit and other public meetings have the responsibility to ensure the nonpartisanship of the meeting and its environment.
League’s roster is not to be made available for non-League use without board consent.