NONPARTISAN POLICY AND GUIDELINES FOR POLITICAL ACTIVITY
The purpose of the League of Women Voters is to promote political responsibility through informed and active participation of citizens in government. The nonpartisanship of LWV is the basis of our public credibility and must be carefully maintained. LWV does not support or oppose any political party or candidate. It is political in that it takes positions on selected governmental issues after member study and agreement.
LWV recognizes the role of the political parties in our form of government and believes that participation in the activities of the political parties is an essential ingredient of citizen responsibility. While LWV encourages its members to be politically active and fully informed about candidates and issues, certain constraints are necessary to maintain the nonpartisanship of the organization.
The Board of Directors of the League of Women Voters Roseville Area has established the following guidelines:
To avoid possible perception of partisanship, positions of high visibility (as delineated below) have the responsibility of maintaining the fact of the nonpartisanship of the organization. They are to refrain from political activity or active partisan support during their term of office. These positions include: President(s); Voter Service Chair(s); Public Relations Chair(s); Action Chair(s); Moderators for forums, and other Board members who have been authorized by the full Board to act as a spokesperson by LWV-Roseville Area. Board members and members MAY when involved in NON-PARTISAN elective campaigns (e.g. City Council, School Board, County Commissioner, County Attorney)
- With the exception of the president or co-presidents, the chairs of voter service, public relations and the action committee, hold nonpartisan elective office while serving on the Board of Directors, with approval of the LWV Roseville Area Board of Directors and in consultation with LWVMN.
- With the exception of the president or co-presidents, the chairs of voter service, public relations and action committees, engage in public political actions, as long as these are recognized as their personal actions and do not imply official or unofficial LWV endorsement. Examples include signing political advertisements; posting lawn signs, hosting functions, attending event/fundraiser, etc.
- When running for elective office, mention LWV membership in their campaigns as indicative of community involvement, as long as care is taken to avoid inference of LWV endorsement.
- Serve as appointed members of county, city, state, or national boards or commissions.
- Serve on the Board while an official candidate for a non-partisan elective office.
If currently serving on the Board, the Board member must take a leave of absence from their position while actively campaigning for office. They may resume their position after the election.
- A Board member may not speak publicly or work against a League position.
- The political activities of a spouse or relative shall be distinct from the activities of the Board member.
Board members MAY NOT:
- Run for or hold any partisan elective office at any level of government without first resigning from the Board of Directors
- Serve on the LWV Roseville Area Board of Directors while an officer of a political party or organization
- Serve on the board of Directors for six months after leaving a partisan elective office.
With the exception of the president(s), chairs of voter service, public relations, and action committees who may post only LWV vote signs:
Members May have in their yard:
Have either a LWV lawn sign promoting voting in their yard
A partisan sign promoting a candidate.
Members May NOT have in their yard:
Have both an LWV lawn sign
A partisan sign promoting a candidate
Social Media and other Media
A Board member shall not indicate her/his political affiliations or candidate preferences, at any level of government, in the media, including social networking sites or other public venues that prominently identify them as a member of LWV Roseville Area Board.
The LWV Roseville Area Web Site, Facebook, Blog/ListServ. Voter Newsletter will only accept posts of a NONPARTISAN nature and will be posted by authorized members who will adhere to the nonpartisan policy.
Co-sponsorship can present problems of perceived bias, especially, if the other organization is identified with a particular point of view or endorses candidates. If LWV’s name is to be included, it is important League guidelines for non-partisanship are agreed upon before co-sponsoring. The Board’s approval may be needed in certain situations.
Since non-partisanship is the foundation of LWV, members are cautioned to use discretion in any political activities that might be considered as partisan. The object is to prevent in the eyes of the public either actual or apparent conflict of interest. If uncertain, the President(s) should be consulted and if further decision making is necessary, the Board should be consulted.