LWVHA NONPARTISAN POLICY
June 9, 2018
Each League’s board of directors is responsible for drafting and carrying out a nonpartisan policy in its community per LWVUS Nonpartisan Policy of LWV
The purpose of the League of Women Voters is to promote political responsibility through informed and active participation of citizens in government. It is nonpartisan in that it does not support or oppose any political party or candidate; it is political in that it takes on selected government issues after member study and agreement through consensus.
The League recognizes the role of the political parties in a democracy and believes that participation in their activities is an essential ingredient of citizen responsibility. While the League urges its members to be politically active, certain constraints are necessary to maintain the non-partisanship of the group. Accordingly, the Board of Directors of the League of Women Voters of the Holland Area has established the following guidelines:
Board of Directors
- The board has the responsibility of maintaining the fact of nonpartisanship of the organization. Any board member who does not comply with this policy will be asked by the board to resign without delay.
- The political activities of a spouse or relative of a board member are considered separate and distinct from the activities of the board member.
- In addition to the responsibilities of all members, board members may not:
- Run for or hold or elective office but she or he may run for nonpartisan office (i.e., school board, city council, etc.) after consultation with the Board.
- Serve in any position in a political party.
- Circulate a petition or otherwise support an issue which is in opposition to a League position or principle.
The President, or Voter Service Chair(s), or anyone acting in those capacities may not participate in the following:
- Participating conspicuously in campaigns in such a way as to publicly identify themselves with a certain candidate or position (e.g., hosting and sponsoring a campaign event, displaying yard signs, allowing names to be publicized as donors.
- Speaking at party organization meetings.
- Carrying a petition for any candidate or non-League endorsed issue.
- Participating in behind the scenes efforts for candidates such as telephoning, stuffing envelopes, writing position papers etc.
- Attend fundraising events or make campaign contributions to candidates for state or national office or for US presidential and vice presidential candidates
- Members shall not undertake any activity which may constitute a public statement of partisan position that could be attributed to the League.
- Once the LWV (local, state, or national) takes a position on an issue, members may not identify themselves as LWV members in publicly expressing an opinion that is in opposition to a LWV position.
- Members may serve on any public board, commission, committee, or coalition; however, that member does not represent the LWV unless officially designated as an LWV representative by the LWV board
- Members who lead studies should not have conflicts of interest or partisan biases which would affect the objective conduct of information gathering and analysis.
- Only petitions approved by the board of directors may be circulated at LWV meetings.
- The LWV member roster may not be made available for non-League use without board consent.
Voter Guide Editors (VOTE 411)
- LWVMI people who work on Voter Guides are expected to act in nonpartisan manner treating all candidates in the same manner
- While we can work on an issue such as the Promote the Vote campaign to increase voting rights, we never advocate regarding candidates.
- If a coalition that the League belongs to or is considering joining will concentrate its activities on supporting or opposing candidates, then the League should not participate.
Nominations for Board Members
- The Nominating committee will consider any past partisan affiliation, such as political candidate office holder or campaign manager in determining whether a nominee is able to represent the LWV in a non-partisan manner.