League of Women Voters of the Columbia Area (LWVCA)
Adopted December 2021
Involvement in the public and political life at the federal, state, and local levels of this country is something that the League of Women Voters recommends for all of its citizens and other members of the public.
Nevertheless, the LWVCA Board believes that some basic limitations on the political activity of the persons holding the positions of president, advocacy director and voter services chairperson, while they are serving in this capacity, are necessary to protect the nonpartisanship of the League as an organization.
A) Elected Office: The president, advocacy director or voter services chairperson must resign if she or he runs for a partisan political office elected by the general public, accepts appointment to such an office, or holds a partisan elective office. A Board member may run for or hold a local nonpartisan elective office after consultation with the Board.
B) Political Party Office: The president, advocacy director, or voter services chairperson shall not serve in any official position in a political party at any level.
C) Political Campaigns: A president, advocacy director or voter services chairperson shall not serve a political campaign or administer fundraising for a political campaign, the campaign of a candidate for partisan office at any level of government.
D) Public Endorsement: Public endorsement of any partisan candidate or party must be avoided by the president, advocacy director and voter services chairperson. Board members may serve on any public board, commission, committee, or coalition; however, that board member does not represent the League unless officially designated as a League representative by the board or the League is named as holding a seat on that committee or board.
E) Spouse or Partner Political Activities: If a spouse or partner of the president, advocacy director or voter services chairperson runs for any partisan political office, this need not necessarily disqualify the person from their position with the local league. This should be brought before the local league board for review and decision.
F) Additional Clarification: All LWV members are expected to keep their League activity and their political activity completely separate and distinct. For example, members may not distribute League materials at the same time as material for a candidate or a party. This applies to partisan and nonpartisan elections of any type. Notwithstanding the basic limitations on the president, advocacy director or voter services chairperson, if there is any question about the political activity of any member of the local league board, the board member should present the question to the local league board for review and decision. Factors to be considered in the review and decision include , but are limited to: 1) whether the elective office is nonpartisan 2) whether more than one factor to be considered is relevant in the decision ; and 3) whether the nonpartisan image of the League of Women Voters as an organization, in fact and in appearance, is deemed to be compromised. For example, a member of the local league board may be so strongly identified by the general public and/or media as a member of the LWCA that publicly speaking about her/his political affiliations or candidate preferences at any level of government may be assumed that the local league board member is also speaking on behalf of the League as an organization.
G) Social Media: 1) The LWVCA Facebook page is for national, state and Columbia Area LWV notices and events only. 2) Exceptions for specific events where LWVCA has partnered with another organization can be made on a case-by-case basis by the LWVCA President or the President’s designee. Criteria for exceptions must ensure the integrity of the nonpartisanship of the LWV, as a whole, and the local League, LWVCA. 3) The LWVCA Twitter and Instagram accounts must follow the same guidelines and exceptions are to be made at the discretion of the Communications Chair or the LWVCA President.
This policy will be reviewed yearly at the retreat.