LEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERS OF MASON COUNTY
League of Women Voters of Mason County is a nonpartisan organization whose purpose is to promote the informed and active participation of individual citizens in government. As an organization, the League does not support or oppose any candidate for public office. The League of Women Voters of Mason County acts only on those issues chosen by the membership for study and action.
The League believes that political parties are essential to the American system of government, and that participation of informed citizens is essential, and beneficial, to political parties, as well as to the system of American government. Consequently, the League encourages its members (as individuals) to be active in political parties, and to work to identify and support qualified candidates for public office.
The purpose of this policy is to protect the credibility of the League of Women Voter of Mason County as a nonpartisan organization that does not support or oppose any political party or candidate. Only to the extent that the public, and its elected officials, are convinced of the League’s genuine nonpartisanship, will the League be able to provide effective voter service activities and gain a wide base of support for its positions on governmental issues.
The Board of Directors of the League of Women Voters Mason County has established the following policy:
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
- The President and Voter Services Chair shall not run for, nor hold any elective office. Other board members may not run for, nor hold state elective office, but may run for local office if such an office is nonpartisan by definition and after consultation with the Board.
- The President and Voter Services Chair shall not serve on any position in a political party above Precinct Committee Officer.
- The President and Voter Services Chair are considered ‘sensitive’ roles, and as such, shall not undertake any action that will cause them to be identified publicly as supporting any political party or candidate for office, e.g. attending fundraisers, working on campaigns, or making political contributions in Mason County.
- Other Board Members may attend fundraising events, work on campaigns, and make campaign contributions. However, no Board member shall chair or administer fundraising for political campaigns, chair campaign events, or work in a visible way in the campaign of a candidate.
- Board members may serve on non-elected public boards, commissions, committees or coalitions as individuals. Unless officially designated as a League representative by the Board, that board member does not represent the League. Because of the specific roles of planning commissions, board members shall not serve on such commissions.
- The political activities of a spouse or relative of a board member are considered separate and distinct from the activities of the board member.
- If a board member does not abide by this policy or disregards the advice of the state League and local board, that board member is disqualified from board membership. Disqualification from the board does not mean resigning from the League, nor does it mean that the board member cannot serve on the board at a later date. In some instances, it may be appropriate for the board member to take a leave of absence (at board discretion)
- Board members shall present questions about specific situations to the LWVMC Board or the LWVWA board where the foregoing policies do not resolve the question.
- When acting in public as League representatives, including at all League events, members must not allow partisanship to be apparent. When members serve in leadership roles at public meetings, they have the responsibility to ensure the nonpartisanship of the meeting and the environment.
- Members interviewing candidates for League candidate forums shall not moderate a candidate panel if the member is working in a visible way on the campaign for one of the candidates.
- League lists, newsletters, and other publications shall not be used to support any political party or candidate for office.
- Once the 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. League members not speaking for the League should identify themselves as individuals, without saying they are members of the League.
SOCIAL 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 on social networking sites or other public venues that also prominently identify her/him as a member of the LWVMC. (LWVUS policy)
The League’s nonpartisan reputation is sufficiently strong to ensure that contributions to the League from public officeholders or candidates can be accepted without being construed as endorsement of those donors.
ANNUAL REVIEW & CONFLICT OF INTEREST
The board is responsible for carrying out the League nonpartisan political activity policy in Mason County. The policy shall be reviewed annually by the board at its first convened meeting of the year. Board members will be asked at that time to indicate any possible conflicts of interest relative to this policy and will be expected to come forward subsequently with any conflicts that may arise during the year.