NON-PARTISAN GUIDELINES (REVISED 8/2023)
STATEMENT OF NON-PARTISANSHIP
“The League shall not support or oppose any political party or any candidate.”
League of Women Voters of the United States Bylaws, Article II, Section 2.
Maintaining the non-partisan character of the League of Women Voters is extremely important, and responsibility for doing so rests with each Board member. The following guidelines apply only to members of the Board of Directors. General League members are encouraged to assume active roles in the political process and are not bound by these guidelines.
- may not run for or be appointed to elective office;
- may run for membership on a government study commission or delegate to a state constitutional convention with approval by motion of the Board;
- must resign from the Board if they declare for an elective office other than one determined permissible by the League (e.g. Judge of Election, or as in 2), above);*
- are not affected by relatives who are politically active; however, if an immediate family member (spouse, parent, parent-in-law, sibling or child) is running for or holding public office or political party office, that Board member may not hold a sensitive portfolio, such as President, Voters Guide Editor, and Public Relations Chair.
Non-Board members cannot represent the League while a candidate for public office or while visibly involved in someone else’s campaign.
POLITICAL PARTY AND CAMPAIGN PARTICIPATION
- may not be campaign managers or official spokespersons for a candidate;
- may participate in political parties in a non-public manner;
- may attend functions for candidates, but not organize them;
- may sign nominating petitions, but not circulate them;
- may not make partisan remarks or use personal opinion where they could be construed as League position;
- may not work on an election board.
PUBLIC BOARDS, COMMISSIONS, COMMITTEES AND COALITIONS
- are encouraged to serve on boards, committees and commissions, either as individuals or as appointed representatives of the League;
- are encouraged to represent the League in coalitions; however, if the coalition supports or opposes candidates, the Board must issue a statement dissociating the League from that aspect of the coalition’s work.
* A public notice must be issued by the Board, announcing the resignation and naming the person succeeding to the Board position. The notice must avoid any implication of an endorsement of the resigning Board member’s candidacy.
ADDENDUM TO THE NON-PARTISAN GUIDELINES
SOCIAL MEDIA – PERSONAL
- Board members are not restricted from social media: Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat and Tik Tok.
- Care should be exercised not to make outright partisan statements unless preceded by stating (on your account) that in no way does your personal media reflect the opinion of any organization such as the League of Women Voters. (This is not a guarantee that your post will be ignored).
- League Social Media should always be non-partisan
- Statements about policy, on League social media, should only reflect the established policies of the League (Local, State and/or National)
“The League’s advocacy work is issue based and we arrive at our positions based on careful study and input from our members in communities across the country.”
Virginia Solomon, CEO LWVUS
- Our advocacy is either for or against a policy, not a political party or politician. Our advocacy is based upon our established and studied policies.
- We advocate for democratic: ideals, principles, policies and practices.
- We may participate in rallies as long as the groups we may collaborate with, do not outwardly endorse a party or a politician in an election. We can issue a statement disassociating ourselves with that aspect of the organization.
- The League may author Letters-to-the-Editor and Op-Ed pieces as long as said pieces are in line with our established policies.
- In our lobbying efforts, care should be taken to remain true to our established policies and not reflect our own personal political views.