Bylaws - Attachment A
Non-Partisan Policy for LWV-Princeton Area Board of Directors
The Bylaws of the League of Women Voters of the Princeton Area state that the LWV "shall not support or oppose any political party or candidate."
The purpose of the LWV of the Princeton Area nonpartisan policy is to assure the credibility and integrity of the League of Women Voters of the Princeton Area as an organization which does not support or oppose any candidate or political party. The ability of the LWV of the Princeton Area to be an effective voice for the public interest will be achieved only if its policies and positions are seen as independent of partisan influence. Thus, those persons making such policies must also be perceived as being free of all partisan influence. Only to the extent that the public and its elected officials are convinced of the LWV of the Princeton Area’s genuine nonpartisanship will the League be able to render effective voter service and gain a wide base of support for its positions on governmental issues.
I. Elected Office:
No member of the Leadership Committee shall run for or hold elective office at the national, state, county, or municipal level, except school board, fire district or nonpartisan commission. If a board member declares for an affected elected office, the member shall resign from the board. Public notices released by LWV of the Princeton Area announcing the resignation of a board member to run for political office shall be carefully worded to avoid any appearance of endorsing the member's candidacy.
II. Political Party Office:
No member of the Leadership Committee of the LWV of the Princeton Area shall run for, hold, or be appointed to a political party office at the national, state, county, or municipal level.
III. Endorsements and Campaigns:
The voter service leader may not publicly endorse or work for any national, state, county, or municipal political campaign or candidate. Other Leadership Committee members, with discretion, may work for a candidate's campaign. Any Leadership Committee member involved in a candidate's campaign must inform the Leadership Committee. Although it is the intent of this policy that such activities would normally be acceptable, the final determination is at the discretion of the Leadership Committee.
IV. Campaign Contributions:
All Leadership Committee members may make campaign contributions within legal limits.
V. Nominating Petitions:
All Leadership Committee members may sign a nominating petition, except those referred to in Section III – voter service leader.
VI. Campaign Publicity and Participation:
It is never acceptable for the name of the League of Women Voters to be used in identifying a Leadership Committee member working in a candidate's campaign or in any manner implying support or opposition by the LWV of the Princeton Area to a political party or candidate for any elected office.
VII. Appointments to boards, commissions and committees:
A. LWV of the Princeton Area may encourage and assist League members to secure appointments to government boards, commissions, and committees. These recommendations shall be approved by the Leadership Committee. Appointees serve as individuals rather than as formal representatives of the League unless the position was offered to the organization.
B. If the seat is for the League, the Leadership Committee shall appoint a new representative when the Leadership Committee member’s term has ended. The board may also appoint a League member who is not on the Leadership Committee to represent the League.
C. Leadership Committee members may serve on private sector and nonprofit boards. Conflicts between the appointee’s League position and appointed position must be brought to the attention of the League’s Leadership Committee, which will determine the appropriate action.
VIII. League programs:
LWV of the Princeton Area will not invite anyone who has declared as a candidate for any office to participate in any kind of program, whether as a speaker or member of a panel, unless it is a candidates’ forum. This ban would include members of his/her staff if an incumbent.
IX. Moderators and Timekeepers:
A League member who runs for, or is elected to, any partisan office (including party committee) shall not be eligible to moderate any partisan forum. This prohibition shall run from the time such an office is first sought until the position is relinquished or the term ends. League members who are visibly active in a party in ways other than public office should also not, ordinarily, moderate partisan forums. It is preferable that a member with such partisan activities or offices should not moderate even nonpartisan forums, such as nonpartisan municipal elections and board of education elections. It is recommended, but not required, that timekeepers follow the same guidelines.
These policies do not apply to the family of a Leadership Committee member.