The League of Women Voters does not support or oppose any political party or candidate. However, the LWVUS/EF Board values the many skills and types of experience that individual board members bring to the League, including those learned in public life through elective or appointive office. In fact, involvement in the public and political life of this country is something that the League of Women Voters recommends for all citizens and other members of the public.

Nevertheless, the LWVUS/EF Board believes that some basic limitations on board members’ political activity, while they are serving in this capacity, are necessary to protect the nonpartisanship of the League as an organization.  Other than in her/his official capacity, the President shall not engage in any political activity, partisan or nonpartisan, including attending political fundraising events.
In order to balance these goals, the LWVUS/EF Board adopts the following policy.  This policy shall be reviewed and amended or readopted by the LWVUS/EF Board at the beginning of each new biennium.

1.  Elected Office.   A Board member shall not run for, nor hold, any partisan elective office at any level of government. A Board member may run for or hold a local non-partisan elective office, after consultation with and approval by the LWVUS/EF Board and the president of the affected local League.

2.  Political Party Office. A Board member shall not serve in any official position in a political party at any level of government.

3.  Political Campaigns.  A Board member shall not chair a political campaign or administer fundraising for a political campaign, chair a campaign event, be a spokesperson, or work in any other significant way in the campaign of a candidate for a partisan office at any level of government.

4.  Campaign Contributions.  A Board member shall not make campaign contributions to campaigns or candidates for any federal office or to political parties or other entities contributing to such federal races.

5.  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/his as a member of the LWVUS/EF Board.

6.  Additional Clarification.   Board members shall present questions about specific situations to the LWVUS/EF Board where the foregoing policies do not resolve the question. 

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2. LEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERS OF NEW JERSEY
NONPARTISAN POLICY 8-20-11

The Bylaws of the League of Women Voters of New Jersey state that the LWV "shall not support or oppose any political party or candidate."  The purpose of the LWVNJ's nonpartisan policy is to assure the credibility and integrity of the League of Women Voters of New Jersey as an organization which does not support or oppose any candidate or political party.  The ability of the LWVNJ 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 LWVNJ'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.

1.   Elected Office: No member of the Board of Directors 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 LWVNJ 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.

2.   Political Party Office: No LWVNJ board member shall run for, hold or be appointed to a political party office at the national, state, county, or municipal level.

3.   Endorsements and Campaigns:   The president, voter service vice president (or director) and advocacy vice president (or director) may not publicly endorse or work for any national, state, county, or municipal political campaign or candidate.  Any board member involved in a candidate's campaign must inform the board. In such cases, the name of the League of Women Voters must not be used in identifying the board member nor may it be used in any manner implying support or opposition by the LWVNJ to a political party or candidate for any elected office.  The board has the authority to override the permissions provided herein given the specifics of a particular case.

4.   Campaign Contributions: All Board members may make personal campaign contributions within legal limits.


5.   Nominating Petitions: All board members may sign a nominating petition, except those referred to in #3 - president, voter service and advocacy vice presidents or directors. Members of the latter group may, however, sign nominating petitions for nonpartisan school board and fire district elections.

6.  Publicity in 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 LWVNJ Board.

7.   League programs: LWVNJ shall 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.

8.   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 other ways besides public office should also not moderate partisan forums.

A member with such partisan activities or offices shall not moderate even nonpartisan forums, such as board of education elections. The board can make exceptions to this restriction in special cases.

Timekeepers should follow the same guidelines, although the board or the moderator coordinator can authorize exceptions.

9.   Exclusion: These policies do not apply to the family of a board member.

10. Situations not covered by this policy will be addressed as needed by the Board of Directors.


History
Adopted October, 1999
Amended and reaffirmed June 14, 2003
Amended and reaffirmed June 4, 2005
Edited for style and grammar later in June 2005.
Material from old conflict of interest policy merged in as section 7 in March 2008. League programs note (section 8) added as of 9-13-08.
Moderators and timekeepers (section 9) approved 1-9-10.
Amended and reaffirmed 7-23-11 and 8-20-11. Wording of several sections clarified or tightened up, mostly without changing the meaning. Section 6 on publicity added based on the LWVUS stance. Appointments to boards and commissions retained as a policy but removed from nonpartisanship. Section 7: Removed "if an incumbent" from the restriction.



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Revisions Adopted February 2

3. LEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERS OF BERGEN COUNTY

                            NONPARTISAN POLICY


The purpose of this policy is to assure the credibility of the League of Women Voters of Bergen County as a nonpartisan organization which 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 render effective voter service activities and gain a wide base of support for its positions on governmental issues.

Board members must recognize that, as a result of close identification with the League, they have a special responsibility to see that their activities do not create a partisan impression.

1.   Elected Office: No member of the Board of Directors shall run for or hold elective office at the national, state, county or municipal level except school board or nonpartisan commission.  If a board member declares for an affected elected office, the member shall resign from the board.  A public notice released by LWV Bergen County 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.

2.   Political Party Office: No LWV Bergen County board member shall run for, hold or be appointed to a political party office at the national, state, county, or municipal level.

3.   Endorsements and Campaigns:  The president, the voter service director and the advocacy director may not publicly endorse or work for any national, state, county, or municipal political campaign or candidate.  Any board member involved in a candidate's campaign must inform the board. In such cases, the name of the League of Women Voters must not be used in identifying the board member nor may it be used in any manner implying support or opposition by the LWV Bergen County to a political party or candidate for any elected office. 

4.   Campaign Contributions: All Board members may make personal campaign contributions within legal limits.


5.   Nominating Petitions: All board members may sign a nominating petition, except the president, voter service director and advocacy director.  This restriction does not apply to nominations for non-partisan school board and fire district elections.

6.  Publicity in 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 LWV Bergen County Board.

7.   League Programs: LWV Bergen County shall 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.

8.   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 other ways besides public office should also not moderate partisan forums.

      A member with such partisan activities or offices shall not moderate even nonpartisan forums, such as board of education elections. The board can make exceptions to this restriction in special cases.

      Timekeepers may follow the same guidelines, although the board or the moderator coordinator can authorize exceptions.

9.   Exclusion: These policies do not apply to the family of a board member.

10. Any Director involved in partisan political activity must inform the Board of Directors.  All question regarding this policy shall be addressed as needed by the Board.