Making Democracy Work

LWVCC Nonpartisan Policy

LWVCC does not support or oppose any political party or candidate.

League of Women Voters of Concord-Carlisle
Nonpartisan Policy

(As approved by the Board of Directors on May 5, 2010 and amended April 6 and October 5, 2011)

The League of Women Voters of Concord-Carlisle (the "League" or "LWVCC") may take action on governmental measures and policies, but it shall not support or oppose any political party or any candidate.

Recognizing that League experience uniquely equips members for public life and wishing to encourage members to utilize their knowledge and abilities, League members who are not members of the LWVCC Board of Directors (the "Board") are urged to participate fully in political party activities (on an individual basis). Board members' activities, however, must be limited to preserve the League's nonpartisan status. The League's nonpartisanship is essential to the effectiveness of the League's voter service and citizen education work and provides a solid foundation for the League's work on issues.

No Board member shall run for or hold elective public office, except in the case of certain Town of Carlisle offices, as approved by the Board in advance. If a Board member declares candidacy for an elective public office (other than a Town of Carlisle office approved by the Board), the member shall resign from the Board. Public notices released by the League announcing the resignation of a Board member to run for such an office should be carefully worded to avoid the appearance of endorsing the resigning Board member's candidacy.

A Board member may serve on appointed public boards, commissions, committees, or coalitions; provided that such Board member shall notify the Board upon accepting such an appointment; and provided further that a Board member serving in any such appointed position does not represent the League unless the Board has designated such Board member as a League representative.

The president, the voter service director and any other Board member deemed by the Board to hold a sensitive position shall be subject to additional limitations on political activity at the local, state and national levels. Such limitations are intended to prevent those Board members from undertaking any action that will cause them to be identified publicly as supporting any candidate for office or any political party. The president, the voter service director and the holder of any other Board position deemed sensitive shall not:

  • make contributions to a political candidate or party,
  • campaign for a political candidate or a party,
  • attend candidate fundraising events where donations are expected,
  • publicly endorse a candidate, or
  • serve on a candidate's campaign committee.

In addition, no Board member may nominate a candidate for local elected office, and no Board member may serve on a candidate's campaign committee as an officer.

All Board members may sign nomination papers for a local, state or national candidate. All Board members may attend public political functions and candidate coffees or other informational meetings for local, state and national candidates.

The president is the sole official spokesperson for the League on issues; provided that the Board may authorize other Board members to speak or write letters on the League's behalf.

A Board member may not work publicly on a local, state or national issue in opposition to a League position or action. Working publicly on an issue includes serving on a PAC or Ballot Committee, holding signs, circulating petitions, signing a support ad, and writing a letter to the editor.

The political activities of a spouse or relative of a Board member are to be considered as separate and distinct from the activities of the Board member.

The League expects all Board members to use personal discretion and common sense in considering how their individual actions may reflect upon the League and its nonpartisanship. Whenever a Board member is uncertain whether an action would be permissible under this nonpartisan policy, the matter should be brought immediately to the president, who will refer it to the Board for consideration. In applying this policy, the Board may take into account:

  • the sensitivity or visibility of specific board assignments or functions,
  • the extent to which the public identifies a Board or off-Board member's activities with those of the League,
  • the sensitivity or visibility of specific Board assignments or functions,
  • the League's credibility as an effective nonpartisan political organization in the community, and
  • the visibility associated with a specific political activity.

This nonpartisan policy shall be discussed by the Board at least annually and updated as necessary.

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Summary (downloadable pdf)