The purpose of this policy is to assure the credibility and integrity of the League of Women Voters of Teaneck as a nonpartisan organization which does not support or oppose any political party or candidate. The ability of the LWV Teaneck 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 League’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.
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 for school board 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 Teaneck 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 Teaneck 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 LWV Teaneck 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 the president, voter service and advocacy vice presidents (or directors). The restriction does not apply to nominating petitions for nonpartisan school boards.
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 Teaneck Board.
7. League programs: LWV Teaneck 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 town council and 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. Additional Clarification: Situations not covered by this policy will be addressed as needed by the Board of Directors.
Adopted July 6, 2015
Based on LWVNJ Nonpartisan Policy (8/20/2011)