Policies

NONPARTISAN POLICY

Readopted Sept. 20, 2016

The LWVWC, a nonpartisan political organization, encourages informed and active participation in government and influences public policy through education and advocacy.

The LWVWC does not support or oppose any political party or candidate.

Members of the Board of Directors may attend political meetings, coffees, etc. of an informational nature as well as campaign rallies. However, the President and Voter Service Director(s) should take special care to maintain the LWV’s nonpartisan position.

Board members may make campaign contributions up to 200 dollars, per candidate, annually. Board members may sign petitions but may not circulate nomination petitions. Board members may not display political signs on their property, although their spouses may.

Nominating petitions may be made available at League functions by non-board members. The petitions may not be passed from person to person.

Board members may not run for elective office except Election Board. Board members may serve if appointed to a non-elective office. A League member whose elective term of office has expired may serve on the Board after a suitable time (to be determined by the Board) has elapsed. A Board member must resign before announcing candidacy for elective office or circulating petitions, whether for oneself or another candidate.

It should not be considered a violation of nonpartisanship for the spouse of a Board member to be politically active.

League members who are not Board members are encouraged to be politically active.

Special problems should be brought to the attention of the Board.

*Note: Board discussion 8-18-15 resulted in a consensus that delegates to party convention shall be included among the elected offices prohibited for Board members.

ELECTION SERVICE POLICY

Readopted Sept. 20, 2016

The League of Women Voters of Washington County publishes Voters Guides and conducts Candidate Forums to accomplish the following goals:

1. To educate the public, giving voters a chance to learn the views of candidates;

2. To motivate voters to participate in the elections.

All candidates whose names appear on the ballot will be included for the offices covered in its Guide or Forum.

Write-in candidates for offices covered by the League’s voter service activities will also be included if they meet two of the following criteria, as ascertained by the League:

Public and/or media announcement of the candidacy;

Existence of a campaign committee;

Evidence of fundraising and/or planned activity for campaign;

Demonstration of significant voter interest and support.

The burden of proof rests with the candidate. Written notification by write-in candidates must be submitted to the League no later than the date announced in the local media.

FINANCIAL POLICY

Readopted Sept. 20, 2016

PURPOSE: To provide for adequate financing of League activities for the fiscal year, with a nominal reserve that allows for unforeseen expenses. The fiscal year begins on July 1 and ends on June 30.

REVENUES:

DUES:  Annual membership dues will be $50.Dues for an additional family member living at the same address will be discounted by $10. Dues must be paid within 60 days of the last day of the anniversary month—e.g., if initial dues were paid in January, the anniversary date will be January 31 of the following year. Late payment will not affect the anniversary date. Active members experiencing financial difficulties could also be encouraged to pay by installments.

In order to encourage membership, potential members will not be required to pay the $50 dues until the anniversary of when that person began to participate in the organization. LWVWC will not report that person as a member to LWVUS until such time as he or she pays the membership dues.

CONTRIBUTIONS: A Finance Drive will solicit contributions from League members, county residents, the business and professional community, and elected officials. These funds will be used to fund budgeted items not covered by annual membership dues. Contributions for the Voters Guide and Facts For Citizens are the responsibility of the Finance Committee, not the project director(s)

SPECIAL EVENTS: In the event that not enough money is raised by the Finance Drive, the Finance Committee will recommend an appropriate event for Board approval. A special committee for the event will be appointed and total membership responsibility will be requested. All other League events, such as the Annual Meeting, social events and conferences, not intended as fundraisers, should be self-supporting.

EDUCATION FUND: Tax-deductible contributions are deposited with the League of Women Voters Education Fund (LWVEF). Once deposited, the funds remain in the name of the LWVWC indefinitely. To use the funds, a project request must be submitted to LWVEF in advance (minimum amount, $50) with notice to the LWVWC treasurer in writing. Only educational projects will be approved for Education Fund use. (Note–approval takes 3-4 weeks.) The Treasurer will include the LWVWC’s Ed Fund balance in the regular League Financial Report.

EXPENSES:

EXPENSES: Expenses incurred within the limits of budget categories will be paid or reimbursed by the Treasurer. In requesting payment or reimbursement, the League member should submit to the Treasurer a receipt (if appropriate) and an expense voucher. Expenses that exceed the budget category should be brought to the Board for consideration.

Mileage, supplies, postage, copying/printing and toll telephone calls are examples of reimbursable expenses. Mileage above 25 miles round trip (excluding Board, committee and general meetings) will be reimbursed at the current I.R.S. rate.

A per diem rate of $50 per day to offset meal expenses not covered in the registration fee will be allowed for members attending national and state conventions, conferences or workshops. To assist in future budgeting, members are encouraged to report all expenses to the Treasurer.

DISCLAIMER LANGUAGE ON CANDIDATE USE OF THE LWV NAME

The League of Women Voters never supports or opposes candidates for office or political parties.

Any use of the League of Women Voters name in campaign advertising or literature has not been authorized by the League.

Elections and voting are core concerns for the League of Women Voters. Year in and year out, Leagues are committed to providing fact-based information about issues and the positions candidates take on those issues to help our members and voters in general make their own decisions.