Excerpt from NH Voter – June 2018 Newsletter of LWVNH

Running for office in NH? Whether you are running for a state office, county office, or a municipal seat, the League of Women Voters New Hampshire is proud of our members who take the next step to serve their communities as an elected official.

The League encourages our members to participate fully in the governance of our country. It is an advantage to the League to have politically active members who can help all our members understand governmental process from first-hand experience. Of course we would be honored if you list the League in your bio as an organization of which you are a member.

It is critical, however, that all politically active members understand and support the non-partisan policy of the League, based on the following key principles:

  • The League does not support or oppose any political party or any candidate
  • When the League takes action on selected governmental issues in conformity with LWV principles, after a careful study and consensus/concurrence process, the League does not link that position with a party or candidate

The League must do all it can to ensure that, as an organization, we do not give any candidate special access to our members or to the public that would give the perception of support, opposition or partisanship.

What does that mean to you as a member and a candidate? The State League and all local League units have non-partisan policies that will guide members in determining the relationship between your campaign activities and League work. The non-partisan policy refers specifically to board members and visible League leaders. The League appreciates the use of all members’ good judgment in the busy days ahead. Members other than board members are encouraged to work individually for any candidate of their choice, but any members helping a campaign are requested to keep the same “respectful distance” between League and campaign activities.

Some advice to members who are candidates:

  • Candidates should not wear their campaign buttons and League buttons at the same time; nor should their supporters.
  • Candidates should not sit at League “get out the vote” tables nor at membership recruitment tables
  • Candidates should not post their campaign events or activities on League social media pages
  • Candidates may not use any League email lists to announce their campaign activities

Local and State Leagues will also keep a “respectful distance” between themselves and the candidates:

  • Leagues will not have any candidate (League member or not) as the single guest speaker or panelist at a League or public event. All candidates for the same office must be invited, and at least more than one candidate must participate.
  • Leagues will not allow members’ campaign literature to be distributed at League events unless all candidates for the same office are invited to do so.
  • League members working in publicly-visible roles for candidates should not be staffing League info or get out the vote tables.

The decision made in 1920 by the League’s founders to neither support nor oppose any political party or any candidate has ensured that the League’s voice is heard and has added strength to the League’s positions on issues. We must continue to be seen as a trusted provider of non-partisan voter service.