Reviewed and Re-Adopted 07/22/2017 by Board of Directors, LWV Wisconsin
The League believes that political parties are essential to the American system of government and that the participation of informed citizens is beneficial to the political parties and to the system. Consequently, the League encourages its members as individuals to be active in the political parties, in finding and supporting candidates for public office, and in seeking election to public office.
While serving on the Board of Directors, a League member shall not seek or hold a state-level elective office, nor shall any officer or director allow her/his name to be used in support of any candidate for a state or federal office. Board members in sensitive positions (e.g., president, vice presidents, action, and voter service) shall not seek delegate status in the political party caucus process. Any contributions by board members to a political party or candidate must be below the amount at which the contributor's name is required by law to be reported.
If a state officer or director desires to seek local office, s/he shall first notify both the state and his/her local League board. If the local League board believes that such involvement would jeopardize the non-partisan image of the local League, a letter stating the objection shall be submitted immediately to the state president. The state board shall resolve the matter as promptly as possible.
If the officer or director is a successful candidate, her/his resignation from the state board shall be submitted immediately. It shall be the prerogative of the state board to accept or reject the resignation, depending upon individual circumstances, such as conflict of interest.
A board member shall consult with the board to determine if there is a conflict of interest before accepting a position on an official statewide commission, board, or committee.
In all other political activity and public communications (e.g., social media), board members shall participate to the extent that League nonpartisanship is maintained. Officers and directors in especially sensitive positions, or who are widely known in the state as League leaders, shall exert special care in their own activity to guard the League's nonpartisanship.
It shall be the responsibility of the board of directors of the League of Women Voters of Wisconsin to ensure that League nonpartisanship is maintained.
Policy on Signing Recall Petitions
The League of Women Voters of Wisconsin's state board of directors reviews our nonpartisanship policy annually. We take this policy very seriously. The policy recognizes that our members are active in both political parties and as independent voters. While it directs that our leadership not take part in party politics, how we vote as individuals is private.
Because our policy does not directly address recall elections, our volunteer board held a thoughtful discussion in October 2011 about whether or not board members and the executive director may sign a recall petition. The board concluded that key leaders should not circulate petitions but that, like voting, the decision whether or not to sign a recall petition would be left to each of us as individuals.
As an organization, the League of Women Voters has not done anything to support or oppose any recall effort. That did not need a discussion. We would never even consider it.