Guidelines to State and Local Leagues Regarding Projects
Involving Presidential Candidates

Each state or local League that wants to undertake a project with presidential candidates during the primary or general election periods must submit a proposal to LWVEF for the LWVUS president’s approval.  This is to assure consistent LWVUS/EF standards are applied for each event.

Information Required for Each Proposal

  • Contains an explanation of the specific activity and how it furthers League voter education goals and how the League’s name will be used.
  • Contains a timeline (when the project will begin and end) and the responsibilities of the League.
  • Indicates that the League will have sufficient control over such important factors as the media plan, and format and questioning to ensure that League standards for fairness and nonpartisanship are met.
  • Provides names of coalition partners, including a media partner if there is one, and information on the role of the League in that context.    
  • Assurance that LWVEF’s adopted guidelines and criteria outlined in Guidance to State and Local Leagues will be followed.
  • Outlines resource requirements--people, time and dollars for LWV (local, state and national). 
  • A statement on how the League proposes that the event adheres to IRS, FCC and FEC regulations.
  • Endorsement by a state League if a local League is making the proposal.
  • Information regarding the availability of insurance and pro bono legal assistance.

Requirements for All Approved Activities

  • The LWVEF established criteria must be used verbatim in the letter of invitation and all public releases about the event(s).
  • An opening and closing statement must be included at each event with or without an audience and included on any reproduction (audio or video) as follows:  “A candidate’s participation in this activity does not constitute an endorsement by the League.  This is purely an educational activity.  The “ground rules” (e.g. all candidates that met XX criteria were invited to participate).”  And any other information that may be necessary to protect the League brand. 
  • All candidates must be advised of how the event will be “utilized” in the letter of invitation.  For example: the League will make the audio and/or video available for broadcasting purposes on XX timeline; the League may stream the audio or video on its websites; any use of the tapes requires the express written approval of the League of Women Voters of XX; and the League will only allow audio/video to be broadcast in its entirety, except by the media reporting on the event(s). 
  • Every candidate must sign an agreement that he/she will not use any portion of a candidate’s tape, his/her own or an opponent’s, in any manner without the express written permission of the LWV of XX. 
  • No candidate may use the name of the League in any manner in any advertisement.
  • If there are multiple events, every tape (audio or video) must be released within the same established timeframe after that candidate’s tape is produced.  For example, every tape is released the day after it is taped.  All tapes made in one day should be released at the same time.  It is incumbent upon LWV of XX to be fair in setting the sequence of taping.  Not only is this in the interest of fairness, but it also shows that the League is treating all presidential primary candidates equally.
  • The invitation to candidates must include the following statement: “The candidates may receive other requests from the League and are encouraged to participate in other League activities.”
  • The LWVUS/EF appointed events coordinator should be involved in the planning and implementation of all approved events.  The coordinator must review the letter of invitation as well as the opening/closing statement that will be included at each event.