It is a fundamental principle in Rotary that the best qualified candidates should be selected for service in Rotary’s elective offices. Therefore, any effort to influence the selection process by campaigning, canvassing, electioneering, or otherwise is prohibited under the RI bylaws. The following guidelines have been adopted by the RI Board, based on the provisions of section 10.050. of the RI bylaws concerning campaigning, canvassing, and electioneering, for any Rotarian considering election to the office of president, director, governor, or representative to the council on legislation, or the nominating committee for any such office. These guidelines are designed to ensure that the best qualified candidate is selected for office.
1. Rotarians should at all times conform to the prohibitions of the RI bylaws concerning campaigning, canvassing, or electioneering. All Rotarians should observe both the letter and the spirit of the bylaws and refrain from any activity whose purpose or effect is to influence others by promoting or soliciting support for a candidate’s or another Rotarian’s candidacy. Such activity is repugnant to the spirit of the bylaws and the principles of Rotary and will be grounds for disqualification of a candidate.
2. Campaigning, canvassing, or electioneering is any action seeking votes, requesting support in a forthcoming election, distribution of literature or promotional materials, or other overt actions intended to promote one’s candidacy for an elected Rotary office.
3. The periods of candidacy for elective office begin when individual Rotarians begin to give serious consideration to submitting their names for a position covered by the RI rules for nominations and elections. Commencing at that time, candidates should be particularly careful to avoid any actions designed to publicize their names or achievements, to call attention to the applicable nominations or elections, or to give candidates an unfair advantage over other candidates for the same position.
4. The normal performance of duly assigned Rotary activities would not be considered to be a violation of the policies related to campaigning, canvassing, or electioneering.
5. Should a candidate become aware of any campaigning or electioneering activities which are undertaken on the candidate’s behalf, the candidate shall immediately and in writing express disapproval to all concerned and instruct them to terminate such activity. (Rotary Code of Policies 29.060.4.)