Rotary International as an organization is apolitical, but within, Rotary ranges broadly around the world with numerous elected roles, like District Governor. One of the ways Rotary chooses to maintain our sense of decorum and dignity is to provide Rotary Election Guidelines, and I found that, in this day and age, two in particular caught my breath.

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 to promote, attack, support, or oppose a candidate, either directly or indirectly, in any medium, including, but not limited to, 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.

In Rotary, voters vote with respect and candidates run with respect. Rotary wants our members to grow within the organization, and to that end does its utmost to provide safe, honest, and open governance.