The American Legion of Montana
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AMERICAN LEGION OF MONTANA
SPRING DISTRICT MEETINGS
SAT MAR 5 DISTRICT 9 JUDITH GAP
SUN MAR 6 DISTRICT 11 CUSTER
SAT MAR 12 DISTRICT 6 TOWNSEND
SUN MAR 13 DISTRICT 7 LIVINGSTON
SAT APR 2 DISTRICT 5 LOLO
SUN APR 3 DISTRICT 4 RONAN
SAT APR 9 DISTRICT 2 CHESTER
SUN APR 10 DISTRICT 8/3 GERALDINE
SAT APR 23 DISTRICT 1 HINSDALE
SUN APR 24 DISTRICT 10 TERRY
**MONDAY APRIL 25 WILL BE THE PRE DEPARTMENT CONVENTION MEETING IN BOZEMAN FOR THE OFFICERS AND PERSONNEL CONCERNED**
Dear Legion Family Members and Friends,
Among the freedoms many Americans enjoy is the right to vote for our elected officials. This year, of course, is generating intense interest because a new president will be elected. Additionally, voters will elect every single member of the U.S. House of Representatives and one-third of the U.S. Senate.
Right now we are entering a critical and exciting juncture as the two major political parties begin to hold primaries and caucuses to determine the front-runners for their nominations. Strong opinions can be found everywhere. Unfortunately, so too can some mistruths. Many political groups were created specifically to spin facts, distort reality and twist words to propel their candidates into office. The American Legion, as a nonpartisan organization, assumes a role of neutrality amid the storm of political rhetoric and images.
As individuals, we are free like anyone to vote as we wish and support the candidates we think best.
But as Legionnaires, we have a duty to participate in the election process and encourage others to exercise one of the most important freedoms we, and those who served in uniform before us, fought to protect: the freedom to vote.
On the local level, an American Legion post can take on a greater role in its community by organizing and hosting a political forum or debate among candidates. Remember that any such event must be open to all who are running for a particular office, and the Legion cannot promote any one candidate. When posts are using their facilities for such events, they should remove the emblem and Legion flag to avoid the impression of endorsement for any candidate. (Note that renting out hall space to a political campaign is still fair game, as long as it is not presented as an American Legion-sponsored event.)
Here are some reminders from the Legion’s Get Out the Vote brochure:
1. When hosting a voter registration drive, information and applications must be offered and available to all eligible voters.
2. Legionnaires may express partisan views, but they must do so when they are not wearing the Legion cap or other Legion attire, and without a direct connection to an American Legion post.
3. American Legion posts may coordinate forums or debates. However, posts cannot endorse or oppose a candidate, or coordinate activities with a candidate without giving his/her opponent the same opportunity.
Following these guidelines will keep the Legion above the fray without sacrificing any member’s right to participate in the democratic process. It is my hope that each of you do participate in the election process individually, and posts take the lead in their communities by arranging fair debates or “meet the candidates” forums to help all of our citizens fulfill a right too often taken for granted.
Duty. Honor. Country.