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Forum and Moderator Training League of Women Voters Chaffee County (2006) Training & Guidelines for – Candidates Forums – Moderator & Panel.

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Presentation on theme: "Forum and Moderator Training League of Women Voters Chaffee County (2006) Training & Guidelines for – Candidates Forums – Moderator & Panel."— Presentation transcript:

1 Forum and Moderator Training League of Women Voters Chaffee County (2006) Training & Guidelines for – Candidates Forums – Moderator & Panel

2 Basic Rules “Fairness and Impartiality a Must” Non-Partisan-The LWV shall not support or oppose any political party or candidate – All (major) candidates for each office are included. – Candidates are given equal participation. Equal response time (Timekeeper required). Same questions asked. No candidate can be promoted over another.

3 LWV Ed Fund and Voter Service The LWV uses the Ed Fund for its Voter Service Projects. The LWV Ed Fund is a 501(c)3 organization. Therefore, the LWV must adhere to all laws and regulations governing the Ed Fund for Voter Service Forums.

4 State and Federal Election Laws and Regulations dictate how forums are conducted by 501(c)3s. Federal Election Commission (FEC) regulations apply to all candidates running for federal offices. Internal Revenue Services (IRS) regulations apply to all 501(c)3 organizations like the LWVCC Voter Service and Education funds to all levels of elections. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regulations apply only when a forum is broadcasted by a television or radio station.

5 Laws and Regulations These rules must be followed to ensure the League is in accordance with all FEC, IRS and FCC regulations. Who to Invite : – At least 2 candidates for each office – Pre-established criteria for candidates, rules, etc. – All viable candidates must be invited. Where to hold : – Location must be determined by non-political considerations.

6 Select a Format The Basic Format – Live Session All candidates for a specific office present their views in short, timed individual speeches. Questions prepared by the LVW and from the audience answered in a rotation format giving each candidate equal time to respond. Timed opening and closing speeches are presented. Other Format Consider? Be sure you are confident in the format and it meets all laws and regulation requirements. Formal debate, roundtable discussion, small group with candidates moving about, TV-interview or call-in, media panel ask questions, coffee held in public place, candidate fair or political rally.

7 What the Basic Forum Looks Like. Welcome (10-15 Minutes) – Give brief introduction of LWVCC – Introduce unopposed candidates and time opening for each. – Introduce Moderator Formal Part of Forum (1-1¼ hour) – Rules and Regulations Reviewed. – Candidates Opening Remarks are Timed. – Questions asked by Moderator with timed responses. – Candidates Closing Remarks are timed. – Close formal part of forum. Informal Part of Forum (½ hour) (This is important.) – Opportunity for audience to talk directly with candidates.

8 Laws and Guidelines Questions asked Must address a broad range of issues. Should not be limited to the sponsoring organization’s issues. Should not favor one candidate over another. Audience Questions are an important part of the forum.

9 Questions Formats for Questioning Written Questions with Panel - audience members submit written questions to a panel – Panel screens questions for duplication and/or personal attacks prior to giving them to the moderator. – LWV prefers this format because screening ensures: Any personal attacks can be edited Duplicate questions are eliminated A broad range of issues can be asked

10 More Questions Other Formats for Questioning Open Formats – moderator randomly selects audience members who ask questions out loud. – moderator randomly selects audience written questions from a hat or basket and reads to candidates. Remember: Laws regulating questions must be followed.

11 Laws and Guidelines How to Conduct a Forum: – No candidate can be promoted or advanced over another. – Candidates must appear face to face - no substitutes or stand-ins for the candidates – Candidates have the opportunity to respond to each question. – Each candidate must have equal time to present their views.

12 Laws and Guidelines How to Conduct a Forum: (continued) – Moderator must state that the views expressed are not those of the sponsoring organization at the beginning and at the end again. – Moderator must state that the sponsoring organization does not endorse any candidate or political party. – All ground rules must be observed. – None of the organization’s views should be presented regardless of subjects discussed.

13 To Make things Clear Correspond in writing with candidates concerning – Invitations: time,date,place – Forum guidelines – Written confirmation he/she will participate – Written confirmation he/she will not participate – Other

14 Broadcasted Forum The FCC rules apply when a forum/debate is broadcast by a TV or radio station. All forums must be: – Judged on its newsworthiness and not on a desire to promote or disadvantage a particular candidate. – Broadcasted in their entirety with no editing allowed. – Broadcasted live or very soon after they occur. – No portion of a televised or radio forum may be used in a candidate’s campaign advertisement. – The DVD of the forum is the property of the LWV.

15 “The Empty Chair” Candidate debates are regulated by strict federal and state laws and regulations. – If only one candidate for a single office accepts the invitation, that part of the formal forum should be canceled. – An “empty chair” debate should not be conducted if only one candidate for an office agrees to participate. – Allowing only one candidate to participate is an advantage for that candidate and is partisan.

16 “Empty Chair” (continued) – When announcing a candidate has cancelled his/her participation, the League should present the factual reasons given by the candidate, if any, without any editorial comment. – Give a written statement concerning the cancellation to the press. – An empty chair debate can only be considered if a candidate pulled out after agreeing to participate and rescheduling is not possible. (League could also choose to cancel the debate in this situation.) A representative for the missing candidate may attend and read an introductory statement prepared by the candidate conforming to pre- set limits. The representative may not answer any questions.

17 The Forum Moderator Be professional. Be non-partisan concerning the candidates attending the forum you are moderating. Fairness a must. For example : – Don’t be on a candidate’s campaign committee – Don’t openly support one of the candidates

18 The Forum Moderator (continued) Be relaxed. Start and stop forum on time. Speak loudly. Great and welcome participants and audience. Ask how to properly pronounce names. Decide whether all will stand or sit. Determine speaking order by lottery. Be sure body language is neutral.

19 The Forum Moderator (continued) At the beginning and end make statement that the views expressed are not those of the LWVCC. Review ground rules for audience and candidates. – No notes or props are to be used – A note pad and pen provided – 2 minute opening and closing remarks – Up to 2 minutes to respond questions Have a clear view of all candidates and timekeepers. Enforce rules and timelines. – Forum should not take on the appearance of a campaign rally for one candidate.

20 The Forum Moderator (continued) Rotate questions and the order the candidates are asked. – Forum Coordinator can help with this. – Techniques: Prepare small cards, one for each candidate that you rearrange after each round of questioning. Prepare a grid or timing sheet ahead of the event. Thank candidates and audience for participating. After the formal part of the forum, provide ample time for audience to talk with candidates directly.

21 More Help Wanted: For Forum to run smoothly. Forum Coordinator – Opens the Forum on time and gives brief statement on LWVCC mission. – Introduces the Moderator – Helps keep track of the order of candidates who gets the next question. – Addresses any issues as they arrive. – Prepares written statement for the press, should a candidate not attend.

22 Help Wanted! For Forum to run smoothly. Candidates’ Campaign Table – No campaign banners or signs are allowed inside or outside the building. – A table will be provided for campaign literature. All literature must lie flat on the table and be no larger than 8½ x14 in size. Tell candidates to take remaining literature. – Sponsors of the event are not responsible for the return of campaign material.

23 Help Wanted: For Forum to run smoothly LWVCC Table : – Items to sell and pamphlets to give out (i.e. ballot issues). – Change if selling items. – Sign up sheet for LWVCC membership or information. – Membership forms Greeters – Welcome audience members. – Pass out and pick-up 3x5 cards with audience questions. – Explain that questions will be picked up and given to panel who will forward them to moderator.

24 Help Wanted: For Forum to run smoothly. Timers: Two works best. – Be sure stop watches work and have new batteries available. – Know how much time each candidate is allowed. – Make or locate the “Signs” used in timing. – Time limits on responses will be strictly observed. – “15 Second Remaining” Hold sign so speaker and moderator see. – “Stop” Hold sign until it has been recognized by the moderator. – Sit where moderator and candidates can see you.

25 Help Wanted: For Forum to run smoothly. Room Arrangement Team : – Reserve room and get key, etc. – Coordinate DVD recording for local access TV. – Set up and take down audience chairs. – Set up table & chairs for speakers and panel. – Check that microphones work. – See that water, note pads, pencils and Forum Guidelines are at each candidates seats. – Put name place cards in proper order. – Hang LWVCC banners. – Know how light switches and temperature controls work. – Other?

26 Help Wanted: For Forum to run smoothly. Review Panel – Fairness and impartiality a must (non-partisan). – May be LWV or others. – LWV should prepare some questions in advance. Questions needed for each candidate. Broad range of issues needed. – Questions should be concise.

27 Help Wanted: For Forum to run smoothly. Review Panel (continued) – Review audience questions before sending to moderator. Questions should focus on issues, not personalities. Edit, if necessity, for brevity or to remove personal attacks. No duplications. – Put questions in the order the moderator should ask. – 2 or 3 reviewers and a runner to who deliver questions to moderator.

28 Congratulations!!! You are duly trained to be a LWVCC moderator and a member of the Voter Service Committee. Good Job!

29 Credits Voter Service Handbook-Forums, Speeches and publications Made Easy-May 2006 – Published by the LWV of Colorado Education Fund LWVCC –Moderator Training Power Point by Susan Bristol, Jan Scar and Marjie Gray Researched and assembled by Marjie Gray – Voter Service Committee-League of Women Voters Chaffee County

30 Samples Letters Follow Sample Candidates’ Letter Forum Format for Letter Reply card

31 Changes Needed? If any changes are needed to be made to this power point presentation, please notify the Chaffee County League of Women Voters. We want to be sure to keep this updated. Send changes to Marjie Gray – – Thanks.

32 Sample Candidates’ Letter Dear Thank you for demonstrating your dedication to America’s democratic principles by running for office in this year’s general election. The League of Women Voters Chaffee County (LWVCC) is committed to educating voters about candidates' views on issues and stimulating voter interest and participation in the election. We are inviting you to participate in our Meet the Candidates Forum Thursday, September 21, 2006, 7-9 pm, Pinon Room, Buena Vista Community Center, at the east end of East Main Street, Buena Vista, CO. We ask that you arrive at 6:30. The only candidates (see enclosed Selection Criteria) selected to participate in this forum are running for U.S. Congressional District #5, Colorado State Senate District #5 and Colorado State House District #60.

33 Sample Letter continued The League of Women Voters Chaffee County is a non-partisan organization, encouraging informed and active participation of citizens in government and influencing public policy through education and advocacy. The LWVCC will send out press releases to the local media stating which candidates are invited and which candidates will be in attendance. The forum will be advertised through the media, through s and by posters in local businesses.

34 Sample letter (continued) Please reply to Beth Smith, LWVCC Voter Service Chair via or phone at your earliest convenience or no later than August 25, Again, we look forward to your participation in this important Meet the Candidates Forum, September 21. Best Regards, Beth Smith, Voter Service Chair League of Women Voters Chaffee County 247 Shavano Avenue Salida, CO Enclosure: Forum Format, Candidate Selection Criteria and Reply Card

35 Forum Format for Letter Forum Format Welcome: Marjie Gray, Moderator, LWVCC Two-Minute introductory statement by each candidate, establishing their qualifications and reasons for running. Questions: The moderator will ask questions posed by the LWVCC and written questions gathered from the audience. A league panel will screen audience questions and eliminate any duplicate or inappropriate questions. An alternating order will be used for the candidates to speak and answer questions. Responses: Candidates may respond to each question asked. All responses are limited to no more than 2 minutes. Time limits will be strictly observed and ensured by a League timekeeper. Closing of the formal section: Each candidate will have the opportunity to make a 2-minute closing statement.

36 Letter (continued) Candidates will have up to 2 minutes to respond to each question. Candidates may also respond to any question asked of another candidate specifically. Candidates may not bring notes or props. Each candidate will be provided with a pad and pen for taking notes during the forum. Time limits on responses will be strictly observed. A timekeeper will hold a card visible to the speaker indicating that 15 seconds is remaining. When time is up the speaker must end promptly. The candidates will not interrupt one another. The moderator has the sole authority to enforce time limits and the ground rules..

37 Letter (continued) The audience questions for the candidates will be written and reviewed by a screening committee to eliminate duplication or inappropriateness before sent to the moderator. No campaign banners or signs are allowed inside or outside the building. A table will be provided for campaign literature. All literature must lie flat on the table and be no larger than 81/2 x14 in size. Please take remaining literature with you when you leave. Sponsors of the event are not responsible for the return of campaign material. The LWVCC is paying to have the forum digitally recorded to play on the 2 local access TV channels and DVD copies placed in the Buena Vista and Salida libraries. The recordings of this forum are the property of LWVCC and candidates may not use it or any portion in anyway. At least two candidates for each office must be present for the forum to take place

38 Letter (continued) Informal section: The last 20 minutes of the evening are reserved for the audience to meet the candidates informally and ask any further questions. The last 20 minutes of the evening are reserved for the candidates to meet the audience informally and answer any further questions. Please Note: By agreeing to participate in the Forum you are accepting the following Ground Rules: There will be no substitutes or stand-ins for the candidates. Numbers will be drawn at the forum to determine candidates’ order of taking the first question. Candidates are allowed 2-minutes for an introductory and a closing statement.

39 Reply card CANDIDATES FORUM REPLY CARD – PLEASE RETURN IN THE ENCLOSED ENVELOPE BY August 20. Name_________________________________ Phone__________________ ____ I WILL participate in the Meet the Candidates Forum on October 15, Buena Vista Community Center, Buena Vista, CO. As a candidate for the General Election, I have read the ground rules included with the letter and agree to abide by them. ________________________________________________________(Signature) ______________________________________(phone) ______________________________________( ) ____ I WILL NOT participate in the Meet the Candidates Forum, October 15. ________________________________________________________(Signature) Please return this signed agreement in the enclosed envelope so it is received by August 20, Thank you, LWVCC

40 Candidate Selection Criteria The League of Women Voters Chaffee County is a non-partisan organization, encouraging informed and active participation of citizens in government and influencing public policy through education and advocacy. The LWVC does not support or opposed candidates, elected officials or political parties. Candidates Selected to Participate in LWVCC Forums must meet all criteria: The LWVCC will use its "good faith judgment" in applying factors to determine "significance." --Ballot Access: The candidate must meet all state/national election requirements to be on the ballot. --Constitutional Eligibility: The candidate, if elected, must be legally qualified to hold the office under federal and state law. --Evidence of a Campaign: The candidate has made a public announcement of an intention to run; the candidate has a campaign headquarters and staff, has issued position papers and has made campaign appearances. --Significance of Candidate: Recognition by the media as a candidate meriting media attention. Evidence of a significant level of financial support and receipt of contribution from a significant number of contributors, as reflected in reports filed with the Secretary of State. The League may consider other factors that in the League’s good faith judgment may provide substantive evidence of voter interest in a candidate, such as 10% percent of support as indicat3ed in a nonpartisan voter poll.


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