CANDIDATE EVENTS ESSENTIALS
EACH AND EVERY CANDIDATE EVENT, NO MATTER WHAT IT IS NAMED, MUST ABIDE BY WRITTEN POLICY
- Develop a comprehensive written Candidate Event policy reviewed annually by the Board that includes:
- Non-partisan statement.
- Prohibition against empty chair debates (LWVNY adopted policy July 2017).
- Recording policy.
- Criteria for Candidate inclusion (LWVNY recommends only including candidates on ballot).
- Policy on distribution of campaign literature
2. Send Candidate Event Policy to candidates with invitation to event.
- Obtain acknowledgement of receipt of policy signed by candidate and campaign manager.
3. If sponsoring a primary candidate night, you MUST OFFER to sponsor candidate night for any other party holding primary for same race ( LWVNY adopted policy July 2017)
4. Careful planning and preparation is crucial with defined roles for board and committee.
- Entire Board of Directors decides if candidate events should be held, if so, which ones, and establishes
- Local is responsible for maintaining control of candidate events from inception.
- Voter Service Chair assembles committee, designates roles, and oversees the entire event.
- Voter Service Committee
Plans event including site selection, date and time (make sure not on religious holiday).
Selects format including who and how questions will be asked, time to respond and whether rebuttals will be allowed
Sends invitations and follow up correspondence (always including policy statement)
- Use press and social media to pressure candidates who are not responding to invitation
Selects a trained moderator who can be fair and neutral, can maintain control night of event and does not live in Election District relevant to the event.
- Moderator is in charge night of event
Moderator needs to know the format, ground rules, candidates, etc., and any “hot Issues”
Moderator (or league president) conveys rules to the audience.
- Candidate Event Team roles include time keeper, vetters, floor manager, and greeter.
IMPORTANT THAT LEAGUE IS NOT ONLY NON-PARTISAN BUT PERCEIVED THAT WAY
Publicity should include non-partisan statement and policy on empty chair.
Display signage with non-partisan statement the evening of event.
If event is cancelled because of no empty chair, publicize reason.
Follow written policy carefully.