Making Democracy Work

Forum Responsibilities

Responsibilities of Candidate Forum Sponsors/Co-Sponsors

Please note: Candidate forums must be free and open to all. All candidates for a particular office must be invited. At the time of a forum, co-sponsor(s) may not have endorsed any candidates running for the office for which the forum is being held. Decisions to co-sponsor forums with organizations that endorse candidates after a forum will be made by the LWVCA Board of Directors (See LWVCA Candidate Forum Policy.

LWVCA will provide:
- Moderator with script and rotation chart
- Volunteers to sort questions (co-sponsor may provide assistance)
- Timekeeper (if possible) with timer and instructions
- Signs for tables ("Voter Information" and "Candidate Information")
- Outside directional signs to candidates forum

LWVCA and co-sponsor(s) will determine mutual responsibility for other duties. Co-sponsor will:

  • Secure location, cover any costs, and provide security, if required.
  • Contact candidates to advise regarding day/date/time as well as format for the forum and information table for campaign materials.
  • Provide microphones, podium for moderator, chairs & table for candidates (table covering for table if necessary) and table & chairs for question sorters.
  • Provide tables in lobby, enough for candidates to provide their information and one table for voter information for LWVCA.
  • Provide cards & pens for questions & volunteers to distribute cards/pens and retrieve questions to deliver to sorters.
  • Provide water and cups for candidates and moderator.
  • Print tent signs to be placed in front of each candidate with name as it appears on the ballot.
  • Place reminder calls to candidates the week before to confirm and answer any questions (if necessary refer to LWVCA 843-766-5416).
  • Provide opening question to be included in the moderator's script.
  • Assume responsibility for publicity with LWVCA assisting where and when feasible.

Calls and Contacts to be Made ASAP

As soon as possible after the filing date, candidates will be contacted to save the date. The message must include the following information:

  • Forum is sponsored by LWVCA and named organizations
  • Day, date and time for forum
  • Location of forum
  • Candidates to arrive no later than 15 minutes before the forum starts
  • Unauthorized recording of the forum is not permitted.
  • The forum will last for at least one hour and no more than two hours.
  • They are welcome to bring any campaign literature to distribute at the forum. We will have a table set up for candidate materials. Any materials (including signs for folks to take home) should only be at the Candidate Information Table. No signs are to be placed outside the building where the forum is being held.
  • Other races (if any) that will be a part of the forum that evening
  • Request for information we need from them:

- Name as it will appear on the ballot.

- Confirm spelling. This is how we will list them in any materials and how their name will be on the tent card for the forum.

- Pronunciation of name, unless obvious. (Make note and we will inform the forum moderator.)

Forum format

  • Each candidate will be given 90 seconds to make an introductory statement.
  • The audience will submit written questions to volunteers who will collect questions throughout the forum. Questions will be reviewed by LWVCA volunteers to ensure each question is legible and to avoid duplication. Each question or comparable question is be addressed to all candidates; there are no questions directed to only one candidate.
  • Candidates, on a rotation basis, will be given up to 90 seconds to respond to the questions from the audience. There will also be allotted 60 seconds to any candidates wishing to make additional comments after all have initially responded.
  • Each candidate will also be given 60 seconds to make a closing statement. The order will be the reverse of the introductory statements.

June 2017

Download this document about responsibilities.