Format and Rules for The Idaho Debates

Criteria for choosing candidates in The Idaho Debates

November 2010 Election
Idaho Press Club / League of Women Voters / Idaho Public Television

Candidates for Superintendent

Candidates may bring notes and prepared questions to use during the forum. You may not bring props to display from the stage.

Once production of a debate begins, it will continue even if only one candidate remains on the set.

This will be a 60-minute debate.

Each candidate will open with a 30 second answer to the question "Why are you running for this seat?"

Each candidate will be allowed to submit up to three questions for the panel's consideration.

The format is fluid, with an Idaho Public Television moderator and three reporters chosen by the Idaho Press Club. One reporter will be dedicated to compiling questions and comments from the live audience and from the Idaho Reports Facebook and Twitter social media pages.

  • A reporter will ask a candidate a question.
  • That candidate will respond. The other candidates will also be given a chance to respond.
  • Response time may be limited by the moderator.
  • The moderator will allow some cross talk and/or follow-up from reporters as well as additional questions from the moderator.
  • At a certain point, the moderator will move on to another topic.
  • Every attempt will be made to keep time equal among candidates, but that cannot be guaranteed. The moderator has the authority to manage response and discussion time.

Each candidate will be allowed one-and-a-half minutes for closing remarks.

  • Order of seating and closing remarks will be determined by draw of names or numbers.
  • League members will be timekeepers.
  • Audience members must remain quiet during the debate.

Candidates for Lt. Governor

Candidates may bring notes and prepared questions to use during the forum. You may not bring props to display from the stage.

Once production of a debate begins, it will continue even if only one candidate remains on the set.

This will be a 30-minute debate.

Each candidate will open with a 30 second answer to the question "Why are you running for this seat?"

Each candidate will be allowed to submit up to three questions for the panel's consideration.

The format is fluid, with an Idaho Public Television moderator and three reporters chosen by the Idaho Press Club. One reporter will be dedicated to compiling questions and comments from the live audience and from the Idaho Reports Facebook and Twitter social media pages.

  • A reporter will ask a candidate a question.
  • That candidate will respond. The other candidates will also be given a chance to respond.
  • Response time may be limited by the moderator.
  • The moderator will allow some cross talk and/or follow-up from reporters as well as additional questions from the moderator.
  • At a certain point, the moderator will move on to another topic.
  • Every attempt will be made to keep time equal among candidates, but that cannot be guaranteed. The moderator has the authority to manage response and discussion time.

Each candidate will be allowed one-and-a-half minutes for closing remarks.

  • Order of seating and closing remarks will be determined by draw of names or numbers.
  • League members will be timekeepers.
  • Audience members must remain quiet during the debate.

Candidates for Secretary of State

Candidates may bring notes and prepared questions to use during the forum. You may not bring props to display from the stage.

Once production of a debate begins, it will continue even if only one candidate remains on the set.

This will be a 30-minute debate.

Each candidate will open with a 30 second answer to the question "Why are you running for this seat?"

Each candidate will be allowed to submit up to three questions for the panel's consideration.

The format is fluid, with an Idaho Public Television moderator and three reporters chosen by the Idaho Press Club. One reporter will be dedicated to compiling questions and comments from the live audience and from the Idaho Reports Facebook and Twitter social media pages.

  • A reporter will ask a candidate a question.
  • That candidate will respond. The other candidates will also be given a chance to respond.
  • Response time may be limited by the moderator.
  • The moderator will allow some cross talk and/or follow-up from reporters as well as additional questions from the moderator.
  • At a certain point, the moderator will move on to another topic.
  • Every attempt will be made to keep time equal among candidates, but that cannot be guaranteed. The moderator has the authority to manage response and discussion time.

Each candidate will be allowed one-and-a-half minutes for closing remarks.

  • Order of seating and closing remarks will be determined by draw of names or numbers.
  • League members will be timekeepers.
  • Audience members must remain quiet during the debate.

Candidates for Senate

Candidates may bring notes and prepared questions to use during the forum. You may not bring props to display from the stage.

Once production of a debate begins, it will continue even if only one candidate remains on the set.

This will be a 60-minute debate.

Each candidate will open with a 30 second answer to the question "Why are you running for this seat?"

Each candidate will be allowed to submit up to three questions for the panel's consideration.

The format is fluid, with an Idaho Public Television moderator and three reporters chosen by the Idaho Press Club. One reporter will be dedicated to compiling questions and comments from the live audience and from the Idaho Reports Facebook and Twitter social media pages.

  • A reporter will ask a candidate a question.
  • That candidate will respond. The other candidates will also be given a chance to respond.
  • Response time may be limited by the moderator.
  • The moderator will allow some cross talk and/or follow-up from reporters as well as additional questions from the moderator.
  • At a certain point, the moderator will move on to another topic.
  • Every attempt will be made to keep time equal among candidates, but that cannot be guaranteed. The moderator has the authority to manage response and discussion time.

Each candidate will be allowed one-and-a-half minutes for closing remarks.

  • Order of seating and closing remarks will be determined by draw of names or numbers.
  • League members will be timekeepers.
  • Audience members must remain quiet during the debate.

Candidates for 1st Congressional District

Candidates may bring notes and prepared questions to use during the forum. You may not bring props to display from the stage.

Once production of a debate begins, it will continue even if only one candidate remains on the set.

This will be a 60-minute debate.

Each candidate will open with a 30 second answer to the question "Why are you running for this seat?"

Each candidate will be allowed to submit up to three questions for the panel's consideration.

The format is fluid, with an Idaho Public Television moderator and three reporters chosen by the Idaho Press Club. One reporter will be dedicated to compiling questions and comments from the live audience and from the Idaho Reports Facebook and Twitter social media pages.

  • A reporter will ask a candidate a question.
  • That candidate will respond. The other candidates will also be given a chance to respond.
  • Response time may be limited by the moderator.
  • The moderator will allow some cross talk and/or follow-up from reporters as well as additional questions from the moderator.
  • At a certain point, the moderator will move on to another topic.
  • Every attempt will be made to keep time equal among candidates, but that cannot be guaranteed. The moderator has the authority to manage response and discussion time.

Each candidate will be allowed one-and-a-half minutes for closing remarks.

  • Order of seating and closing remarks will be determined by draw of names or numbers.
  • League members will be timekeepers.
  • Audience members must remain quiet during the debate.

Candidates for Governor

Candidates may bring notes and prepared questions to use during the forum. You may not bring props to display from the stage.

Once production of a debate begins, it will continue even if only one candidate remains on the set.

This will be a 90-minute debate.

Each candidate will open with a 30 second answer to the question "Why are you running for this seat?"

Each candidate will be allowed to submit up to three questions for the panel's consideration.

The format is fluid, with an Idaho Public Television moderator and three reporters chosen by the Idaho Press Club. One reporter will be dedicated to compiling questions and comments from the live audience and from the Idaho Reports Facebook and Twitter social media pages.

  • A reporter will ask a candidate a question.
  • That candidate will respond. The other candidates will also be given a chance to respond.
  • Response time may be limited by the moderator.
  • The moderator will allow some cross talk and/or follow-up from reporters as well as additional questions from the moderator.
  • At a certain point, the moderator will move on to another topic.
  • Every attempt will be made to keep time equal among candidates, but that cannot be guaranteed. The moderator has the authority to manage response and discussion time.

Each candidate will be allowed one-and-a-half minutes for closing remarks.

  • Order of seating and closing remarks will be determined by draw of names or numbers.
  • League members will be timekeepers.
  • Audience members must remain quiet during the debate.

Criteria for choosing candidates in The Idaho Debates

Representatives of the Idaho Press Club, the League of Women Voters, and Idaho Public Television established criteria for participation in The Idaho Debates based upon the U.S. Supreme Court decision known as Arkansas v. Forbes (96-779). This case allows debate sponsors to establish reasonable, viewpoint-neutral criteria for candidate participation, and to limit debate participation to candidates who are conducting active campaigns.

This year, the group invited ALL statewide and congressional candidates on the general election ballot to consider participating in The Idaho Debates. Incumbents and outright primary winners were automatically admitted into the debates. Independents and unopposed primary winners were asked to show evidence of an active campaign.

The criteria for general election consideration are:

  • Evidence of widely distributed campaign literature, and samples of the literature.
  • Evidence of at least two campaign appearances between May 26, 2010 and September 6, 2010, both of which were open to the general public and one of which was at least 200 miles from the other. These appearances may be coffees, picnics, speeches at public gatherings, or similar events. Provide the name and phone number of the local sponsor or a newspaper clipping to verify the event. Invitations to other television or radio programs or debates or editorial meetings do not qualify.
  • Evidence of substantial campaign activities throughout the state between May 26, 2010 and September 6, 2010. For example: phone banks, substantial volunteer efforts, touring, door knocking, advertising, yard signs, or speeches.
  • Evidence that the candidate has taken positions on issues in the race.
  • Evidence of campaign staff, paid or volunteer including the name, phone number, cellular phone number, e-mail address and mailing address of campaign manager and names of staffers. Three to five names will suffice.
  • Candidate's mailing address, telephone number, e-mail address, cellular phone number and fax number.
  • Any additional evidence of an active campaign.

Note that the criteria have nothing whatsoever to do with the amount of money, however much or little, a candidate is spending.