Making Democracy Work

League of Women Voters South County Meet The Candidates Nights

2018 Election Forums in South County

General Info

Don't miss this opportunity to be an informed voter!

"Candidates Nights" for local and state elected offices representing Narragansett and South Kingstown will be held at Narragansett Town Hall, 25 Fifth Avenue, Narragansett, RI 02882.

"Candidates Nights" for local and state elected offices representing Westerly will be held at Westerly Town Hall, 45 Broad Street, Westerly, RI 02891.

No questions will be solicited from the audience the nights of the forums. Questions for the candidates must be received at least seven days prior to the date of the forum.

Facebook linkQuestions can be submitted by email to lwvscri@gmail.com, on Facebook at League of Women Voters - South County, anonymously online through a Google Form at https://goo.gl/forms/LqoXArgSb26NPDAX2, and by mail to: LWVSC, P.O. Box 1636, Westerly, RI 02891-1636 AND PLEASE SPECIFY AT WHICH FORUM YOUR QUESTION(S) SHOULD BE ASKED.

More information about the forums will be posted soon.

Learn How Voting Works in RI

The League is pleased to announce the rebroadcast of our TV show FOCUS featuring Robert Rapoza, Executive Director of the RI Board of Elections, Cathy Brayman, Westerly Deputy Town Clerk, and Dale Holberton, South Kingstown Town Clerk in a discussion of the issues, processes, and laws surrounding voting in RI. The show will be rebroadcast on Cox Channel 18 and Verizon (Fios) Channel 29 on the following dates:

Monday, September 10th, 2:00 pm
Monday, September 24th, 2:00 pm
Monday, October 1st, 2:00 pm

2018 Candidate Forums

Wednesday, October 3, Narragansett Town Hall, 25 5th Ave, Narragansett:
6:30PM: Narragansett School Committee Candidates
8:00PM: Narragansett Town Council Candidates

Wednesday, October 10, Narragansett Town Hall, 25 5th Ave, Narragansett:
6:30PM: South Kingstown School Committee Candidates
8:00PM: South Kingstown Town Council Candidates

Thursday, October 11, Westerly Town Hall, 45 Broad St., Westerly
6:30PM: Westerly Town Council

Thursday, October 18, Westerly Town Hall, 45 Broad St., Westerly:
6:30PM: Westerly School Committee
8:00PM: State Representative candidates from District 38

Wednesday, October 24, Narragansett Town Hall, 25 5th Ave, Narragansett:
6:30PM: State Senate Candidates from District 35 and State Representative Candidates from District 33
8:00PM: State Senate Candidates from District 36 and State Representative Candidates from Districts 34 and 35

Audience Survey

The goal of the League's "Meet the Candidates Nights" is voter education, so tell the LWVSC how helpful its forums are to the voters. Please email us at lwvscri@gmail.com or click on the link below, print and fill out the survey and mail it to:
LWV South County
P.O. Box 1636
Westerly, RI 02891-1636

Audience Survey [pdf]

Candidate Eligibility Criteria

To participate in candidate forums and voter service projects approved and sponsored by the League of Women Voters South County, as approved by the LWVRI Board of Directors on March 25, 2010, candidates must have attained:

1. Constitutional Eligibility - the candidate must meet the requirements of the Constitution of the United States and the Rhode Island State Constitution, including: a. Article III (Of Qualification for Office), Section 2 (Disqualification upon conviction or plea of nolo contendere + Requalification following completion of sentence, probation or parole) An elector shall be disqualified as a candidate for elective or appointive state or local office or from holding such office if such elector has been convicted of or pled nolo contendere to a felony or if such elector has been convicted or plead nolo contendere to a misdemeanor resulting in a jail sentence of six months or more, either suspended or to be served. Such elector shall not, once so convicted, attain or return to any office until three years after the date of completion of such sentence and of probation or parole.

2. Ballot Access - the candidate must be included on a list of candidates according to filings required under current Rhode Island State Election Laws, Certification of names of candidates to secretary of state; and

3. Campaign Organization - the candidate must have established a campaign committee and have filed campaign finance reports with the Rhode Island Board of Elections according to current Rhode Island State Election Laws, Rhode Island Campaign Contribution and Expenditures Reporting.

4. Write-In Candidates: Candidates who meet election law requirements of the State of Rhode Island are eligible to participate in League-sponsored candidate forums. The League will include write-in candidates if they also: a. Publicly announce their candidacy in a newspaper, on the radio, or on television at least 45 days prior to the election. b. Demonstrate that they are undertaking a campaign by any of the following: i. fund-raising; ii. having a campaign committee consisting of other than immediate family members; iii. making policy positions public; iv. making campaign appearances.

It is the responsibility of write-in candidates to contact the League of Women Voters South County (P. O. Box 1636, Westerly, RI 02891), if they wish to participate in a candidate's forum.

Format of Forums

Moderators, Timers:
A non-partisan member of the community chosen by the League of Women Voters South County will moderate the forum. There will be two timers, who will keep track of the time and hold up signs indicating amount of time left and when to stop.

Opening & Closing Statements:
For forums with six or more candidates there will be no opening statement but there will be a closing statement of one minute. For forums with fewer than 6 candidates, there will be an opening and closing statement of one minute each. The League requests that the following question be addressed in your one-minute opening statement, "What issues motivate you to run for public office, and what relevant experiences would you bring to the position?" The order for opening statements will be drawn from a lot that evening; closing statements will be in the reverse order. When there is only a closing statement the order will be in the seating order.

If you are unable to attend after having signed the Commitment to Attend Form, you may send a representative to read your one-minute opening statement unless there is only one other candidate.

Questions:
Question from members of the public may be submitted prior to the forums via:

Mail: League of Women Voters South County, P.O. Box 1636, Westerly, RI 02891-1636
Email: lwvrisc@gmail.com
Facebook: "facebook.com/lwvrisc"<facebook.com/LWVRISC/>

No questions will be solicited nor accepted from the audience the day of the forums.

Each forum will have the following deadlines for submitting questions:
For the October 3rd forum, only questions received by 4:00 PM September 26th will be considered.
For the October 10th forum, only questions received by 4:00 PM October 3rd will be considered.
For the October 11th forum, only questions submitted by 4:00 PM October 4th will be considered.
For the October 18th forum, only questions submitted by 4:00 PM October 11th will be considered.
For the October 24th forum, only questions submitted by 4:00 PM October 17th will be considered.
Questions received after the submittal deadlines will NOT BE CONSIDERED.

For Senate & House Candidates:
When you are asked a question, you will be given one minute to respond. Other candidates will also be given the opportunity for a one-minute response. You will also have the opportunity to respond to any question asked of any candidate. If a question is directed to you, you are responsible to answer. If you opt not to answer the question, you lose your turn to respond to that question. There will also be a lightning round of yes/no questions addressed to all candidates.

For Town Council & School Committee Candidates:
Candidates will be asked an equal number of questions. When a large number of candidates are running, each question will be addressed randomly to only two of the candidates at a time. Those candidates will be given one-minute to respond. The remaining candidates will also be given one to two chances to respond to a question not initially addressed to them. There will also be a lightning round of yes/no questions addressed to all candidates.

Lightning Round Questions:
These questions require yes-or-no answers. Each candidate will be given 10 seconds to elaborate beyond a simple yes-or-no.

Forum Ground Rules

The following general rules will prevail:

1. Candidates will arrive 15 minutes before airtime. Candidates' seats on the dais will be determined by lot (1, 2, 3, etc.). For forums with fewer than six candidates, the order of opening statements will be based on by seat number (1,2,3) and closing statements will be given in opposite order (3, 2, 1). For forums with only a closing statement, the order will be from left to right facing the dais. The general rules and format will also be reviewed.

2. The forum will be open to the public and take place in the Town Council chambers. It will also be broadcast live on PEG Access.

3. No signs or other campaign materials will be allowed inside the Town Hall. This includes buttons, brochures, t-shirts and posters. This forum is a non-partisan voter education service and is not to be viewed as a campaign rally. Any audience members or candidates not abiding by these guidelines will be asked to leave.

4. Candidates will be seated as directed and all cell phones must be turned off. No audio or video recordings may be made of the program other than those made by the League of Women Voters South County and copyrighted by the League of Women Voters South County. Any copies of that tape may be shown only in their entirety and by specific permission from the League of Women Voters South County.

5. Questions, answers and comments will be timed by the League of Women Voters South County; a green 30-SECONDS-TO-GO card, an orange 15-SECONDS-TO-GO card and a red STOP card will be prominently displayed off camera. The moderator will interrupt if a time limit is exceeded by more than a candidate's briefly completing a sentence.

6. Candidates may not interrupt one another and will make every effort to answer the questions asked.

7. Personal attacks or any kind of disruption will not be tolerated from anyone. The moderator will interrupt anyone making such an attack. If there are three disruptions by the same party, violators will be asked to leave the premises. Further disruption will result in a call to 911.

8. Audience members ought to show respect for all candidates whether they agree or disagree with their responses. We request that there be no applause or verbal comments during the forums. Civil behavior is expected at all times. Anyone not abiding by this rule will be asked to leave.

Candidates are NOT allowed to use audio or video from the debate, no matter how it has been obtained, in or for commercial advertising.

Sample Commitment to Attend