In collaboration with some wonderful League volunteers from Maryland, LWVEF has again asked the candidates running for President to provide answers to some of the most pressing public policy questions. Those candidates that meet LWVEF’s criteria have been invited to participate in this activity. Thanks to input from League members across the country we have also included a question specifically designed for low literacy publications for the first time. The LWVEF Board is happy to have again undertaken this crucial voters' service project.
All candidates that meet LWVEF’s criteria are allowed to add information to VOTE411.org on an ongoing basis but LWVEF set a response deadline for inclusion in printed publications so that interested Leagues will be able to incorporate the candidates’ responses into their print voters’ guides. While utilizing this information is completely optional, we do encourage all Leagues to take advantage of this useful voters’ service product in a manner that fits your League’s plans. If additional candidates meet LWVEF’s criteria between September 10th and Election Day, they will be added to VOTE411 and their information will be added to the resources below. It is important, not to mention legally required, that the criteria be strictly adhered to at all levels of League. The following are two different ways you might consider utilizing the candidate information provided below.
1. Link to VOTE411 from your website. Suggested html is:
<p><a href="http://onyourballot.vote411.org/race-detail.do?id=10242286”>See what the Presidential candidates have to say</a> at VOTE411.org. </p>
2. Incorporate the information from the LWVEF into your own state/local Voters’ Guide. Candidate photos, biographies and issues statements are available below. If your League decides to undertake this activity you must abide by the following rules:
a. You are required to include, in print or online, the following “Ground Rules.”
- All qualified presidential candidates were invited to provide biographical information and responses to six specific questions. Candidates were qualified if they met the following criteria: 1. The candidate must have made a public announcement of her/his intention to run for President; 2. The candidate must qualify for the ballot in enough states to win a majority of electoral votes; and, 3. The candidate must meet the Presidential Election Campaign Fund Act's minimum contribution threshold requirements for qualifying for matching funds, based on the most recent data publicly available on the FEC website by the date of publication.
- Responses were limited to a specific number of characters and were truncated thereafter.
- If a candidate did not respond by the date of publication, “Candidate has not responded.” is printed.
b. You must include “Copyright © 2012 by the League of Women Voters Education Fund” by the presidential statements.
c. You do not have to include candidate photos in your Voters’ Guides. However, if you include a photo of one qualifying presidential candidate, you must include photos of all qualifying presidential candidates. Their photos are available below.
d. You do not have to include the candidate biographies and responses to all six questions (America’s future, jobs, education, campaign spending, clean air and water, and deficit) but you must include at least 3 of the issues and the same information for each candidate. For example, you may decide to only include candidate statements on jobs, education and clean air and water for all candidates. You may not include the statements for jobs, education and clean air and water for one candidate and jobs, campaign spending and deficit for another candidate. If you decide not to include the biographies and all six issues, you must include the following statement: “Additional information on presidential candidates is available at www.VOTE411.org.”
e. You may not solicit answers from presidential candidates that did not meet LWVEF’s criteria. Only those candidates that meet the criteria set by the LWVEF Board may be included in any League’s publications: We must uniformly apply the criteria to all presidential candidates at all times to protect the League’s legal standing.
f. You may include a section where you list all candidates that have qualified for your state ballot that did not meet the LWVEF criteria. If your League includes a section like this, all candidates that qualified for your state ballot according to your state's chief elections official (Sec. of State, Attorney General, or State Board of Elections, etc) must be included in this section. In this area, you should consider listing each additional candidate's name, party affiliation and Web address. The following is suggested language for inclusion in your Voters' Guide: The following candidates have qualified for the XX state ballot according to the Secretary of State of xxx but did not meet the LWVEF criteria.
g. If a candidate has dropped out of the race, you must list the candidate in the main presidential section because the candidate met the LWVEF criteria. However, you do not have to include the candidate's statements. Instead you may note "Withdrawn from Race" next to the candidate.
h. You may simply list the candidate names, party affiliations and Web addresses of the candidates that met the LWVEF criteria. However, you are required to include the "Ground Rules" noted above and the following statement: “Additional information on presidential candidates is available at www.VOTE411.org.”
i. You must include the following statement somewhere in your Voters’ Guide, “The League of Women Voters does not support or oppose any candidate or political party.”
j. You may include the “About this Voters’ Guide” or “About the Office of the President” in the document below called “Copy.”