Making Democracy Work

League of Women Voters Cancels Brunswick Candidate Forum

Press Release September 27, 2016

Brunswick - The League of Women Voters of Maine today announced cancellation of its Brunswick candidates forum scheduled for October 13. All Brunswick candidates for the state House and Senate seats were invited to the public forum to give the public a chance to meet the candidates and hear them speak about issues important to the people of Maine. The League of Women Voters is non-partisan, does not support any candidate or political party, and maintains a strict nonpartisan approach to candidate events. Because the two Republican candidates invited to attend indicated that they would not participate, and because the League is unwilling to hold a candidate or election forum featuring only one party, the League has regretfully cancelled the event.

Any opportunity to discuss the issues that matter most to voters is in the public interest. Cancelling this event is a loss for voters and a missed opportunity for all the candidates. Research conducted on voter behavior and participation shows that, not only does the public expect candidates to participate in voter education activities, but also that voters are more likely to vote when they know who the candidates are and where they stand on the issues. So when candidates choose not to participate, it is the voters who are harmed.

"Just like our elected representatives, candidates for public office should be responsive to citizens," said Jill Ward, President of the League of Women Voters of Maine. "Civil, public discourse is an integral part of our political system. When our leaders - or those who want to be our leaders - won't participate in public discussion, the democratic process is weakened."

Despite this unfortunate development, the League continues to encourage citizens to vote and take part in the political process. And we will continue to reach out to all political parties and work with them on the issues important to Maine citizens.