Forums offer voters a chance to meet candidates
July 13, 2012 · Updated 9:53 AM
The League of Women Voters of Kitsap County is hosting multiple forums to help educate local voters on the Aug. 7 primaries and the November elections.
The forums, held at 6:30 p.m. at the Norm Dicks Building in Bremerton, feature question-and-answer sessions with local political candidates and will also air on Bremerton-Kitsap Access Television.
The league is a nonpartisan political organization that encourages active participation in the voting process through an informed electorate and influences public policy through education and advocacy.
Ann Smith, Voter Service Chairwoman for the League, said the forums offer voters a chance to learn more about the candidates on multiple levels.
“We take questions from the audience to highlight the candidates’ stance on any position,” she said. “It is also nice to be able to see the candidates and people will be able to mix with them after the event, too.”
At a July 9 event, more than 30 people turned out to see and hear the candidates for Kitsap County Superior Court and Washington State Court of Appeals Judges in Division Two, District Two.
Candidate were given two minutes to introduce themselves and to explain why they are best suited for the prospective positions, and then the candidates were asked ten questions with each having an opportunity to answer.
At the end of the forum, the candidates were given another two minutes to make a final statement.
Smith said the importance of the primaries should not be overlooked as they will narrow the field of competition in the races and play a large part in who will ultimately be elected to a particular political appointment.
On July 10, the league hosted candidates for 6th Congressional District and on July 12 the group hosted candidates for County Commissioner, Position Two.
On July 16 the league will host candidates for State Representative Candidates, District 23, and on July 19 State Representative Candidates, District 26, Position One and District 35, Position Two.
The forums will be aired multiple times on BKAT from July 11 through July 25.
H. Emily Moshy, a local voter who attended the event, said she appreciated the opportunity to meet the candidates in person and hear them answer questions from the public.
“We need more information about the people who are running for office,” Moshy said. “It is a good way to see the candidates and find out what they stand for.”
Pam Loginsky, a candidate for Court of Appeals Judge in Division II District 2 said she was pleased to be involved and have the opportunity to interact with voters.
“I think putting together this kind of forum is incredibly important.” She said. “It gives a higher profile to the race, and because it is going to be televised and replayed it gives voters a chance to meet the candidates that they wouldn’t otherwise have.”
Karen Klein, also a candidate for Court of Appeals Judge in Division II District 2 said she also appreciated the forums and the work the league performs in informing voters.
“I think it is a great service that a nonpartisan organization is offering a forum like this with no agenda for any political party,” Klein said.
Smith said the league simply wants the voters to have an opportunity to make a more informed decision when voting for the people who will ultimately make decisions regarding the lives of citizens.
“We want people to be informed voters,” she said. “These forums give them a chance to attend or watch on BKAT and make a more informed decision on election day.”