To whom it may concern at the Commission on Presidential Debates:
This petition aims to demonstrate Electoral Support of otherwise eligible third party candidates who have been excluded from popular polls and therefore face an impossible challenge in meeting criteria # 3.
Please allow all candidates who meet the criteria #1 and #2:
1. EVIDENCE OF CONSTITUTIONAL ELIGIBILITY
2. EVIDENCE OF BALLOT ACCESS
to appear on the debates stage this Fall.
We are asking that you revise or eliminate criteria #3 which is based on the candidate's performance in popular polls, because the third party candidates have been consistently excluded from those polls. How can a candidate achieve 15% in polls from which his or her name have been consistently excluded? It's an impossible task.
(third criteria wording):
3. INDICATORS OF ELECTORAL SUPPORT
The CPD's third criterion requires that the candidate have a level of support of at least 15% (fifteen percent) of the national electorate as determined by five selected national public opinion polling organizations, using the average of those organizations' most recent publicly-reported results at the time of the determination.
It is too late in this election to simply revise the polls to contain the other viable candidates to resolve this problem. At this point, the candidates who have been included already have an unfair advantage.
We ask that you revise the third criteria for debate stage access to reflect circumstances in which the candidates have been excluded from the polls since that type of incomplete polling cannot accurately reflect electoral support.
It is not up to the media and polling companies to decide who Americans get to see on the debate stage. It's up to Americans. Since the polling companies have failed to provide Americans with all of the viable choices in the popular polls, the polling companies can no longer be depended on for a valid report of “Level of Support”.
We would like to remind you what your Mission Statement says:
"The Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD) was established in 1987 to ensure that debates, as a permanent part of every general election, provide the best possible information to viewers and listeners. Its primary purpose is to sponsor and produce debates for the United States presidential and vice presidential candidates and to undertake research and educational activities relating to the debates. The organization, which is a nonprofit, nonpartisan, 501(c)(3) corporation, sponsored all the presidential debates in 1988, 1992, 1996, 2000, 2004 and 2008."
Please fulfill your mission and include all candidates who meet criteria 1 and 2 on the debate stage this Fall. Americans are counting on you to produce truly non-partisan, fair and unbiased Presidential Debates.
The no longer silenced electorate
Jo Ann Vaccarino
This petition closed over 4 years ago
Many Americans count on the Presidential debates to make their final voting decision. Most Americans also believe that if a candidate is on all the state ballots, he or she will appear on stage -...
Many Americans count on the Presidential debates to make their final voting decision. Most Americans also believe that if a candidate is on all the state ballots, he or she will appear on stage - not true!
Did you know that there is a third candidate (Gary Johnson) and possibly even a fourth (Jill Stein) who will also be on all or enough state ballots to mathematically win, but will be excluded from the debates unless you speak up NOW?!
I was appalled when I read the debate criteria on debates.org -- The first two criteria are fine: "Constitutional eligibility, and on enough ballots to mathematically have a chance to win" ... but the third criteria is ABSURD!: "Must achieve 15% in popular polls".
Everyone knows it is impossible for a candidate who is excluded from the popular polls to achieve ANY percent! The popular polls consistently include only the two major party candidates and exclude the other candidates.
Aren't you angry that you're being deprived of "meeting" all the viable candidates who will be on all the state ballots?
If all of the Constitutionally and mathematically eligible candidates are not on the stage in 2012 I suspect this American tradition will be useless after this election.