"The candidate forum really involves the people. Involves the voters. They are able to ask the questions about the issues," said Shirley Strange.
The League of Women Voters conduct similar town hall meetings, also known as voters forums, at the local level, such as 20-10's Kagen/Ribble forum. Questions come from those attending and from mail and email. Candidates are required to be as succinct as possible with their answers.
"We time their answers because we are looking to get as many questions asked as possible over as many issues as possible," said Strange.
With questions coming directly from voters, candidates have to be more spontaneous with their answers than a tradition debate setting.
"Where they've been coached on the answers, where they want their answers to fit the group to whom they are speaking," Strange said.
League members review each question so it can be categorized according to the issues. While no question is ever edited, some are eliminated from consideration.
"We do not want to have questions presented to candidates that are uncivil or disrespectful," Strange said.
Strange adds that candidates answers to voters questions can be revealing.
"Are the questions being asked in specifics or generalities? Are the answers consistent from one question to another on the candidates viewpoints? Do the answers seem to be rehearsed or canned?" she added.
Local 5's Terry Kovarik has the story.