Election 2012

More than a few people have argued that the upcoming election is one of the most important in our lifetime. In addition to the presidential election, voters will be faced with a multitude of candidates vying for federal, state and local office, along with numerous ballot questions and proposals. As in every election, an informed electorate is indispensable to the effective working of the democratic process. Today, voters wishing to educate themselves on the candidates and issues have access to a wealth of information from an endless array of media and on-line sources.

Many pundits believe that the upcoming debates between President Obama and challenger Mitt Romney, and between Vice President Joe Biden and challenger Paul Ryan, will be pivotal in the minds of voters. The first debate is tonight, with three more to follow. Here is the complete schedule:

First Presidential Debate-Wednesday, October 3, 2012
Time: 9 – 10:30 p.m. Eastern Time
Place: University of Denver in Denver, Colorado
Moderator: Jim Lehrer, host of PBS’s NewsHour

The focus of this debate will be domestic policy. The debate will be broken into six fifteen-minute time segments. The topics will be selected by the moderator and announced in advance. The moderator will open each segment with a question, and each candidate will have two minutes to respond. The balance of the time will be used for discussion.

Vice Presidential Debate-Thursday, October 11, 2012
Time: 9 – 10:30 p.m. Eastern Time
Place: Centre College in Danville, Kentucky
Moderator: Martha Raddatz, Senior Foreign Affairs Correspondent for ABC News

The focus of this debate will be both foreign and domestic topics and will be broken up into nine ten-minute segments. The moderator will open each segment with a question, and each candidate will have two minutes to respond. The balance of the time will be used for discussion.

Second Presidential Debate-Tuesday, October 16, 2012
Time: 9 – 10:30 p.m. Eastern Time
Place: Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York
Moderator: Candy Crowley, Chief Political Correspondent for CNN

The focus of this debate will be foreign and domestic issues. This debate will be formatted as a town-hall meeting, and citizens who are undecided voters selected by the Gallup Organization will ask the questions. Each candidate will have two minutes to respond.

Third Presidential Debate-Monday, October 22, 2012
Time: 9 – 10:30 p.m. Eastern Time
Place: Lynn University in Boca Raton, Florida
Moderator: Bob Schieffer, host of Face the Nation on CBS

The focus of this debate will be foreign policy, and the format will be the same as in the first presidential debate.

All of the debates are sponsored by the Commission on Presidential Debates and will be broadcast live on C-SPAN, ABC, CBS, FOX and NBC, as well as on all cable news channels, including CNN, Fox News and MSNBC, among others. Check your local listings and program guides.


For state and local issues, an invaluable resource has always been the non-partisan League of Women Voters, http://www.lwv.org/

. By merely filling in your street, city, state and ZIP code, you will be directed to information on not only the national election, but state and local races and ballot proposals that specifically affect you.

Whatever your politics, the right to vote is a freedom that cannot be taken for granted. Be informed.

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