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League of Women Voters Statement on Presidential Debates

Press Release / Last Updated:

WASHINGTON — The League of Women Voters of the United States issued the following statement addressing the 2024 presidential debate schedule: 

“Debates are a tradition of American democracy and critical to our election process. Voters deserve to hear directly from candidates on issues they care about before casting their ballots, which is why presidential debates are essential to ensuring that every single eligible voter has the ability to make an informed choice, regardless of their political affiliation. 

"Voters must be able to vote with confidence, and debates are a trusted method to accomplish that. As a nonpartisan voting rights organization that hosts hundreds of candidate debates and forums every year, the League of Women Voters knows the importance of debates to our elections. That is why the League works so hard to prepare voters by providing nonpartisan candidate forums. The League encourages candidates running for office at every level to participate in debates and answer the questions voters want to hear — in forums, at town halls, or on our online voter information site, Voters need to know who they are voting for and where each candidate stands on important issues.

“The League had an impeccable history of hosting the presidential debates, which ended in 1988 when political parties centered themselves and not the voters in the process. Today, we are once again seeing the process deteriorate. While the League does not intend to insert ourselves into the presidential debates now run by the Commission on Presidential Debates, we encourage the parties and presumptive nominees to commit to a debate schedule so that voters can see for themselves their choices this year. 

“Hearing and seeing candidates engage in healthy debates before an election is an important part of our democracy. Candidate debates and forums help us determine which candidates align with our values and which ones we want to support with our votes. In 2022 alone, Leagues held more than 3,075 candidate debates and forums ahead of the midterm elections.    

"Democracy means that every voice is heard, and every voter is confident in the decisions they are making. We call on the political parties and candidates running for the nation’s highest office to come together and agree on a debate schedule that serves the needs of the voters."


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