Elections provide many opportunities for voters to contact candidates, ask questions and express their views. This can include participation in candidate events and public forums and attendance at debates. It can also include direct contact with candidates and letters to the editor stating positions on election issues.
Participation in Events, Forums and Debates
Many candidate events are open to the public, and usually provide the opportunity to ask questions or give comments directly to the candidate. Most of these forums and events will be announced local papers; and debates for state offices and Congress will also be reported in the Des Moines Register and other papers with statewide circulation. Asking questions about children’s issues at events and forums is important in getting information about the candidate’s position and in raising the issue to visibility with the candidate and the public. Particularly at the state legislative level, these are prime opportunities for showing that children’s issues have interest to voters.
At the state legislative level, candidates often are eager to accept invitations to speak or appear before groups. In addition, voters can directly contact candidates to express opinions children’s issues, share information on children’s issues, or ask for candidate positions on children’s issues. When contacted, legislative candidates may even call back directly to discuss children’s issues! Again, it is valuable for candidates to know that there are constituents who are concerned about children’s issues.
Letters to the editor
As another way to raise children’s issues, voters can write letters to the editor that describe important children’s issues and emphasize the need for candidates to take stands on them. Letters can also endorse particular candidates and cite the reasons for endorsing that candidate, or set out where the voter agrees or disagrees with a stated candidate position. Again, the more that constituents raise children’s issue, the more prominence they will have in the election and in legislative and executive branch policy.