tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN November 4, 2014 4:00am-6:01am EST
of law and government reform. and as the manager of the think tank's election law reform initiative, he has studied and written on campaign finance restrictions, administration of elections, voter fraud and of course voter i.d. and he's very well represented on a number of the tv and radio outlets, including a prolific author of a number of commentaries in the nationwide media. so thank you very much for accepting to be a part of this panel. the setup we're having here today in order to maximize the amount of exchange between the audience and the panelists, i've asked them kindly to restrict themselves to 10, maximum 15 minutes of introductory remarks stating their case and where they think the issues are when it comes to voter i.d. in the u.s.
and then we will open up for questions and answers. so, with these few words, i'm handing over to mr. von spakovsky as agreed between the panelists that he would start first. the floor is yours. >> thank you very much. and welcome to the united states. we're glad to have you here. you got an introduce of me as a lawyer and a write br these topics but i want to you understand also that i come at this from a practical standpoint. because i actually have been an election administrator down at the local level. i was on a county registration and election board in the state of georgia where we were responsible for voter registration and running the polls on election day in the largest county in the state. i recently left another county
electoral board in the state of virginia, fairfax county, where i think many of you may be going to observe tomorrow. and fairfax county also is the largest county in the state of virginia. so i have a lot of practical experience in what it's like to register individuals to vote and running a polling place on election day and then counting the votes at the end of the day once all the ballots have been cast. now, you may be a little confused by this whole debate about voter i.d. we are one of the only western democracies that does not uniformly require a photo i.d. when you go vote. now, part that have is because of the fact that we have, as i'm sure you've been briefed, a very decentralized election system. there is no federal agency at the national level that runs elections in this country,
including federal elections. which we are about to have tomorrow. those were all run down at the local level, usually by county governments, in some states even by townships, town governments. currently we have about 31 states out of 50 that require some form of i.d. when you vote. about half of those states require a photo i.d. now, in every state that requires a photo i.d., the law has also been tasked to provide a photo i.d. to anyone that doesn't already have one. opponents of this will say, well, there's no voter fraud in the united states and therefore we really don't need this kind of an honor system. well, two years ago i published
a book with my co-author that which we go through case after case after case of voter fraud. in the last months we've had individuals indicted for voter fraud in this country in mississippi, where the fraud actually changed the results of a mayor's race, in connecticut where a state legislator was indicted on 19 counts of voter fraud, we had a case just recently in tennessee where a woman was indicted for buying votes, which of course is illegal in this country. and just yesterday the associated press reported on a man in the state of new mexico who showed up to vote and was told that he had already voted. someone had shown up three days prior and had cast a ballot in his name. now, when they went back and checked, according to the story, the signature of the prior voter did not match the signature on file with the government.
new mexico is one of the states that does not have an i.d. requirement. the u.s. supreme court, which as you know is the highest court in the united states, upheld requiring a photo i.d. in 2008. six years ago. and the justices said, when they upheld that opinion, that unfortunately the u.s. has a long history of voter fraud that's been documented by historians and journalists. opponents will say to you that it's something that is unneeded and that also it is intended to suppress the vote of certain voters, particularly minority
voters. two of the states with the strictest photo i.d. laws, these require a state-issued photo i.d. laws. turnout did not go down in those states. in fact, georgia, which has a large african-american black population that's about 30%, had a huge increase in the turnout of black and hispanic voters in 2008. also in 2010 when barack obama was not on the ballot. and in 2012, our last presidential election. the census bureau do a survey
-- does a survey of voters after every election. their census shows that black voters actually voted at a higher rate in the state of georgia with its voter i.d. in place. indiana which has a photo i.d. law that's been in place since 2008, that's the law that the supreme court upheld. according to the census bureau in the 2012 election, black voters outvoted white voters by more than 10 percentage point. so this idea that this is suppressing people's right no vote is simply not the case and the data shows that. in fact, i think president obama actually agrees with that. he gave an interview about a week ago in which he said, talk about voter i.d. and other laws that most of these laws are not preventing the overwhelming majority of folks who don't vote from voting.
most people do have an i.d. most people do have a drive's license. most people can get to the polls. in fact, president obama said that the reason people don't vote in the country is basically appear think. -- apathy. that's what prevents people from getting out and voting. it's not these laws. now, the american people actually agree with that. there have been numerous polls done on this particular issue. and the overwhelming majority of americans think that requiring an i.d. is a common sense requirement. and that polling by the way crosses all racial, ethnic and party lines. so a majority of democrats, a majority of republicans, a majority of independent voters, a majority of whites, a majority of hispanics, a majority of blacks think voting is a common sense reform.
that's what we're here to talk about today. one of the problems that we have discovered in which a number of states are trying to solve that problem is the fact that it's very easy for someone who is not a united states citizen to register and vote in our elections. now, that is against the law. urn federal law that is a felony. so a number of states, however, who have found noncitizens registering in voting have passed laws. kansas is one. arizona is another.
georgia is a third. they have passed laws that require that when you register to vote, you have to find proof of united states citizenship. all of these laws have been attacked in the court. however, the opposition has lost the majority of those cases. with only a few exceptions, all of the cases filed in state court, all of the cases filed in federal court try to stop, for example, voter i.d. laws have failed. and the reason is, the courts have found that they are neither discriminatory nor unconstitutional. the proof of citizenship requirement, the importance of that -- the importance of that was brought out just a week ago. a week ago several professors released a study where they looked at comprehensive congressional survey data and they estimate that in the 2008 election 6.4% of noncitizens in the united states voted illegally in that election. now, from a demographic standpoint the voting of noncitizens breaks down 80-20. in other words, about 80% vote for the democratic party. about 20% vote for the republican party. the professors in this study
estimate that noncitizens voting illegally may have made the difference in a number of close elections in 2008. one of them being a united states senate race in the state of minnesota. in minnesota the democratic challenger was finally declared the winner against the republican incumbent by 312 votes out of 2.9 million votes cast in the state. enough noncitizens may have voted in that election to have changed the outcome. was that significant? that was a very significant
vote. why? because that democratic senator who was elected provided the 60th vote in the united states senate which passed obamacare, you know, the large health program pushed by the president and it's been very controversial. so the fraud in that election may have made quite a difference for every american in the country. the point is is that all of these new relatively new requirements although some of them have been around for many years, all are intended to increase and improve the integrity of the election process. and the evidence all shows that it does not prevent people from being able to vote and getting to the polls.
this is an important issue, but again, i will end by saying that i've spoken to many groups of election officials from around the world. i was on the federal election commission for two years which is the federal agency that regulates the financing of federal campaigns and frankly they were always a bit -- the foreign officials that we would talk to were always a bit mystified by the argument being -- going on here over these kind of very common sense election reforms and i think 10 years from now, once these measures have been in place for many years, people will look back on these arguments and sit there and say, why in the world was there even any argument about this kind of a reform. thank you. >> thank you very much for your comments and your information you shared. >> thank you very much, stephane. and i will join my colleague in thanking all of you for being here. it is a pleasure to be speaking to people from around the world
and in particular talking about trying to demystify this issue that has become so controversial because i completely agree with my colleague, many of you are probably wondering what the fight is about. and part of that traces back to a very different system that we have here and that which you enjoy in some of the countries where you're from. like my colleague, i have both studied the issue of particular election administration requirements and also this isn't just an academic exercise, i've also been a lawyer on the ground working with nonprofit organizations, working with campaigns in order to help real eligible people to vote. so i too come at this from a very practical perspective. and i think i share with my colleague a little bit of concern that this issue has become extremely controversial. as you heard in the mornings program, it is one of the most
controversial issues in american politics today in terms of the rules of the election. when there are other problems when there are other problems that, in fact, may impact far more voters, the way that the american system conducts and to call it the american system is already oversimplifying, the way that each state conducts its own different voter registration process almost certainly impacts more voters, more regularly than the particular rules about photo identification. but i think there's a reason -- i think there are several reasons why this issue has become so very, very controversial here. one has to do with a fight, a vigorous fight over the extent to which majorities may set election rules that burden some minorities. when it comes to and i'll explain this in a bit. when it comes to requirements to
show particular forms of identification at the polls, cervan is absolutely right, most americans have no problem presenting that documentation. and so it is unsurprising that most americans support rules showing documentation. on the other hand, some americans have a great deal of difficulty showing that documentation and the fight here is over the extent to which most of us can make the rules harder or some of us. and that is a fight that resonates with our history and i think has a great deal of vigor behind it today. this is also something of attention between viewing voting as a mass process or viewing voting as an individual right. those are also two very -- there are two sides with the same coin. elections involve both.
but think -- think you hear different perspectives in the american debate quite often and that can create a different controversy to whether we are doing elections or most of us are doing elections for each ligible voter. and i think the third reason this is so controversial is because it's a fight in some ways a proxy fight for the extent to which burdens on some are either justified or unjustified by pressing need. that is an extent to which we are willing to allow the government to make rules where the justification may not support the restrictions at hand and i think those who disagree with some of the rules that some of our states have put in place question the justification as much as anything else. so as a background, you heard yesterday from the sad home, not every person is eligible to ote.
this varies state by state even by federal election and that is something that is also unusual. but in most states you have to be over 18 years old. you have to be as he mentioned in most elections a citizen. you have to have legal residents in the jurisdiction, and you have to not be disenfranchised acon conviction. and you heard yesterday some of the limitations on that. and buzz of this eligible requirement, it's important that we know that individuals who present themselves to vote are who they say they are because we have determined whether they're eligible or not and it's important that we know that they are who they por port to be. and think there is wide, if not universal agreement that states have to have some way to make sure that voters are who they ay they are.
the controversy in the us is not whether states have to have some way to make sure that voters say who they say they are. that is the controversy is not over a fight between everybody has to show one particular identification card or no safeguard at all. the fight is over the means by which states can require that people show that they are who they say they are. and that is a vigorous fight, indeed. as he mentioned, every state sets its own rules on this differently. there is no overriding federal standard even for federal elections. most states give a fairly wide menu of ways in which a voter may arrive at the polls and show that he or she is who he or she purports to be.
but some say that an eligible voter may not cast a valid ballot if he or she does not have a particular a type of government issued i.d. card. and those relatively few states is where the bulk of the controversy is is where almost all of the controversy is. why do we have this controversy? i think as i mentioned before, it's because this restriction is put in place by why some believe is not a sufficiently good eason. if the procedure for proven identity were very easy for every voter, this wouldn't be a controversy. and if the procedure for proving identity were easy for most voters, difficult for some voters, but were in response to an enormously pressing problem, that is if the need were urgent and sufficiently severe to burden the rights of a few, we probably would have a controversy but nowhere near the level where it's at today. i think the controversy arises
because the procedure is easy for most, hard for some and at least there's a perception that that burden is not sufficiently justified by a pressing need. and that characterizes not just fights over i.d. but i think the reason that this battle has been pitched is because of a concern of that sort of regulation. once it imposed burdens on a few on a few without sufficient justification across the electoral system. as we heard today and yesterday part of the reason that's a concern is because our system has the -- not unique but also not common feature where those who are -- who stand for election make the rules for elections and so there's a concern that they will be making the rules an imposing burdens,
not by happenstance and not at random. i'll talk a little bit and then i will stop talking about the two halves of this equation. that it can be hard for some and that burden may be unjustified. and here's where i will differ with him. and i recognize that the notion that one may have to present a certain form of government issued i.d. in this room in particular will seem unusual that that amounts to any sort of a burden. because in most of your countries that's common place. and as he mentioned, we are one of the only western democracies where this is a controversy in part because we're one of the only western democracies that has decentralized the system as e have and one of the only democracies where we put the bulk of the onus on voters rather than on affirmative
government outage. what do i mean by that? we don't have really any universal government identification system. we don't have a national identification that is affirmatively outbound to every esident. every resident is not given an i.d. we don't have a national egistry. we don't have a system where the government seeks to provide documentation to every citizen and where there are -- and we don't have a system where there's a very important benefit like a national health care system which would naturally encourage every american to seek this national i.d. in many of your countries, you have in some cases a smaller population but also national systems where the government is far more actively involved in the lives of its citizens and also each eligible voter. and you have to understand the fight here by understanding that
that's not the system we have. indeed, if we had such a system, you would probably see less controversy over the voter i.d. requirement issue in elections. most americans have the sort of identification they need in the few states that require a particular card. but many, a small percentage, but a large number don't. in one recentt piece of litigation, the estimate was several hundred thousands eligible citizens in the united states did not currently possess the sort of identification that they would need in order to vote. and in america, if you don't have i.d., it can be quite difficult to get i.d. i have it. it's easy for me to show it. it's easy for me to renew it. but if you aren't already in the system, it can be quite difficult to get.
even when the identification card itself is free. we require substantial underlying documentation. and that is often not. once again, we don't have national birth registries. we don't have national nstitutions like that. and so some people are born off f the government grid and in order get back on the government grid can be quite expensive, quite a bureaucratic hassell and quite difficult. some people have underlying documentation that does not reflect its current name either because they've gotten married or because there was an error originally. and getting the appropriate kind of identification can require a court process which is as you might expect quite cumbersome. as a result, we know and there have been reliable studies that
show this that the rules show one of several cards fall disproportionately on those of lower socio economic status. so that disproportionately burden the poor, the very young and the elderly and they disproportionately burden racial ethic minorities. he's not sure that these have an impact because you can look at turnout and see that the turnout hasn't fluctuated much and in some states it's gone up particularly monk racial minorities. that's true, but i don't think turnout is the right measure. one easy process proves this. if we had a law that said, if you did not vote in 2012 you may ot vote, period. turnout this year would not be much effected.
most of the voters that come to the poll in 2014 would have voted in 2012. it's relatively uncontroversial. no impact on turnout. but 80 million americans would have lost the franchise. these laws are about those who have chosen to vote in the past but they are also about those that are eligible to vote and may choose to exercise that right in the future. even if turnout were the right measure, he has presented two elections with states that have had i.d. rules for quite some time, georgia and indiana. and both of those states have the unusual feature of a presidential election that was contested with a minority candidate at the top of the ticket that in some ways drove turnout far more than what you would expect. the bottom line is there's very little even if turnout were the right measure, there's very ittle that we can know about
the impact of laws like this by looking at turnout, period. the right way, i contest, is to ask voters to conduct surveys. do you have the i.d. that you would need? would you face difficulty in getting the i.d. that you need? and those surveys show and repeatedly show that a small percentage by a large number of individuals don't have and would face difficulty getting the i.d. hat they need. one note and then i'll wrap up on the other side of the ledger. so there's a burden for some but not for many. is there a pressing need to exact that burden? the united states has a low grade problem of photo fraud. he is right that it exists. think he exaggerates. responsible observers don't claim that there is no voter
fraud in the u.s. and you heard yesterday doug chapin mentioned local elections, most of the local elections is where you're going find this low grade level of voter fraud including buying votes, includes postal ballots, includes fraud by officials and these are serious problems. but they are not problems that require a particular i.d. card at the poll can possibly fix. many of the instances that he mentioned earlier in missouri -- in mississippi, pardon me, in connecticut, in tennessee involves fraud but not any sort of fraud that a rule requiring i.d. at the polls could possibly fix. he did mention one case from yesterday. i saw it too. i'm not surprised that he brought it up from new mexico of an individual who went to the polls and found -- somebody else had voted in his name and that is the sort of fraud that some sort of identity verification
could fix. i've looked as many examples as i could find. allegations since the year 000. and in those 14 years, i'm now thanks to yesterday's instance to 35 instances in 14 years. that's at the same time that 1 billion with a b ballots have been cast in america. it happens but it's very, very are. and already more voters in indiana and georgia alone, the states that he mentioned have attempted to cast ballots and been unable to do so because they did not procure the proper i.d. in time. already more voters in those two states have been unable to cast ballot. than all of the instances of
this type of fraud that we know of going back 14 years. how do we resolve this problem? i think there are many way to verify that someone is who they say they are while accommodating those who cannot easily procure a particular type of photo i.d. card and that's really what this fight is about, whether there are accommodations for a few or whether there are not accommodations for a few who may have trouble meeting the standard that the majority has imposed that are relatively easy for many. the outcome as policy matter i think is uncertain. the outcome is a legal matter i think is uncertain. courts are still weighing in -- each state law is slightly different and so courts are still weighing in state by state on whether these laws are lawful or not whether they are constitutional or not. and i think we will have to wait
for several years yet before we arrive at a consensus. i think once we arrive at a consensus, i agree with him that we will think back and wonder what this fight was about. but i'm not sure the consensus is going to be on the most restrictive laws that we have currently. >> thank you, professor, for your presentation. we have two very, very good presentations that have been clearly articulating the views and their data supporting their views on it. i think they're eager to hear your take on the debate in the u.s. and see how we can learn from each other. a couple of the housekeeping issues before we embark upon that. please state your name and your affiliation when you're asked a question. we're having some of my colleagues here with microphones since this is being broadcasted live so it is being captured properly, we have your headsets for translation.
we have channel 7 english, 10 arabic, 11 for spanish. we have about 25 minutes for q&a. please raise your hand if you have a question and we will take it from there. why don't we start with the gentleman in the front here, lliott or -- >> thank you very much. it's very interesting -- for us, e come from nepal, both of us. we have our own history and we have our own system and i'm slightly confused. the u.s. democracy is -- we have to learn and follow. or we have to give simplicity to
have a system here or tomorrow. i don't know what we should do. but then we would have part a little rule for -- of these oters. and secondly, that it could elp. and we know that the federal law is passed by the country and each state has the -- some sort of unique identification for everything including for this country and that we are doing the same thing for nepal. i was thinking that somebody voted on somebody else. and what is the finality working for somebody else? and do you have some sort of
penalty for the person you identified as somebody else. sometimes i get confused because i think the democracy is twice. and you are free to decide on your own. most of them have -- i.d. and some don't have nything. if we take back to nepal and in the previous election we didn't have i.d. distributed to each voter. and we had a very big bulky little room and a lot of voters might have voted for somebody lse. so we introduced both to society and the system. and then this time around in 2013, we had a very good turnout from 1961 to 2013. each voter has been given a
voter identification card. and that's how -- that made much difference because in elections some other party has gotten the poison in the house because there's no identification set elt. >> and then some other has the opportunity to come and the first one in the 2008 elections starting to be hard, right? so i think the largest i.d. -- this would be i.d. and proper system car, providing the opportunity to exercise the important rights of individual ities. and that's where i don't understand that.
>> we wonder if it's something rom the u.s. we would like to be identify like this. and so do we live on their own? what would they like to do? that is a democracy? et's watch this. >> maybe we can take one more question and let the panelist ask. so in the middle -- that's fine. >> and i am from the electoral council of haiti. thank you for the presentations that were very clear. i should like to add one question regarding the need to ave the photo i.d. card.
if i understand the presentation, the american system is based on trust, a system of trust. and so you say that according to research, the crime of fraud has increased. nd i'd like to quote the professor who studied it whether it was demonstrated -- the fraud is what made the difference. so my question is do you not think that since you are not able to agree on the very need of having a voter i.d. card to vote. lease do not think that this will have an invoice on presidential elections in the united states.
thank you very much. >> thank you very much. >> well, my first question, part of your question was about, you know, what's the punishment for what we call election rimes? as you know and this is related to the second par of your question, we have a federal system here. so we have both a federal government and state government. and under state law and under federal law election fraud is a crime. depending on what you do, it may be a felony which means that you can go to prison for more than a year. or it could be a misdemeanor which is a more minor crime.
the problem isn't there aren't sufficient punishment, there are. he problem is that prosecutors don't tend to prosecute many of these cases. i mean some prosecutors do. but election fraud is a low priority because, you know, they're faced with very serious crimes. murder, rape. armed robbery. and election crime after an election is over doesn't seem like a very serious crime. i have found many prosecutors on the local level, they don't like these cases because they are going to make one or the other political parties mad if they pursue that. and i give you a good example of his. you know, we talked about noncitizen voting. when i was at the u.s. justice department where i worked for four years, the justice department prosecuted a number
of people who are not u.s. citizen who is had. that's a federal crime. i don't believe this administration has prosecuted a single and i know because i was there. three years ago in fairfax county, virginia where i'm on the election board, we discovered almost 300 people who re not u.s. citizens and registered to vote and about them have voted in another elections. we sent that to the justice department so they could prosecute. they did nothing about it. >> we have a question from the second -- the second question was about the case in minnesota and if it's not that, could that have ramifications in the next lection? >> well, in fact, sometimes i didn't get to say which was that, in the study about
noncitizen voting, the process >> professors concluded another race which may have affected the u.s. presidential race is that in north carolina -- north carolina barack obama at won. north carolina has six million registered voters. according to the calculations of these professors, that's well within the margin of noncitizens who may have voted in the state. and only a week ago, two weeks ago, official discovered that individual who are in the united states illegally but who have gotten amnesty through the president's deferred action program, they found, i think almost 200 of them registered to vote in the state. so that is clearly at issue. >> and if i could just respond for just one moment.
ctually on both questions. the study to which he keeps referring has been i think with a lot of justice, heavily heavily criticized. i hate to do this because it would be nice if somebody said the professor's found. everybody just agreed and to nod their head. i like that rule quite a bit. but the study has been heavily emphasized. and i think for very good eason. the authors extrapolated based on five individuals on a survey that massive numbers of noncitizens were voting. was it really five people?
how could you'll do that? it really was, five people? those sorts of conclusions when you blow them up nationwide, look rather large. ut i don't think that that's the study that actually proves what it's set out to prove. there may well be -- and the question for is is is the policy that stops that going to create a bigger problem than tself. so if in an effort to stop a few hundred noncitizens from voting, we sopped several thousands or tens of thousands from voting. that's doing more harm to the integrity of the election. that is missing. -- than fixing it.
yes, it was decided by a few hundred votes. but if eligible, legitimate voters had been preventing from casting they ballot by a law that secured them more broadly. that too would have changed the results of the election and would have been seen as widely unfair. the calculation here is no different fri any other public policy, which is the benefit should exceed the costs or else it is not worth doing. art of this comes down to how restrictive are the measures to get out the scale of the problem. this comes back to the first gentleman's point. there are many alternatives to having one or two or three or four particular government issued i.d. card. and one of the alternatives aving the government affirmatively supply i.d. to everyone.
it's much harder to do in a country the size and scale of the united states, but that is one option. a biometric solution. if you happen to have i.d., show that and we'll take your picture. 'll have you sign an extra affidavit. that too is a means of testing your identity without excluding those. and think there are many other options besides options. the fight is about the range of policy and that increased security without excluding the voters. i think that is really the crux of the problem. >> thank you very much. some more questions. i'm looking to see if there are some of these women who want to ask some questions as well. i see there is one in the back that's willing to participate.
welcome. >> hello. i'm canada. i believe a system should be built to accommodate the majority. so photo i.d. doesn't -- i'm not othered by that. but a good system would have for lack of a better term off ramps to accommodate those who don't fall. i was wondering if you could tell us what some of those measures are to accommodate hose who don't fall in the majority and if you can say why you feel there's significant and they're not. >> sure. every state that has passed a photo i.d. law has also provided that anyone who doesn't already have one can get one for free. what's interesting about that -- is that the huge number of people predicted by opponents who don't have an i.d. has
proven to be completely wrong over the years. and i'll give you an example of that. i have handed out a copy of a paper that i did looking at the state of georgia. in addition to showing turnout, it also shows the number of free i.d.'s issued. and the numbers every year were like .5 of 1% of the number of registered voters. a tiny amount of people have registered voters. compare that to the predictions of those who opposed the law that there would be hundreds of thousands of people without an i.d. secondly, one of the reasons i don't take the claim seriously, about people not having an i.d. or being able to get an i.d. is because i actually handed out a copy of an article that i wrote where i did this.
i actually went and looked up the names of the witnesses that were presented in the law suit filed against that voter i.d. law eight years ago. these are people who swore under oath in court that they didn't have an i.d. but most importantly they wouldn't have the ability to get the free i.d.. it would be too difficult. what i did is i went and got the names of all these people who swore and i checked their voting records. since the law suit. and i found out that all of them had been voting in election after election in this state. now every state also provides what's call a provisional ballot. so if you show up and you don't have your i.d., many states say that they will give you five days to come back to the
election office with an i.d. and our vote will count. ome states have gone as far as offramp to a er photo i.d. requirement. there's something is what happens. they will have an affidavit that you can fill out where two other voters for example can swear that they know you and that you are a resident of the state. and then you get to vote. but my point is is these law have been in place for many years. it just hasn't been a problem for people able to get an i.d. >> sort of. so from indiana, from the very same state that he mentioned, there have been thousands of provisional ballots cast by people who went to the polls and did not have the proper i.d. there. that were not counted. many of which were cast by
individuals who had been casting ballots for decades. we can't due to secrecy law in the state. every state is again different in this respect. know for sure who those people are. only the government in the state knows. but you would have to believe that none of those people were actually eligible. to believe these sorts of laws have not had an impact. as he mentioned most of these states that have the most restrictive laws require that you show an identification in order for those ballots to count. so it's a useful placebo on election day. but for someone who does not actually have the i.d. in question, it does them no good to cast this ballot that will be thrown
in the trash rather than counted. it is true that states allow you to get the i.d. card themselves for free but the underlying documentation is not and can be burdensome. not every -- there are very few humans i'm aware of who emerge from the womb with papers in hand to prove their identity. we do not have a national birth registry in this country. some people have the government-issued birth certificates. some do not. you often need one of those government issued birth certificate to get the birth certificate. people are trapped in a bureaucratic catch 22. they cannot get the documentation they need because may need documentation to get the documentation they need. because they need documentation.
you can see the loop. those people don't actually show up to vote because they know that they can't. they are not in the figures that he was talking about. there's one other offramp that i'm troubled by. these are laws for people coming to the poll. actually have quite liberal, quite permissive absentee laws. and the argument is made that we don't have to worry about the requirements to present particular identification at the polls because these individuals normally the elderly often have permission, again, vary state by state to cast postal ballot instead. that is by raising the burdens of going to the polls, the solution is to encourage theeds same people who can not vote at the policy to vote in an absentee ballot.
the problem with that is that i believe that there is widespread agreement. i would be surprised if he thought differently. the postal ballot system, the absentee ballot system is where there are actually large concerns about fraud. if you're going steal an election, using postal ballots is far more efficient and far more elections than doing so in person. and so the most broad off-ramp is actually staring a group in our system where we have the most trouble. that's part of what disturbs me in terms of protecting the integrity of the vote. >> i certainly agree with that there's a lot of fraud in the absentee ballot process. postal ballots. but that's why a number of states have passed photo i.d. laws that require you to show a photo i.d. not only for in-person voting for also for absentee.
kansas, for example, has done that. alabama has done that. some other states also. that, in fact, is a failing. those states only require a photo for in person voting need to extend that quality. >> so with this back and forth from the panelist, i want to conclude this session and thank them for their participation and also yours for being so active. i think we can give them a hand for a job well done. [applause] we are struggling with two principles when it comes to the lection. the debate will continue for some time to come. so thank you very much.
>> on c-span.org, you can see debates for races around the country. one of the races we're watching is the louisiana senate race between mary landrieu and her republican challengers. bill cassidy and rob maness. here is a look at the ads running for that race. >> he promised to change america but he is changing it for the worse. mary lan due goes along with it. for obamacare. or amnesty for illegals.
medicare cuts. bill cassidy stands up to barack obama because he represents you. >> i am dr. bill cassidy and i approve this message. >> i am a registered nurse who bill nursing businesses in 12 states. we treat too many women who are victims of domestic violence. that is why i will not understand why congressman bill cassidy voted against the violence against women act. bill cassidy is a doctor. he should know better. >> i am mary landrieu and i approve this message, because i will always stand up for the women of louisiana. >> senator landrieu, i voted for you before, but when you voted for obamacare i knew i made a mistake. >> canceled health plans and big rate increases and still you refuse to repeal it.
>> you try to scare us with nonsense about social security. stands up to barack obama. >> i am bill cassidy and i'm with you and i'm fighting for you. >> i am mary landrieu and i approve this message. >> three republicans and a democrat and we are supporting mary landrieu. because of mary, louisiana got billions. >> to rebuild after katrina and rita. we got billions for drilling rigs. >> she took on the president to get that done. >> she is chairman of the energy committee. we can't afford to lose that. >> i am rob maness. in louisiana you learn to be tough. one moment of weakness and the alligators will eat you alive. when i get to washington, i'll stand up for the big spenders. i will fight to appeal obamacare, protect our gun rights. i'm colonel rob maness and i approve this message because
louisiana needs a senator that will stand up to the career oliticians and the alligators. on the next "washington journal" nathan gonzales offers his predictions for the midterm elections and then analysis from jessica taylor of "the hill," aaron blake of "the "washington kcashaar. "washington journal" is live every morning at 7:00 eastern on c-span. you can join the conversation with calls and comments on acebook and twitter. >> today a discussion on technologies and biomedical reform at work to create an h.i.v. vaccine and other reatments.
the doctor takes part in the event hosted by the center for strategic and international throughout campaign 2014, c-span has brought you more than 130 candidate debates from across the country in races that will determine control of the next congress. tonight, watch c-span's coverage to see who wins, who loses, and which party will control the house and senate. our coverage begins at 8 p.m. eastern. you also see candidate victory and concession speeches in some of the most closely watched races threat the country. withnt to hear from you your calls, facebook comments and tweets. >> the 2015 c-span student
cam contest is underway. showing how policy, law, or action by the branches of the federal government has affected you or your community are you there are 200 cash prizes totaling $100,000. another panel. a look at the impact of candidate debates in elections. the international foundation of electoral systems hosts this discussion.
>> ladies and gentlemen, we will get on our way and hope that more of our colleagues will join us as we go along. have theow, we translation on the headsets. it might be an advantage if you wear a headset for sound quality and also if anyone should ask questions in languages that you would like translated. on channel seven, we have english, on channel eight we have arabic, when channel nine we have french, on channel 11 we have spanish. is point andon counterpoint, the role of candidate debates in political discourse.
1:30 two 2:30. get to publicly express and defend their views on key issues of the day. debates are often televised, given the public and unedited view of the candidates. all voters get excited to see candidates go head-to-head with their opponents. can see a picture that i brought along from the final debate in the recent presidential election in indonesia. my family and i are fortunate enough to live in this beautiful country. i was in the audience at all of these debates. these debates had a profound impact on a seriously contested election. in the final debate, only days
before the election, and now president jacoby change back to his relaxed shirt, rolled up his sleeves, he took on his sports shoes and won the election. i believe that if we look at those elections, the debates were influential in him getting six points ahead of his opponent. this was a decisive moment in the election. i do not believe that we would have had the result had it not been these final gestures by the candidate. i believe that these debates are becoming increasingly important for the electoral races that we as administrators help administrate and as our speakers are aware, some of the election commissions that are guests here with us are in charge of the debates. for example, in the case of indonesia, it is the election
commission that stages debates and manages these. this is also an expression of the work done by some of the colleagues that are with us. my name is peter evan. many of you, i've met you over the years. for those of you who do not know me, i've been traveling around the world since the early 90's. am senior electoral advisor. i get to work out of indonesia. i am extremely fortunate to be joined by two speakers today. i start with diane collen. she is the vice president of regular education at the st. louis university. she is a professor of indication and an associate vice president for graduate -- she is the coeditor and
contributor to the 1992 presidential debates and the lead author on the third agenda in the u.s. presidential debates . matt dibble who was also with us atay is the deputy director the national democratic institute. for more than a decade, he has organized democracy strengthening programs in 15 countries in the region. liaison.e as india's , 2008, in 2012, he took leave from india and served as .pd's liaison he is also worked with the cpd to help groups in more than 10 countries organized televised
debates. have, that will go first today and followed by diane. their 15 minutes each. we look forward to your questions. if you'll be patient with me, i will get the technology up and running. over to you matt. >> thank you for the opportunity to be with you here today. bitke to speak a little beyond the midterm elections and look toward wednesday, we will be talking about presidential elections in the united states. i would like to present the u.s. as a case study in managing dates and look at some international trends we have seen. , candidateed states
debate has become an integral part of u.s. elections. two watershed forms are highlighted to illustrate the significance. between senate debate abraham lincoln and stephen douglas and the first televised debates between richard nixon and john kennedy, in that respect, i would like to discuss the role of the commission in continuing this tradition. the commission is an independent, not-for-profit organization whose mission is to sponsor and produced debates for the u.s. presidential and vice presidential candidates. and to provide the best possible information to viewers and listeners about candidates and their platforms to help voters also to makellots.
debates a permanent part of the election process. the commission is focused on debates and serves as a neutral broker. it has no other roles or interests that could conflict with staging debates. in commission was founded 1987, as a result of recommendations of independent studies by groups at georgetown and harvard universities after 1984 elections. the commission has produced every debate since 1988. most recently, the debate between government romney and president barack obama in 2012. organizession does not primary debates. the commission's approach is laws. by u.s. loss --
i would add a few more facts about the commission. it is led by a board of public servants including, former elected officials and educational leaders. the commission has a staff of one and one half people. forrows to over 100 people the actual debates. it is funded by private contributions and grants. it does not receive funds from political parties or candidates. the debates are generally held on university campuses, not tv studios, to help engage students and local communities as part of the commission's overall educational mission. i would add, in the u.s., there is no law that requires candidates to debate and no guarantee that they will attend. despite a long history of debates, the u.s. shares the same challenges with other countries of getting candidates to take part.
1960 kennedy-nixon debates, there was a 16 year cap before the ford-carter debates in 1976. in the u.s., we found the main means of getting candidates to debate is the public's demand an expectation that debates will happen and pressure in the media if candidates balk. to help create the expectation, the commission's organizational process is designed to be public and transparent. the process starts two years before the elections. things are starting to get moving now in the u.s., looking forward to 2016. u.s. will take two years to organize, they have been done in a week, which is fast and not a recommended approach but has been done. by working starts
with tv networks to identify the best dates for debates, to reach the most voters and avoid conflicts with other broadcast events like sporting championships. it also involves creating and publicizing the criteria that determines which candidates will debate. in that respect, many americans do not realize that there are often more than 150 candidates for president in the united states. which is an impractical number to have debate. the commission's organizational process continues with planning for the big issues which include selecting university hosts, setting up a media center to help promote coverage, making security arrangements, designing the set and format among other
areas. a key part of preparations is to select moderators. the commission uses a single moderator. liveebates are broadcast on tv and radio by a special event spool -- pool. the commission also negotiates with candidates on the details of the forums. also organizes debate related civic education activities such as debate viewing parties to engage voters. impact, the commission has organized 26 presidential and buys presidential debates. exit polling shows that americans say that debates are the single greatest factor in determining their voting. debates do not generally change
people's minds on who they're going to vote for. the viewership of the debates is second only to the most widely watched tv program in the u.s. which is the super bowl. the final of the u.s. style football championships. , a wellt into scale watched primary debate in the u.s. will have 3 million viewers. a typical network news program will have 6 million to 7 million viewers. a poorly watched presidential debate will have 37 viewers and a well watched debate, 75 million viewers in the u.s. and many more overseas. i would like to shift gears at this point and discuss the commission's international work which is done in partnership with the national democratic
institute. the commission has collectively help groups in more than 35 countries around the world. as you may have seen in your own country or as the slideshow indicates, there is a global movement toward candidate debates -- making candidate debates part of an election. it is at least 65 country so far and i've suspect the number is higher. why are more countries organizing debates? debates provide a unique opportunity to compare candidates. there are generally the only time in a campaign when voters see and hear directly from candidates, comparing side-by-side in the same format debates also. increase focus on policies in a campaign. candidates traditionally campaign on personal attacks or
in contrast, eight two our debate forces candidates to have a more in-depth position on the issues. in jamaica, polling after a 2011 debate showed that 70% of the informed onore candidate policy positions because of the debates. 30% actually said that they change their vote as a result. in the u.s., after the 2012 saide, some 60% of voters the debates were more helpful than campaign commercials in deciding whom to vote for. we have also seen the debates lower political tensions and promote tolerance in countries coming out of civil war, where elections can be a flashpoint for violence. debates can reduce tension and show that even political rivals can discuss their differences
and shake hands on national television, which sends a message of unity to the country. many countries coming out of ,onflict such as afghanistan and liberia have held debates. debates in ghana, malawi, and kenya, the candidates publicly or go to accept results to the courts rather than the streets with their complaints. holdes also help citizens officials accountable. once in office, the positions taken by candidates during debates are on the record. the media can hold them to their promises. debates also promote a positive national image. peru pickedates in up an additional 25 million viewers because cnn cover the
event. debates are seen as signs of a healthy democracy. debates can project positive images internationally that can encourage tourism and investment. countries that whole debates are a model for their citizens -- their neighbors. of an editorial that appeared in zimbabwe which made that case. debates led to inquiries from groups seeking to follow suit in guyana, trinidad and tobago. the benefits of debates for candidates are many. debates provide a chance to speak directly to the electorate unfiltered by the media. candidates can reach more voters in one debate. 2011, irian debates in
heard estimates that they were viewed by 50 million people. that is coverage that you cannot buy. candidates can connect with undecided voters were less likely to attend a campaign rally. fields level the playing where one party dominates access to the media and they allow leadersto show emerging and revitalize the image of the party and show inclusiveness. despite the benefits, holding debates can be hard and many fail for production and political reasons. a challenge is to get candidates to commit to debating especially incumbents. in the u.s., we have that problem -- we had that problem. on the production front, another example was in 1976, the audio went out at the fort-carter debates. the candidates stood silent on the stage for 27 minutes on
national television. it was very uncomfortable. to increase success rates, we found that groups can pool their exports -- expertise. debates international.org has information on debates from around the world, including a network that is in 18 country association of debate organizers. thank you. [applause] >> thank you matt. we will follow that by diane and then open up for questions. >> good afternoon and thank you for the opportunity to forum.pate in this
as peter mentioned, i do a lot of research and writing about debates. i have also been on several projects internationally including, in georgia, some work in afghanistan recently. some work with another ngo in south america. i have had this international experience but, as a professor, the research is the thing that has been of most interest to me. i have had an opportunity to compare some of what viewers -- how they response to debates in the united states and whether that is similar in other countries. what i want to do is talk about what makes a fair debate. purposes of debate, it is a side-by-side candidate comparison and it is usually the only time that you will have
that throughout a campaign. researchs ago, media in the united states noted that there are at least three agendas going on in a debate. the candidates debate because they have something that they want to say. it is usually not what the questioners want them to talk about, which is why they often do not answer the question they were asked, or they talk about something other than the question once they had answered it. , andedia has an agenda they are creating the questions in the situation. public has an agenda. there are certain things public wants to hear. the debates focus on issues and after you have heard hours of negative advertising or very short clips on newscasts, it is important to have extended time devoted to it and they want to hear about the issues. what has happened with technology is we have more
opportunities for the public to have input into the questions at the media are actually asking. whether through the use of polling data or questions at the public sends. agendas, everyone gets to have a piece of the debate and it is one of the few times that you have this in a campaign. they reveal leadership traits. some of the research that i've was toer the years establish a program called debate watch, where we encourage people to invite friends into ,heir homes or open up schools community centers, watch together and talk. if you go to the commission's website, you will see debate watch and the questions that we ask people to discuss. hundreds of these groups that we had transcripts of. what we found was that the debate, as a watch over the 90
minutes or two hours, they begin to see what kind of leader this person will be. i see how they think on their feet, what happens when they are attacked. they are getting difficult questions. their verbal and nonverbal communication tells something about the kind of leader they will be. when vice president gore debated governor bush, at the first debate, one of the agreements was that the camera would only show the person speaking. they were doing split screens where you were seeing the person who was not. ,he vice president was sighing rolling his eyes, reacting to things that then governor bush was saying. when i went into focus groups, people were saying, he was rude, and he was doing it on stage with cameras. what if he brings a world leader
in and he is rude to him? interpreted this behavior as an indication of how he might govern. they were saying, we found out something about his personality. i looked at the transcripts from across the country and we had similar reactions. they do provide that type of leadership trait. as matt also mentioned, they synthesize issues. if someone were asleep and woke up the night of the debate, they would know, basically everything they been talking about in the campaign because all of the issues come into play. into negotiate a debate or plan a debate in the united states or in another country, i start by saying, we have to look at what makes a fair debate. one is that you clearly stated rules. in the united states, the agreements are 20 pages long and they talk about things such as the height of the podium or whether the audience can react
or who is going to be in the audience or what kind of shots you can have on the camera. it is very important that the rules are developed by the sponsor or jointly developed by candidates. that everybody knows what they are and they do not change and everyone has agreed to them. this was one of the things that i spent a lot of time on when i had done some of this. make sure everyone is aware and that you do not change the rules once someone shows up. one of the most important things is that there is an opportunity for equal time. there are some debates where it is clear, you get the time signals and once it is over, everyone has the same not a time to answer. there are other debates that are more free-flowing. it is important for someone to be keeping track of how many questions went to one person as opposed to another and how long they really talked so that you can begin to even it out. in the u.s., someone is probably
keeping track of time and it is usually reported. it is important to ensure everyone has equal access. that does not mean a speaker will use all of his or her time, but they have to have the opportunity. uninterrupted speaking opportunities, where no one is going to interrupt them. the rules begin to come in to play, if some of these interrupting, the moderator may take time from the person who interrupted. those things have to be worked out. what matters with the debates, this is where 50 years of research has shown us a lot. .he format matters whether you have a single moderator or a panel, it makes a difference in the dynamics. this is one of the reasons why the commission went to the single moderator. a lot of feedback in general indicated that the single moderator would provide more
emphasis on candidates and more opportunity for debate and switching among people. if you have a town hall where citizens are asking questions versus a journalist asking questions you get a different result. citizens ask very different kinds of questions and journalists do which gets back to that agenda. whether you have a single rebuttal opportunity or you have a chance to ask follow-up questions means you get more depth to an answer, especially if someone is abating. aremany candidates there makes a difference. in parliamentary systems, you're going to have multiple candidate debates to read we to between have two party debates here but in 1992 when we had three candidates, one ross perot joined the major party candidates, it made a difference in the dynamics of the debate. the number of people who is there makes a difference.
who is asking the questions? is it the public, journalists? you have the opponents asking questions? they are doing more of that in nonpresidential debates and often times in the primary debates. this is also happened in a lot of international debates and it is important in many cultures that the candidates directly connect with one another. what else matters is the context of the campaign. when does the debate take place? in the u.s., they typically want two weeks after the last debate. error,e is a major candidates want time to clarify that. to talk about it and have the debates more in the distance. whether it is a close race or not makes a difference. this may make a difference as to how many debates summary
participates in. an incumbent in a close race is more willing to debate than one who is not. whether it is an incumbent or challenger and their style of debate is often influenced. challengers are more aggressive, incumbents have to look presidential. it makes a difference in demeanor and the way they approach their arguments. how long to get to answer. the length of the debate itself has an influence on how much the public will learn. the culture. this is one of the things that i find when i work internationally is to get a sense of what the viewership culture is. and whether or not the culture is amenable to something like a townhall. several years ago, the korean broadcasting association invited me and other scholars in to talk about how we do debates. they basically said a townhall would not work here.
that may not be the case 10 years later. he did not feel it was appropriate for the right time to do it. there are a lot of other cultural issues. who you're inviting. ago,orgia, several years we had two rounds of debates. the qualified candidates and the nonqualified who were parties who had not reached a certain level in the previous election or did not hold a high enough number of seats in parliament. we made sure everyone had a chance. we ran it on two consecutive nights. staging of the debate. are they standing up, sitting down? by the able to move around and talk to people asking them questions? coverage.bate that is one of the things where ". have "spin doctors pur
coverage influences what people think about the debate if they do not have a chance to watch all of it. influence on much debates themselves because it often clarifies factual errors that were made. coverage is also important. why do we do them? for people who have already made up their minds, they reinforce their choice and often mean somebody gets up and votes. they feel better about the person for whom they are voting. they reinforce more than they change. for undecided voters, especially first-time voters, they are very important. have 30 years of research shown that. they provide new information for nearly all viewers, even people
who follow the news have told us they learn something that they did not know about their own candidate became important. unrehearsed, real moments. there's always a question that no one expected or some type of reaction. how they handle it says a lot. they demonstrate leadership traits. they really do matter to voters. the impact of the social media is huge. i think you get the picture. one of the things that is happened in the u.s. in the last couple of elections, it is also been done in other countries, the meters, where they get a group of people who are cross-section to watch the debates and they react to what is being said. either, it is a positive reaction native or neutral. -- negative or neutral. here's an example of the device
that they click on. if they are positive about it, they will turn a positive, they keep it in the middle neutral. this is the way the graph comes out. you can see, blue is positive, red is negative. you can see when somebody says something and it tracks the actual moment in which this happens. you begin to see which questions people react to in an audience. they are nonscientific because it is a small number of people but it gives some indication. on some networks, they will show these meters as the debate is going on. the other impact with social media are that you can have real-time questions from viewers. one example is where they have a group of journalists sitting off in a corner with laptops and people were e-mailing or texting questions that they wanted asked in the journalists would scream
them. for one part of the debate, the used questions that were coming in in real time. the other thing that is interesting is that twitter and people are reacting. the media reports on that in the u.s. what were the most common tweets? what do people respond to? people be in chat rooms live. in georgia, they had a chat room knowing simultaneously. when they rebroadcast the debate, you could see that going on. instant polls, which are not scientific. you can punch in the number, tell who you thought no one and you are getting this instantaneous poll. comments on new stories. if you read news stories that are online, there are hundreds and thousands of comments about debates. people begin to get a reaction to them. social media has made these more inclusive and interacted to the
public. 2014, what we have seen is that many of these are traditional with the panels. that is because they are often done in a studio. that is the most common way that they tend to be. we have seen more multi-candidate debates, especially in public television. has qualifiedrty candidates for many positions throughout the country. some of the debates will have everyone who is on the ballot on the debate. we have seen new formats with questioning the other candidates or formats where at a certain point, they bring in questions from the audience and then the more traditional townhall. much of the experimentation in the u.s. with new formats comes at the nonpresidential or primary level. we are much of that this year. social media is very sure wrong.
-- social media is very strong. i think we are ready now. the first what i want to show you is the florida's governors debate. the democrat candidate is a former republican governor who switched parties. -- it gets dispute hot on the stages. the former governor wanted a fan under his podium. if you moving a little farther -- governor crist has asked to have a fan placed underneath his podium. the rules of the debate that i
was shown by the scott campaign fan.hat there should be no somehow there is a fan there and for that reason, i am being told that governor scott will not join us for this debate. you can hear the audience's reaction. governor scott eventually came out in debated. this is an example of what i talked about with rules. people needing to follow the rules. here was a case of governor scott not believing that governor crist was abiding by the agreement and he made his point. eventually he did come out but the point was made. , this is anple example of the innovation that
was going on in the georgia senate debate. this is a three-way debate, with an independent candidate. -- ins an example of addition to the two parties we have an independent candidate. one of the things i wanted you to see was, join the discussion. knew where they could tweet to give reactions. they are in a race to replace returning senator saxby chambliss. this race is a tossup. this debate is one hour. this was one where they brought in audience questions, but they also let the candidates question one another. there were follow-ups to the
candidate's questions. it was a different format from what we've seen in other places. we would like to welcome you in our live studio audience to the debate series. this is the debate between -- >> the last one but i want to show you is vermont. debate a multi-candidate , where everyone who is on the ballot for governor is in the debate. they did the same thing for the congressional seat, where every person on the ballot was at the debate. this is a typical in the u.s. at a general election stage. good evening everyone and welcome to our biennial debate each ring the candidates for governor of our state. leadbetter. as you heard, we have invited
all seven candidates whose names appear on the ballot to be with us tonight. all seven have joined us. positioned in a medical order they are, peter diamond stone, representing to liberty union party. chris erickson, an independent. dan feliciano, representing the libertarian party. scott milne is the republican nominee. bernie peters is an independent area and emily peyton is an independent. and peter shumlin is the nominee of the democratic party this year. our format is pretty straightforward. i last question and everyone wes a minute to respond. will try to keep things moving. thanks to our timekeeper who is sitting at my right. will have time for a closing statement as well. if questions from pbs viewers. >> this is one where it is a traditional format, but some of
the questions came from viewers. they had been sent in ahead of time and had been collected during debates as well. those are some of the changes that we have seen the cycle at the state and congressional level. i close by saying, after researching debates for the last 30 years and being involved in planning of many debates at many levels, i'm a firm believer in their importance. impact on the political culture. it is difficult for someone not to debate. it is difficult not to face the public. the attitude that many americans jobis, no one gets a without doing an interview. if you think about the debates as a high pressure, high powered, visible interview, that is what it is. >> thank you diana. [applause] >> we will jump to questions and
answers. asked -- outphones there. i would ask you to introduce yourself when you are speaking and give us a short question so that we can get several questions before we are up. who would like to present the first question? >> what you're told us is particularly interesting. i'm curious about something here. senegal,uck because in we are not used to seeing these types of debates on television. for public consumption.
that existraditions in certain advanced democracies. in france, there are televised debates. in senegal, the electoral campaign takes place under the supervision of a public body, which watches over the whole thing and makes sure that candidates are on equal footing and that opportunities are equal on all sides. especially, when you have to promote your platform. during thedebates electoral campaign, where the candidate may avail themselves of a certain air time in order to -- equal time is provided. they can make a statement or there may be meetings that are organized by the channel itself.
there are never these types of side-by-side debates such as you have shown us. my question is the following. , in this format, is there an oversight mechanism of the statements made by candidates? is this controlled? or are they free to express themselves as they wish, according to the tradition we are used to seeing in the united states? in my country, the statement made by the candidates are verified, checked, in order to make sure they're not slippages or that something has not been said that make compromise the candidate -- campaign of another candidate. they can make sure the
candidates have not abused anything. it is a public organization, the national council of audiovisual there is a different approach. it seems that there is a complete coverage of everything in the united states whereas in my country, freedom of expression, it would seem, is strained by certain ethical publicnd official organization has to oversee everything. when there are two candidates running for president during the second round, this is when we have -- in my country there are those co-rounds, and in the , they are in the
campaign themselves. we've never seen two candidates in the second round getting into a public debate on television. it is a very interesting experience that you have shown us. my feeling is that freedom of expression is complete and comprehensive in the united states. foraps, it is imprudent some of these debates or formats to exist in countries such as where it my couple kate things. things.icate >> very interesting question. in the u.s., what has happened in the last several election cycles is that they have fact
watches. university of pennsylvania has an entire center that does fact checking. the statements that are made can be checked online. the media also does fact checks. you will find those in some of the reporting. that was one of the things that i was talking about was that the coverage after the debate is very important as when there are incorrect facts stated in both candidates tend to do it, you will see newspaper articles or something online that will give that to you. given your political culture and election culture, i can see where this would be difficult. i've worked in other countries where, if an ad is put on and it is not true, the election commission will pull it. that would never happen here. you would have to build in some way of doing that verification afterwards. here, we are free to say
whatever. >> can we have the next question please? >> we do not have translation now? i'm aware that debates are important to the electoral process and i from haiti and i work for the president's canned -- cabinet. i have a concern that i would like to express. i would like to take the example of the two debates in my country by way of example.
latest debates, we realized that these debates made it possible for the candidate who won the debate to win the election. prepared theirs convincen order to voters but not always on the basis of verifiable facts. this is a new practice in order to -- for candidates to win elections is to well prepare his rhetoric but without necessarily taking into account the objectivity of the information. do you not think that it would be necessary for organizations who organized the debates, that
they carry around a sort of objective verification of the debate beforehand in order to not create frustrated people? if proposals are made during the debate not kept, it could make the population frustrated. also, it would make debates in the coming days less significant. do you not think there should be a body that would have to guarantee the significance and objectivity of debates? i see that you are not disadvantages of the debates for candidates. does that mean that there are no disadvantages in debates? i'm talking about the united states.
whether we are talking about the candidates or the country itself , do they tend any disadvantages? checkerse the fact talked to us about how they do this. the issue of fact checking was dealt with really well yesterday and i learned much about what is being done to make sure that what is said does not get called out if it is not correct. what is raised here goes beyond checking basic facts. is, maybe matt would like to respond to that. i think the reason many countries are turning to debates is that they provide more information than a campaign.
, are you have rallies candidate can get by with a qwik quick slogan. a debate, you go on record and the media has the opportunity to analyze those statements and tell whether they are true or false. this affects how candidates are seen are the voters. in terms of maintaining signaled, diana has you can set up rules that determine the behavior of candidates, the importance of being honest. things that affect the tone of the debate. back and be part of the discussion as well. to do all you can to make sure that it is an honest exchange of ideas. disadvantages, i
think, for every candidate, it is a personal decision on whether or not they want to participate. some debate whether -- better than others. exposurefit from the and they can certainly take different strategies if they feel someone is a better debater than another and play down their expertise and positioning in the media. israll, i think the trend that debates are likely to happen in most countries where -- whether the candidates love them or not. people are beginning to expect that they will will have the opportunity to hear from candidates and lay out their platforms. >> one last question if we have one from the audience. the last of the day. please. my name is and him from
think it may vary for the general election. selected an s experienced tv journalist generally. there are solely responsible for the content of the questions. the commission does not. that is one wave and come up with questions. i think, around the world, they can come from the internet, they can come from voters in the audience, other candidates, a panel of journalists, a single journalist. there is no one formula. often, you will see mixed formats to give different flavor and color to the discussion. >> i interviewed a couple of the journalists who are the single moderators for debates. what they both told me is that they had research units of their network look at what the common themes were in the campaign
speeches and ads. they looked at what was on the nightly news, newspapers, what polls were saying were issues public wanted to discuss. toy provided briefing papers moderators and develop their questions out of those. some of the debates i've worked on in other countries, we have followed a similar pattern. even let the candidates know ahead of time. topicsere will be four so that everyone knows ahead of time. even though they will not know the specific questions. >> i would like to close the session and thanked the audience for giving you your to -- giving us your time. becky to matt and diana for coming here today and indulging us on this important issue. [applause]
at c-span.org, you can see debates and ads for races across the country. one of the races were watching is the new hampshire senate race and herjeanne shaheen republican challenger scott brown. here is a look at ads running in that race. that is one thing i'm definitely going to change. highestve some of the energy costs in the country. that is going to be $42 a month more out of your pocket. that is going to include 75,000 electricity customers in new hampshire. 12.2%. 83,000 homes and businesses in new hampshire. there's a shocker folks.
about 50% more for your bill. 30,000 --about 100 130,000 after customers. i am definitely going to change. >> i have never voted to outsource jobs. it is interesting -- [laughter] >> your involvement with a company whose business plan involves shipping jobs overseas. outsourcing. >> i've never voted to outsource jobs.
it is interesting -- [laughter] >> anyone who turns on the tv these days knows we face challenges to our way of life. radical islamist terrorists are threatening our country. president obama and senator shaheen seemed confused about the nature of the threat. not me. i want to secure the border, keep out the people who do us harm, and restore america leadership in the world. and i approved, this message. protecting the homeland is the first step in making america strong again. >> they do not call us the granite state for nothing. i never back down from a fight.