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The Citizens' Debate Commission is a nonpartisan organization that was established to sponsor future general election presidential debates. The Citizens' Debate Commission consists of national civic leaders from the left, center and right of the political spectrum who are committed to maximizing voter education. The Citizens' Debate Commission has an Advisory Board comprised of over fifty civic organizations that broadly reflect the composition and concerns of the electorate.
The nonpartisan Citizens' Debate Commission was formed because the bipartisan Commission on Presidential Debates, which has sponsored general election presidential debates during the past four election cycles, fails to adequately serve voters' interests. The Commission on Presidential Debates, which was created by the Republican and Democratic parties, secretly awards control of the presidential debates to the Republican and Democratic candidates, thereby limiting voter choice and restricting subject matters of political discourse. For more information about the shortcomings of the Commission on Presidential Debates, please visit OPEN DEBATES.
The Citizens' Debate Commission aims to host presidential debates that serve American voters, not political parties, first. The Citizens' Debate Commission will set fair candidate selection criteria, feature innovative and engaging formats, and resist the anti-democratic demands of participating candidates. The Citizens' Debate Commission will operate with full transparency and reverse the decline in debate viewership. (Under the tenure of the Commission on Presidential Debates, debate viewership has dropped by over 25 million viewers.) Democracy and voter education will be restored to the presidential debates through the Citizens' Debate Commission.