About The Debate Format

Why Open Debate Questions?

Election debates should be accountable to one constituency: the public.

Open Debate Questions make candidate questioning more transparent and accountable. Anyone can submit a question, in public, and the questions are voted on by the people who most need to be informed about the candidates' positions — the local electorate. Candidates who will be participating in the debate are free to visit the site and monitor the most popular questions along with everybody else, if they want to prepare for the questions that are most likely to be asked. If they do, that's great — it means they're listening to you, their future constituents.

By making the submission and voting process fully public and transparent, Open Debate Questions ensure that the topics covered in election debates reflect the interests and priorities of the voters, rather than campaign operations and corporate media.

How it works

Anybody can submit a question, which will immediately be posted publicly. To submit a question, we ask that you provide your name, email address and zip code. That way, people will know whether the question is coming from a local voter, and we can contact you if your question is chosen for the debate. Your name and zip code will be made public alongside your question, but don't worry — your email address will never be posted publicly.

You can browse through all the submitted questions, sorted either by popularity (number of votes cast) or date (most recently submitted questions first) — and you can also view all submitted questions on a map to see where the questions are coming from.

Anybody can vote on their favorite questions. You can vote any number of times, but can only cast one vote per question. To ensure that people are not voting multiple times for the same question, we ask all voters to supply an email address and zip code. Your zip code, and the votes you have cast, may be made public, but your email address will not be posted publicly.

Although anybody can cast a vote, the moderators will select questions from among the most popular locally -- within Massachusetts. (In the coming days we'll be adding a separate vote tally so that you can see how many votes were cast for each question within Massachusetts, as well as nationally.) If you're not within Massachusetts, you can still vote (as a way of pushing your favorite questions to the top of the list for Massachusetts voters to see) and share your favorite questions on Facebook and Twitter so your friends in Massachusetts know to vote for them.

Just prior to the debate, we will select the questions to be asked during the debate by selecting from among the top 50 questions within Massachusetts. If your question is selected, we may contact you by email.

We reserve the right to remove questions from the site that contain vulgar language, advertisements, or other inappropriate content.

About Bold Progressives.org

The Progressive Change Campaign Committee (BoldProgressives.org)

The Progressive Change Campaign Committee (PCCC) is an organization powered by nearly 1 million members nationwide, including over 80,000 members in Massachusetts, that builds long-term progressive power. We elect bold candidates to Congress and mobilize around progressive policy priorities. Our recent work includes campaigns to expand Social Security benefits, break up Wall Street banks that are "too big to fail", pushing to restore Glass-Stegal, and supporting Elizabeth Warren's student loans bill. In 2012 we successfully helped to elect 32 bold progressive leaders and raised over $2.5 million in small-dollar donations for our endorsed candidates.

Founded in 2009 by Adam Green, a former MoveOn online organizer and a press secretary and communications director on numerous campaigns, and Stephanie Taylor, former MoveOn and SEIU organizer, the PCCC has been at the forefront fighting for progressive change ever since.

The Nation magazine awarded PCCC “Most Valuable Campaign” of 2011. MSNBC’s Ed Schultz calls PCCC “the top progressive group in the country.”

We also advocate for bold leadership on the most important and pressing causes. Read about our team, campaigns, and sign up to join our fight.

If you are running for office, find out how we can help.

For press and partnership inquiries, please contact us.