State Leaders Call for Earlier Presidential Debate Before Voting Begins in North Carolina

Raleigh, N.C. – A joint letter sent Friday by North Carolina’s General Assembly leaders urged the Commission on Presidential Debates to host an additional debate in early September in North Carolina, before voters begin casting ballots in the Tar Heel state.

North Carolina is the first state in the U.S. to begin voting in the November general election with absentee ballots being accepted the first week of September.

Further, North Carolina allows ‘no-excuse’ absentee voting and record numbers of requests have been submitted for those ballots.

The first presidential debate is currently scheduled for September 29, 2020 in Cleveland, O.H., weeks after many North Carolina voters will begin casting absentee ballots in the general election.

A second debate is scheduled for October 15 in Miami, F.L., and a third will be held October 22 in Nashville, T.N. The commission has so-far refused to add additional debates.
Calling the 2020 cycle “an unprecedented election,” the state legislative leaders said “the least we can do is equip voters with facts to aid them in electing the President of the United States.”
“Presidential debates are a critical part of the electoral process,” the General Assembly leaders said in the letter Friday.
“Unlike television ads or pre-written speeches, debates give Americans a firsthand look at each candidate’s own policies and intellect in an unscripted setting. They allow voters to hear the candidates’ platforms firsthand and give candidates the opportunity to respond to the tough questions.”
“North Carolinians who vote early deserve the same opportunity afforded to other states to hear the competing visions for our country and make a well-informed decision when casting their vote.”
Read more from the letter here.