Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Help us heat up the hot seats

Staff Writer | September 23, 2020 1:07 AM

Community, let your voices be heard.

Readers are invited to submit questions that will be answered in real time by candidates who participate in the Coeur d'Alene Press 2020 Election Town Hall Forums, which will be held on Zoom Oct. 5 through 8.

To submit questions for each race, visit: http://bit.ly/20ELECT

These questions will help warm up the hot seats of contested races: Idaho State House, Idaho State Senate, North Idaho College trustees, Kootenai County Sheriff, U.S. House and U.S. Senate.

"The invitation has gone out to all the candidates," Press publisher Clint Schroeder said Tuesday. "We’re hoping that they all participate."

The most popular three questions submitted by readers will be asked each candidate per forum. The candidates will not be furnished the questions in advance, Schroeder said.

"They’re going to need to be on their toes and do some thinking," he said.

With a record voter turnout expected, Schroeder said it's important people know for whom they're voting.

"People need to stop voting for the little letter beside the name, and start voting for the person who stands in front of that letter," he said. "This is a big deal. This election is a big deal."

Also, with a changing demographic of voters and new 18-year-olds able to vote for the first time, candidates need to "understand they don't represent their party, they represent the constituency who puts them in that seat," Schroeder said.

"I know that isn’t a popular way to look at things, but culturally, we’re changing. The face of the voter demographic is changing. It’s not pure party politics anymore," he said. "I'm not advocating for everybody to just start voting in a different way — I’m advocating for people to know who it is and what they stand for before they put them in an important elected position."

The town hall forums will be posted to www.cdapress.com within a few hours after the Zoom forums end. Each forum will be from 5 to 7 p.m.

The schedule is as follows:

Oct. 5: Idaho State House (Districts 2 through 4, Seats A and B)

Oct. 6: Idaho State Senate (District 4); North Idaho College trustees, Zones 4 and 5

Oct. 7: Kootenai County Sheriff

Oct. 8: U.S. House (Idaho District 1) and U.S. Senate

The deadline to submit questions is Sept. 30 at 5 p.m.

A limited "live" Zoom audience, microphones muted, will watch the forum unfold. Schroeder said details are coming soon.