The purpose of debates is to educate the public and to give candidates the opportunity to express their views and plans for the public's consideration. Our state debate commissions are the best formats to achieve those goals.
In 1987, the Presidential Debate Commission was formed to elevate presidential debates, however, this model was not adopted at the state level until 20 years later. In 2007, a group of media representatives and community leaders formed the Indiana Debate Commission. Following the footsteps of Indiana, academics, community leaders, and media representatives formed the first state-wide debate commission in Utah in 2013. Three years later, community leaders and media representatives in Washington state formed a state debate commission there, as did similar groups and individuals in Ohio in 2018.
In 2019, these state debate commissions created the State Debate Coalition, which is an organization to collaborate on state-wide debates and promote the creation of state debate commission across the country.
What is Next
As a coalition, we are reaching out to community leaders, media sources, and academics in various states across the country to explain this model. We meet with community leaders, media representatives, and academics to discuss the formation of their own state debate commission.