The New Voters Project Presidential Youth Debate

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Why I Vote

The Lighter Side of Election, Care of Candidate Zero

Click here to see if you've got the skills to be President - you know, the lightenin' quick arrow keys and the fearless ability to collect votes by eating stars in a maze while dodging voracious cartoon Democrats and Republicans. If you first collect a ticket, button, picket, or cup of coffee then you can win 50 votes by swaying each Democrat or Republican in your favor - AKA eating them Pac-Man-style. (Ms. Pac-Man-style for the ladies.) The game's wahka-wahka-wahka sound is worth it alone.

Nonpartisan Parody: CANDIDATE ZERO is a one-platform pol who knows how to bond with potential voters ("I've always wanted to try yoga"; "Tiramisu is never as good as you think it's going to be"). He's got his own bio ("I invented the after-hours party") and his own mockumentary clips from the mock campaign trail where he mockingly mocks about himself and our "beautiful land of freedom, where woodchucks can chuck and the deer can do...whatever it is that deer like to do." Added bonus: Real footage of a hopping monkey. It's a monkey. But it's hopping.

Debate Schedule and Moderating Panel

Narrowing down all of the questions submitted by our nation's youth is not an easy task. In order to do so, The New Voters Project reached out for help from partnering organizations whose expertise in the field of youth voter initiatives is based on experience and backed by current research. This panel of moderating organizations, along with our lead moderator Farai Chideya, reviewed your questions, and helped us narrow them down to reflect a range of topics that research shows is most important to young Americans.

Following is a schedule of how the debate works:

  • Thu., 9/16 - The Presidential Youth Debate began and we started collecting debate questions from 13-35 year olds nationwide. We received over 5000 in total, with nearly 4300 of those coming in the last four days of accepting questions, as our marketing started to ramp up with our generous partners.
  • Mon., 9/27 - 4pm EST, we stopped accepting questions. - Moderating panel organizations, along with our lead moderator Farai Chideya, received the top 50 questions and nominated their top 20 from 18-35 year olds and their top 5 from 13-17 year-old "Future Voters."
  • Tue., 9/28 - Nominations were tallied.
  • Wed., 9/29 - Top 20 questions were posted to this site for 18-35 year olds to choose the 10 they most want answered by President Bush and Senator Kerry, and the top 5 from 13-17 year olds are posted so these Future Voters can choose their greatest concern.
  • Tue., 10/5 - Question voting ends at noon (EST) - Along with one question from our lead moderator Farai Chideya, we'll send the candidates the 12 previously unasked questions that most concern young Americans, and request well thought-out, accurate answers returned from them within one week, as they've previously agreed to do.
  • Tue., 10/12 - The candidates' responses are posted to site, at which point they'll have one week to add rebuttals (500 words or less).
  • Tue., 10/19 - Rebuttals are added to the original responses, finally giving young Americans the unique answers they need to vote for the future want.  Americans of all ages will also get their last pre-Election look at how the top candidates respond to previously unasked questions.
  • Tue., 11/2 - Voters elect a President.

On behalf of our nation's youth, we thank the following partners for helping us spread the word: