To the editor:

Being an informed, educated voter at all levels is a challenge, particularly in today’s increasingly fractured political climate. There are numerous reasons for this, including an unprecedented chorus of voices pumping out conflicting and often untruthful messages.

But locally, there is a resource you can trust: the candidate forums being hosted across the state by the League of Women Voters.

Here in Ripon we are fortunate to have a strong, active League. Through its ongoing local, state, and national voter service efforts and programs, the League has already held forums for contested races in the Aug. 11 partisan primary. And in September, the finalists competing in November will be featured in additional forums (the dates will be announced soon).

Forums for the 41st State Assembly, 14th State Senate, and the 6th Congressional Districts will be scheduled.

League forums are unique in that the League is a nonpartisan organization. It has not and does not endorse candidates. Thus, the candidates participating in the forums, and the general public, which provides the questions that are asked of the candidates, know that there is no bias injected into the forums.

This also means that the questions do not contain hidden agendas or veiled political messaging.

Therefore, the public is well served by the forum format. Plus, the candidates, who are each asked the same question, have an equal opportunity to convey their message within the same time limit.

As a result, voters have an opportunity to hear unrehearsed, unscripted responses on issues that are of importance.

The COVID-19 pandemic and the need for social distancing is keeping these forums from being in-person gatherings.

The LWV, however, with the cooperation of the city of Ripon and its public access channel (Spectrum 986 and 987), will broadcast the forums live. The next day, the forums will be available for viewing on the city’s YouTube channel www.youtube.com/riponchannel which is accessible to everyone with Internet access.

For the latest on the forums, such as the dates, regularly check the League of Women Voters of the Ripon Area Facebook page: www.facebook.com/LWVRiponWIArea/

Additionally, the LWV of Wisconsin educational foundation operates the 411.org website which helps people to register to vote, allows them to check their registration status, find what is on local ballots, and find polling places. Given the complexities of the entire voting process in Wisconsin, 411.org is a critical, one-stop resource for voters.

We encourage you to take advantage of these free, public resources. If you have questions, you can contact the LWV of the Ripon Area at lwvriponarea@gmail.com or by mail at P.O. Box 5, Ripon WI 54971.

Thank you.

— Cindy Diemer

president, League of Women Voters of the Ripon Area

N5685 Spaulding Hill Road

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