League of Women Voters in Casper to Host Candidate Forums at Natrona Library
On July 27, the League of Women Voters (LWV) of Casper plans to hold a candidate forum with the 11 candidates for the board of county commissioners, and another one on Aug. 3 with candidates for the city council.
Both forums will be held at the Natrona County Public Library, will be free and open to the public, and while they won't be live-streamed, they will be available on the library's YouTube channel afterward.
Kylie McCormick, president of the LWV of Casper, said that they've gotten confirmation from seven of the 11 county commissioner candidates and seven of the 13 city council candidates, and hope to hear from the rest soon.
James Brown, the secretary and treasurer with the LWV of Casper, said they have been doing these forums every two years for the entire time he's been with the league, for the past 20 years.
Brown said that because of how many people are there they can't have a formal debate but instead a forum where candidates can talk about what they bring to the table.
"We start out giving them a minute and a half to introduce themselves...it's really called a forum because generally speaking, 11 people sitting behind 40 of us, a debate becomes kind of a free-for-all," Brown said. "But the League usually has a few questions to kind of seed the thing and the people in the audience are pretty good about framing questions. They do them in writing and then a moderator collates so they don't repeat a lot of questions and chooses what to ask. Each candidate gets one minute. We're ruthless in enforcing time, and then they get about a minute at the very end summing up why they're there and what they're going to bring to the office."
The LWV also does a forum for candidates running for school board, but because the filing date isn't until August, they don't host a forum for that until October.
Megan Bratton, who does marketing and public relations with the Library, said that they partner with the LWV often for political events like these.
Brown said with how many candidates there are in Natrona County alone, they host these forums in order to better inform the public about the candidates.
"The mission is to educate the public in the political process and to encourage the participation therein, and it's really simple," Brown said. "We just try and get people involved...There is a new website called Vote411.org and it's really good, and it's really user-friendly. You can go and click on their Wyoming map. There are 55 candidates running for office in this county, including mayor of outlying communities, including of course representatives, senators, county commissioners, coroner, everybody, all those are listed on that website."