Number Of Arizona Candidates Responding To League Of Women Voters Survey Dwindling
Record numbers of Arizonans are expected at polling sites Tuesday to vote in person for the midterm elections.
For decades, those who still had not made up their minds would look to the League of Women Voters' election guide.
It was started in 1920 by the Suffragists who not only wanted to win women the right to vote, but also educate them on the candidates and issues.
“We’ve always been known as a matter of fact as a progressive organization moving civic life forward,” said Alice Stambaugh with the Arizona League of Women Voters.
The organization’s refusal to take sides and dedication to allowing each candidate answer five questions in their own words has protected the league’s reputation as an unbiased political source.
But, times have changed for the politicians.
“In the last 10 years things have become more polarized,” Stambaugh explained. “It has been harder and harder for the League to get responses from a lot of the candidates who are running.”
Among more than 200 candidates invited to answer the League’s questions this year, less than a quarter responded.
Stambaugh said she is increasingly hearing from her organization across the country and other voter education groups that the parties are strictly controlling what candidates say.
“What I have heard is [candidates] are told by their parties not to answer questions. Especially, the longer somebody has been in office, my experience is, the less likely they are to answer questions.”
When candidates avoid being forthright with voters, Stambaugh said, voters lose out.
“It's kind of a snub to the people who are trying to participate in the Democracy that we say we want to have.”
To see which candidates did answer the league’s questions, visit the National League of Women Voter’s election website.