The Falmouth League of Women Voters will host an all-digital candidates night this year.
“Normally we would hold this with a live audience, open to the public, and it would be broadcast by our partner, Falmouth Community Television, but nothing is open to the public right now,” said Carol McKeon, chairwoman of the League’s voter service committee. “It will be broadcast live on Channel 13, but we’re doing it with Zoom. The three candidates will be in their respective homes, or wherever, on Zoom.”
Incumbent Selectman Samuel H. Patterson and candidates Michael G. Heylin and Nancy R. Taylor will participate in the event, which will be broadcast live on FCTV on Wednesday, May 6, at 7 PM. It can also be watched at www.fctv.org. The candidates night will be moderated by Mindy Todd, host and producer of “The Point” on WCAI-FM.
Ms. McKeon said public participation remains an important part of the League of Women Voters candidates night, with audience questions asked of the candidates during the forum. People are invited to submit their questions to email@example.com prior to the event.
“We’re trying to do pretty much the same format as prior years,” she said.
That includes featuring the candidates in uncontested races. Those running in uncontested races include Terri A. Medeiros, Andrea L. Thorrold and Leah L. Palmer for school committee; Lindsay M. Hopewood and Judith L. Fenwick for library board of trustees; John L. Druley, James E. Fox and Pamela Harting-Barrat for planning board; and Robert P. Mascali for the housing authority.
“Those candidates have been invited to submit a statement,” Ms. McKeon said. “They can pre-record a statement about their candidacy and the office they will be holding.”
In prior years those running for Town Meeting have been given the opportunity to speak at the candidates night. The League of Women Voters is unable to accommodate Town Meeting members this year.
The transition to a digital candidates night has proven challenging.
“The biggest challenge was the voter service committee, which normally puts on the candidates night, had to get themselves up to speed on using Zoom,” Ms. McKeon said. “We had to think about what the format will look like when it will be broadcast, and brush up on our hosting skills.”
The voter service committee has been meeting via Zoom to prepare for candidates night. She said it is important for the League of Women Voters to proceed with the event.
“The League is committed to educating the public and helping the public make good choices about local positions, as well as state and national issues,” Ms. McKeon said. “It was very important for us to do this.”
In past years the League of Women Voters has hosted candidates night at the Hermann Foundation Meeting Room at the main branch of the Falmouth Public Library. The forum typically draws a large crowd.
“We will all miss the community feel that comes with bringing the community together for an event like this,” Ms. McKeon said.