With public gatherings temporarily on hold because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the League of Women Voters of Skagit County has had to make adjustments to the way it conducts candidate forums.
Instead of hosting in-person forums for candidates running for federal, state and local offices in the Aug. 6 primary election, the league is working with Mount Vernon’s TV10 to record online forums, then present them online and on public access TV.
Kathy Reim, voter services chair for the league, said she’s unsure when these forums will be available to watch online, but as many as possible will be up by July 15 — the day ballots are mailed.
The league recorded its first forum Monday, with candidates for the Skagit Public Utility District commissioner seat for District 1 taking part, Reim said. Candidates for Skagit County Superior Court Judge Position 3 were to take part in a forum Tuesday.
Reim said she’s excited about the opportunity to reach far more people than in-person forums would in a normal year, but said her team is faced with the challenge of making the discussions as engaging as they would be if all the candidates were in the same room.
“This is brand-new for us,” she said. “We’re nervous, and we’re excited.”
In the coming weeks, leagues here and elsewhere in the state will record forums for candidates for state legislative races in the 10th District, Lieutenant Governor, Secretary of State, the U.S. House of Representatives seats for districts 1 and 2, and for two Skagit County Board of Commissioners races, Reim said.
She said the league plans to broadcast the forums on public access TV throughout the county, and on the league’s website, skagitlwv.org.