The Presidential Open Questions platform is the first attempt in U.S. history to empower regular citizens to join the dialogue as equals.
On PresidentialOpenQuestions.com, questions are submitted by the people who most need to be informed about the candidates' positions — the voters! For the very first time they can also vote and influence which questions get asked.
By making the submission and voting process transparent and bottom-up, the platform ensures that the top questions reflect the interests and priorities of voters like you.
By making the submission and voting process transparent and bottom-up, the Open Debate ensures that the topics covered reflect the interests and priorities of voters like you.
Tune in: The first presidential debate will take place on Monday, September 26, at 9:00 pm EDT. Watch it live at PresidentialOpenQuestions.com.
During the 2008 presidential campaign, a coalition of progressives, conservatives, and Silicon Valley leaders launched the Open Debate Coalition to make debates more representative of the will of the people.
The original coalition included Jimmy Wales (Wikipedia), Craig Newmark (craigslist), Adam Green (Progressive Change), Grover Norquist (Americans for Tax Reform), Cindy Cohn (Electronic Frontier Foundation), Arianna Huffington, Aaron Swartz (Reddit), the National Organization for Women, the Sierra Club, RedState, DailyKos, Instapundit, MoveOn, ColorOfChange, former digital directors for the Republican National Committee, Senate Republicans, and George W. Bush, and many others.
The coalition saw amazing success. CNN, ABC, NBC, and CBS agreed to changes in their debate policy, and the McCain and Obama campaigns both endorsed the bottom-up Open Debate principles. In August 2013, the Progressive Change Campaign Committee sponsored the first-ever Open Debate in a Massachusetts special election for Congress. Over 1,600 questions were submitted, over 79,000 votes were cast, and all 5 candidates participated and loved it. In April 2016, Americans for Tax Reform and Progressive Change Institute partnered on a televised, bi-partisan debate for U.S. Senate in Florida in which the public cast over 400,000 votes to select the top questions. The event was broadcast five times on C-SPAN, and videos of the event have been seen close to a half-million times online since the event took place.
The coalition has expanded its membership in advance of the 2016 elections, adding tech luminaries like Tim O’Reilly (O’Reilly media) and Chris Kelly (former Chief Privacy Officer at Facebook), as well as numerous issue-based groups like Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, Faith & Freedom Coalition, CWA, FreedomWorks, and the US Student Association. And artist Shepard Fairey – who designed the iconic Obama “Hope” poster – joined the coalition and designed our logo.
PresidentialOpenQuestions.com is a project of the Open Debate Coalition, which is sponsored by a nonprofit corporation exempt for tax under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. The Coalition, and this platform, are completely nonpartisan and do not support or oppose candidates for public office.