News Releases, Media Advisories

For Immediate Release:                                                         Contact:  Ron Harris
July 20, 1999                                                                                               Sharon Snyder
                                                                                                                       Ian Stirton
                                                                                                                       Kelly Huff



WASHINGTON – The Federal Election Commission has extended from July 12 to July 26 the public comment period on a petition for rulemaking concerning criteria on presidential and vice presidential debates.

On May 15, 1999, the FEC received a petition for rulemaking, urging the Commission to amend its rules so that the objective criteria for inclusion in presidential and vice presidential debates would be established by the Commission itself, not left to the discretion of debate-staging organizations.

Specifically, the petition recommends that debates be open to any candidate that (1)has the mathematical potential to win the election, in that he or she is on the ballot in enough states to earn 270 Electoral College votes; and (2)has proven his or her viability by having spent at least $500,000 on the campaign by the end of the month preceding the date of the first scheduled debate held on or after September 1 of the election year. In addition, the

petition recommends that candidates have equal access to debates held before

September 1 without regard to the above requirements.

The petition is available for inspection in the Commission’s Public Records Office. Description and notice of availability of the petition was printed in the Federal Register on June 10, 1999, page 31159.

Extension of the comment period was approved due to public requests.


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