The Process

The Process

Each fall, participants in the Voter Education Program meet to set their priorities for the year to come. 

Program participants will conduct research to identify basic biographical information on each candidate.  This research is the first component of each candidate's Digital Dossier™.  The second component consists of each candidate's response to a questionnaire that is prepared by the participants for each race.  The League then invites its members to interview the candidates. Each interview lasts for forty-five minutes.  Each candidate provides a brief introduction.  The members present then ask questions.  After the interviews, the panel meets to discuss ratings and an endorsement. They will then cast their votes, confer to review the results, and make a recommendation for an endorsement to the League’s Executive Committee. The Executive Committee will then vote. A two-thirds vote is needed to reverse the committee’s recommendation.  Deliberations are confidential. Interviews are closed and are not recorded.

Researchers and interviewers are members of The Citizens League. They each sign a pledge indicating that they will participate in a non-partisan fashion.  

For ballot issues such as levies and charter amendments, the commmittee assigns researchers who prepare a memorandum, which the committee evaluates and publishes for informational purposes.

For candidates, The Citizens League utilizes an evaluation system that is based upon five stars and a secondary designation.  That designation will state that a candidate that is “Preferred,” and, on rare occasions, that a candidate “Should Not Be Elected.” The “Preferred” rating is used for the best candidate in the race.  That candidate may be outstanding, or simply better than the other candidates.  The use of these two designations matches those last used for many years by The Citizens League before it suspended operations in 2003. However, in 2010, the Candidates Program chose to move from a four-star to a five-star rating system. The stars represent the following evaluation:

***** Superbly Qualified. Superior candidate for the office, extremely well qualified with exceptional governmental leadership skills.

**** Very Well Qualified. Very well qualified for this office and would serve ably and provide solid government leadership.

*** Well Qualified. Well qualified for this office and would serve capably and provide good government leadership.

** Adequately Qualified. Possesses sufficient qualifications for the office, would serve adequately.

* Not Qualified. Marginal candidate lacking some of the qualifications for the office.