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E-Debates

Official rules for the Minnesota Gubernatorial E-Debate 2006.

As provided to the candidates on September 20, 2006 - Version 1.1 (with rebuttal word limit removed)


  1. Candidates' Words - All e-debate submissions are considered the words of the candidate and should be written in the first person.
  2. Assistance - Staff or volunteer help with responses before and during the e-debate is acceptable and expected.
  3. Questions Provided in Advance - All questions will be provided at least five days in advance to the campaign's primary contact. There will be four major theme questions (with responses and rebuttals) and 10 short answer questions (responses only).
  4. Timeline and Deadlines - The timeline contains all submission deadlines. All submissions must be sent electronically by the agreed deadlines so content can be formatted uniformly and simultaneously released as part of the e-debate.
  5. Simple Text Format - Unless stated otherwise, candidate responses are required in simple text. They may be sent in the body of an e-mail or attached as a Word file without text formatting (please don't use centering, bold, or italics). Style guidelines for bullets and short paragraphs for better online reading will be provided.
  6. Word limits - Responses: 400 words. Rebuttals: telephone audio up to 6 minutes, no word limit for text. Short Answer Questions (SAQs): 70 words. Opening Statements: Video is highly encouraged (see below) OR 400 words if text. Closing Statements: 200 words. Campaigns are responsible for word count checks before e-mailing in their responses.
  7. Responses/rebuttals released simultaneously - The four major theme responses will be released on the E-Democracy.Org website by 10 a.m. on the day scheduled. Special e-mail notices will be sent only to those e-mail addresses provided by the campaign about newly released content (a key reminder for preparation of rebuttals).
  8. Rebuttals - Rebuttals to the four major theme questions are mandatory by the 6 p.m. deadline. Candidates will have at least seven hours from the release of major responses to prepare and e-mail/call-in their rebuttal. While discouraged, a candidate's rebuttal may be, "I have no further comment." Candidates may choose which other candidate's comments to rebut. There is no obligation to respond to all candidates. Short answer question (SAQs) responses are not rebuttal.
  9. Optional Video Opening Statements via YouTube.com - Optional, but highly encouraged, video submissions for the 2-3 minute Opening Statements are to be made via the YouTube service. Detailed instructions will be provided. The campaign must notify E-Democracy.Org of their uploaded video via e-mail.
  10. Optional Audio Rebuttals - Rebuttals may be submitted via E-Democracy's telephone to MP3 audio service (a telephone number and PIN will be provided) instead of sent as text via e-mail. This is highly encouraged to add some multimedia to the debate. E-Democracy.Org will transcribe these rebuttals into text after posting the audio.
  11. Optional Shared Web Links - Responses and text rebuttals may list document titles and web links to further information after the end of their response. Titles and links are included in response word limits. This includes possible links to position papers, images, press releases, related video or audio content, cited material, but not links to the online donation section of your website.


Candidate E-Debate Timeline with Deadlines

All submissions are to be sent to: e-debates@e-democracy.org

Fri Sep 29

  • All four major theme questions sent to campaign
  • First five SAQs sent to campaign


NOTE: Responses may be sent in advance to reduce the amount of "on-demand" time required to participate.

Fri Oct 6

  • First five SAQs responses due (70 word limit) by 6 p.m.
  • Opening Video Statement uploaded into YouTube by campaign, e-mail notice sent to E-Democracy.Org. If no video opening is recorded, please submit an up to 400-word opening statement by 6 p.m..
  • 1st Response Due by 6 p.m. (400 word limit)

Mon Oct 9

  • Debate Officially Opens - For the full public release schedule see our public timeline.
  • 1st Rebuttal Due 6 p.m. (Responses released by 10 a.m. earlier in the same day.) Call in rebuttal to 612-XXX-XXXX use PIN#. After recording, e-mail us to verify that you have used the audio system. Or send in via text.

Tue Oct 10

  • 2nd Response Due 6 p.m.

Wed Oct 11

  • Candidates sent second 5 SAQs by 10 a.m.
  • 2nd Rebuttal Due 6 p.m.

Thu Oct 12

  • Nothing Due

Fri Oct 13

  • Nothing Due
  • Recommendation - Send in response 3 and SAQs 6-10 early

Sat Oct 14

  • Relax

Sun Oct 15

  • Second five SAQ responses 6-10 due by 6 p.m.
  • Response 3 due 6 p.m.

Mon Oct 16

  • 3rd Rebuttal due 6 p.m.

Tue Oct 17

  • 4th Response due by 6 p.m.

Wed Oct 18

  • 4th Rebuttal due by 6 p.m.
  • Closing Statement due by 6 p.m.

Thu Oct 19

  • Nothing Due - Final debate content released publicly
 

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