In an effort to increase voter participation among college students, student leaders from universities across the State of Georgia have planned a gubernatorial debate between the three candidates in the Governor’s race: Roy Barnes (D), Nathan Deal (R), and John Monds (I). All three candidates have confirmed to participate in the live debate on Sunday, October 3rd from 78pm on Georgia Public Broadcasting, located on Fourteenth Street in Atlanta. The debate will focus on issues pertinent to voters aged 18‐30, including the economy, transportation, taxes, higher education, and energy policy.
Students will have the opportunity to pose questions to the candidates via the debate website www.gastudentvote.com. Questions will be selected from that website and used during the debate. The interactive and web‐based nature of the debate makes it truly unique and helps students connect with the election cycle in ways previously unexplored or underutilized. In addition to the debate, universities will hold voter registration drives on their campuses and promote active participation in the various statewide and federal races.
The studio audience will be principally comprised of students representing various universities and colleges throughout Georgia. The studio can accommodate 250 audience members. School administrators and the Board of Regents have been invited to attend, as well. All universities are invited to attend the debate and submit questions for the candidates. In addition to a student audience, each university is encouraged to host its own live viewing party on campus, especially to accommodate the schools who located too far to attend the debate. Debate watching parties will increase total audience size and participation throughout the state.
The debate has primarily been organized by the Student Government Association of the Georgia Institute of Technology. Additionally, the student governments from the University of Georgia, Georgia College and State University, and Morehouse College have chosen to participate as principal partner schools and will each have a student panelist asking questions to the candidates during the debate. Susan Hoffman, a GPB host and producer, will be the moderator for the debate. Her fifteen years of experience with GPB brings additional expertise and guidance. GPB has been an excellent process throughout the entire planning process, and broadcasting the debate live on their network will greatly increase the scope of this debate.