The Soapbox: Call to action for responsible media and election integrity

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Stand up. Speak up. It’s your turn.

Debate is the fundamental basis of democratic elections and the political process in this country, and one of the most crucial aspects of any race for public office. Without an honest debate between the candidates seeking election, voters are deprived of the necessary and objective presentation of the competing views, values, ideals, and politics of those seeking to represent them.

The voters of New Hampshire deserve to be presented with debates that include all candidates qualified to appear on the general election ballot, regardless of their party affiliation, fundraising totals, or poll numbers. It is not the job of the media to determine what candidates are viable and qualified, as the Secretary of State has already certified those candidates to appear on the November Ballot in accordance with the laws of the State of New Hampshire.

The ultimate decision of who should represent New Hampshire belongs to the voters, not to the journalists and media conglomerates who have the privilege of hosting these debates, and the responsibility to provide the most objective and forthright presentation of those candidates.

I call for WMUR, NHPR, and any other organizations intent on hosting these debates to adopt the only objective criteria for inclusion possible, including every candidate for an office that has been certified by The Secretary of State to appear on the November 8th General Election Ballot.

And at a public event in Manchester this august, Don Bolduc committed to demanding 3rd Party Candidates be allowed to debate on stage should he win the primary, I call on him to uphold that pledge.

The Voters of New Hampshire have a right to be informed.

The Media has an obligation to inform them.

Beg to differ? Agree to disagree? Your thoughtful prose on topics of general interest are welcome. Send submissions for consideration to, subject line: The Soapbox.

About this Author

Justin O'Donnell

Justin is a libertarian activist and lifelong New England Native. He has run for office several times, as well as managed campaigns at every level, as well as having written 2 books "Selling Liberty: communicating Freedom in an Unfree World" and "Live Free and Thrive: 101 Reasons why Liberty lives in New Hampshire." He currently lives in Manchester and works full-time in non-profit development helping New Hampshire Charities meet their goals.