Welcome to the National Governors Association’s  web resource center for its “States and the Debates” civics and voter education project. 

As an official sponsor with the Commission on Presidential Debates, the National Governors Association (NGA) is excited to spotlight opportunities to help governors deliver civics and voter education initiatives in their states in conjunction with a unique platform - the 2016 presidential and vice-presidential debates. 

Governors are leaders at the state and national levels with many roles and responsibilities. This project highlights their role as “Chief Civics Officer” because an informed electorate strengthens our republic.

NGA’s “States and the Debates” project offers governors and other interested partners a special opportunity to promote civic engagement, debate and voter education in advance of the November 2016 elections. 

“Whenever the people are well-informed, they can be trusted with their own government.”
Thomas Jefferson  (1789)
“The practice of democracy is not passed down through the gene pool. It must be taught and learned anew by each generation of citizens."
Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, Associate Justice (Retired), U.S. Supreme Court

2016 Presidential Debates Schedule

First presidential debate:
Monday, September 26, 2016
Hofstra University, Hempstead, NY
Moderator: Lester Holt
+ Media Contact: Ginny Greenberg,

Vice presidential debate:
Tuesday, October 4, 2016
Longwood University, Farmville, VA
Moderator: Elaine Quijana
+ Media Contact: Matthew McWilliams,

Second presidential debate:
Sunday, October 9, 2016
Washington University in St. Louis, St. Louis, MO
Moderators: Martha Raddatz and Anderson Cooper
+ Media Contact: Sue Killenberg McGinn,

Third presidential debate:
Wednesday, October 19, 2016
University of Nevada, Las Vegas, Las Vegas, NV
Moderator: Chris Wallace
+ Media Contact: Tony Allen,

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Opportunities for Governor Leadership

Below are some resources and suggested engagement tools to help get you started. Please submit additional resources and ideas as we update this resource page with new and exciting additions. Contact Alex Schaefer with details: 


School Debates

Letter Contests

Hosting Debatewatch

NGA Contacts:

Governor Engagement, Partnership Opportunities:
Christie Amberman
Alex Schaefer

Elena Waskey