With only days left before the first presidential debate, retired Florida college professor Vicki Meyer is petitioning for nonpartisan “fact checkers” to be present at the debate.
On Wednesday, Meyer delivered the petition — which she first started in early September — to the Commission on Presidential Debates, the organization in charge of organizing the debates.
As of Thursday midday, there were 226, 494 signatures on the online petition. Meyer’s goal is 250,000 signatures.
Meyer’s hope is that the use of fact checkers would help restore voter confidence in the election process.
“There’s so much lying and deception,” she said, speaking of the disillusionment many voters — including herself — feel.
Meyer said that fact checkers would check the candidates’ claims during the commercial breaks, and then their findings would be read without comment prior to the beginning of the next round. Her vision is that people would not have to wait to read what the fact checkers say in the next day’s newspaper.
As to who would pick the fact checkers to ensure fairness, however, Meyer does not have the answer.
“Perhaps there could be a committee who would pick them,” she said, stating that there could be two fact checkers, one from each party, and that they could take an oath.
The commission’s deep ties to the Democratic media establishment, as well as its choice of left-leaning debate moderators, has inspired conservative criticism in recent months.
Meyer, however, told The Daily Caller that she had heard the exact opposite — that the commission and the moderators were too conservative.
Citing a recent study that said the country is the most polarized it’s been since the Civil War, Meyer said she hopes that the fact checkers could inspire intelligent discussion between voters, she told The Daily Caller.
“I really do have some faith that there are some good people who can be chosen to be fact checkers,” Meyer said.
“There is such a thing as a fact,” she said. “I know there’s opinion, but truth is truth. Truth is nonpartisan.”
Meyer’s petition can be found on SignOn.org — a site sponsored by the progressive MoveOn.org Civic Action, although MoveOn.org states that it does not endorse the petitions launched on the site.