While third-party candidates are often restricted from participating in debates, many Libertarian supporters argue their party is being put at a disadvantage.
Republican incumbent Richard Burr and Democratic challenger Elaine Marshall will be participating in election debates on Oct. 11 and 21 while Libertarian candidate Michael Beitler will not.
Tim Morrissey, president of the N.C. Association of Broadcasters and the Educational Foundation, said third-party candidates must be supported by at least 10 percent in public polls by Sept. 1 in order to be included in the debates.
Oct. 11 and Oct. 21 — Debates sponsored by North Carolina Association of Broadcasters(Republican and Democratic candidates)
Oct. 13 — Debate sponsored by the League of Women Voters (Republican, Democratic, and Libertarian candidates)
It is common for the Libertarian candidates not to meet this standard — which is not intended to prevent any particular party from participating, Morrissey said.
Many of Beitler’s supporters feel this exclusion is an unfair hindrance to the democratic process.