Bulletin policy on election-related letters, viewpointsThe newspaper’s Opinion page usually is full of letters during an election. We welcome those letters and believe they help voters make informed choices at the polls. Before election season ramps up, readers should know how we plan to handle election-related letters sent our way.
By: Scott Wente, South Washington County Bulletin
South Washington County voters will have ballot choices before them this fall, and we have been busy planning our coverage of District 833 School Board and St. Paul Park city elections on Nov. 8.
You’ve already seen some of those stories, including coverage of candidates who’ve announced their campaigns so far and information about becoming a candidate for School Board or St. Paul Park City Council. There are three School Board seats up for grabs, and St. Paul Park residents will elect a mayor and two council members.
In addition to mapping our election story plans, we’ve also been thinking about what you’ll be contributing to the Bulletin by way of letters to the editor.
The newspaper’s Opinion page usually is full of letters during an election. Voters want to publicly endorse their preferred candidates and rally readers against other candidates. We welcome those letters and believe they help voters make informed choices at the polls.
Before election season ramps up, readers should know how we plan to handle election-related letters sent our way.
For the most part, they will be treated just like any other letter to the editor. Letter writers must provide their name and city, along with contact information. We will limit letters to 350 words. That is ample space to express an endorsement.
Also, endorsement letters should stick to issues and a candidate’s position on issues, not dwell on personal attacks.
Candidates, too, have ways of reaching voters through the Bulletin Opinion page. Between now and Oct. 26, we will allow any of the candidates for District 833 School Board and St. Paul Park City Council to submit one viewpoint explaining why they believe voters should put them in office. Those will be limited to 450 words and, like other submissions, are subject to editing for style, grammar and length. We will print them as soon as possible after we receive them, but because of space cannot guarantee all will get published if many candidates wait until late October to make their case.
While we stand ready to print your election letters, you will not see any candidate endorsements from the Bulletin staff. We will report on the candidates and leave it to you to decide which ones will earn your vote.