Sunday Night: Guidelines for readers during election season

They’ve arrived at my doorstep, the letters to the editor regarding candidates, that is. You will soon see them here on page 4 when we begin publishing them. As you can see, we no longer have two pages for our opinions and letters. So it is extremely important that you take note of these guidelines. Accepted letters will be published in the order in which they were received.

I offer here some guidelines approved by the ECM Editorial Board and ECM-Sun publications.

And there’s a few comments of my own.

First, and quite important, I request that anyone who would like to write a letter in support of a candidate, to do just that, support your candidate.

Let others know the reasons you believe a person would make the best legislator, commissioner, mayor, councilor or whatever he or she is running for.

Attacks letters are not productive and need a lot of backup information if you intend to make insinuations.

I’ve pointed this out before – it’s called civility. And that’s what I am expecting from your letters.

Letters must be limited to no more than 300 words.

All letters must be signed, with full address and phone number. Only your name and city will be published with the letter.

Individuals will be limited to one letter per month, except in case of rebuttals.

However, exchanges will be limited to two letters from each individual.

Letters will be edited aggressively, especially those that repeat themes.

Web comments will receive as much attention as letters published in this paper and must meet the same criteria.

Letters will not be run in the issue immediately before an election.

This should be good to get you started.

Now regarding those filing statements. We have quite a few this year. The word limit is 500.

The filing period was over June 5, so candidates will have until June 22 to submit a filing statement, or their introduction to the public as a candidate, with photo. They may not all fit in one week, so they will be published as we have space, but no new filing statements will be accepted past the cut-off date.

For many cities and NB school board, filing has not yet opened. It will run from July 31-Aug. 14. After that candidates will have until Aug. 30 to submit a filing statement for those offices.

Several races will be pared to two at the Aug. 14 Primary. The Post Review will contact those candidates and prepare a mini voters’ guide that will be published Aug. 1. A larger voters’ guide will be prepared for the Nov. 6 General Election for our local races, this will be published Oct. 24.

It’s a long time to Nov. 6, but the days will go fast. We at the Post Review want our readers to be informed with accurate information about the candidates and will strive to provide such to the best of our abilities.

Here’s to a productive and exciting election season 2012.

— MaryHelen Swanson is editor of the ECM Post Review

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