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Election-related mail: Reminders for readers

October 22, 2002|by BOB MAGINNIS

There is now less than three weeks to go before the Nov. 5 general election, and, as always, we anticipate a flood of last minute letters. Here's how The Herald-Mail will handle them:

  • Election-related letters will have priority between now and election day, with letters from the candidates themselves running first. All others will be printed in the order received until we run out of space and time. No election-related letters will be printed after Sunday, Nov. 4, unless they're urging readers to get out and vote without mentioning any specific candidate.

  • If you're planning on sending a letter, please do it now. For last-minute letters, e-mail is preferred, because it means we won't have to them reset.

  • The same rules will apply to these letters as to all others we publish. That means including your name, address and daytime phone number, so that we can verify, if necessary, that no one is using your name to advance his or her point of view.

  • If a letter includes a claim we can't verify - dishonesty by a candidate, for example - it won't be published until we can investigate. With so little time left to do that, we recommend writers stick to topics that have already been reported.

  • And even though candidates are public figures, we won't allow any personal attacks. Saying that candidates are wrong on a certain issue is fine, but calling them "fools" or "idiots" is not. We want to encourage people to have a civilized debate on the issues, not a name-calling session that will make it difficult for all to work together after the votes are counted.


Between now and election day. Herald-Mail will print plenty of information on the candidates. If you'd like to hear these would-be elected officials in person, Antietam Cable TV will repeat three of its candidate forums - county commissioner, state delegate and state senate - on Monday, Nov. 4, beginning at 7 p.m. on channel 65. And every day this week and next WHAG-1410 AM's Will Kauffman will interview candidates on his 4 p.m. radio show.

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Many people in the community are working hard to get information out about this election. It's time for citizens to pay attention and participate.

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