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Write, before it's too late

August 31, 2006

With less than 30 days before the Sept. 12 Maryland primary, we would like to remind readers about our election season letter policies. If you work with us, we can get your comments in prior to the election.

Here are some things to remember:

There is only so much space available. When that is filled up, we will have to cut off the letters.

To make sure we get in as many election-related letters as possible, we will give them priority between now and Sept. 12. Letters related to philosophical or religious matters will be delayed for a time.

Be brief. We have already had some letters from candidates' supporters in the 1,000-word range. Research shows shorter items reach a wider audience, so please try to hold them to 250 words or less.

The Herald-Mail has a policy prohibiting personal attacks in letters. If you feel a candidate is wrong about one issue or another, say that. You don't need to call someone "stupid" to make your point, because we won't print it anyway.

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And, once the election is over, those who were contending candidates will have to work together. It will be easier to do that if the tone of the campaign remains polite.

If you can e-mail your letter, please do. E-mailed letters can be printed more quickly because we don't have to type them again.

The last election-related letters will be printed in the Sunday, Sept. 10 edition of The Herald-Mail. There will be no last-minute charges or attacks printed then, because their targets would not have a chance to respond.

On Monday Sept. 10 and Tuesday, Sept. 11, the only campaign-related letters printed will be of the nonpartisan, get-out-the-vote variety.

There is still time to study the candidates and express an opinion. Please do so, before it's too late.

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