Thursday, April 17, 2014

Covering Dallas, Monmouth, Independence, Falls City and surrounding areas since 1868

EDITORIAL

Guidelines to follow for election letters

October 01, 2013

Yes, another election season has arrived once again in Polk County.

And while the November ballot may lack quantity when it comes to issues and candidates, this will be a critical election on at least two local avenues.

We have a countywide public safety measure that all Polk residents will vote on, and those residing within the boundaries of the Polk Fire District No. 1 also will be voting on a levy to support operations.

These topics -- and more -- will likely be addressed by writers submitting "Letters to the Editor" to the Itemizer-Observer during the next month.

Writers who would like to submit a letter taking a stand on an issue are welcome to do so. But a word of caution: please follow the I-O's longstanding Letters to the Editor policy.

ALL election letters are limited to 100 words -- no exceptions. If your subject is related in any way to an issue on the ballot, you get 100 words.

The 100-word limit not only encourages letters and dialogue, but allows for the publication of as many different viewpoints from as many different people as possible. The amount of news space available to publish letters is limited each week and is another reason for limiting the length to 100 words. The 100-word limit also makes the messages more effective -- a point succinctly made is much more likely to be read and remembered by the people you are trying to influence.

Form letters, or letters written by someone else and signed by you, will be automatically rejected. Authors must reside within the district they are writing about, and no election letters from outside of Polk County will be published.

One other reminder about our policy concerning election letters: once you have written and we have published your letter, we will not accept any additional political letters from you during the current election season -- one per person.

All letters must be submitted by 10 a.m. on Mondays to be considered for publication. Not all letters submitted are published, and due to those space limitations previously mentioned, some letters may be held until the following week's newspaper or may appear only on the I-O's website. But rest assured we do our best to publish every letter we receive that follows the guidelines.

We look forward to sharing your views about the issues we will be voting on here in Polk County during this election season.