As the November general election approaches, here’s a reminder to readers on various election-related matters. 

Regarding political “endorsement” letters

Newspapers receive dozens of letters to the editor, favoring one candidate or another, during campaign season. 

Our “policy” is intentionally vague. We don’t have enough newspaper space to run all political letters to the editor at no charge. If you wish to endorse a candidate, the only guarantee to have it printed is to purchase it as a paid advertisement. 

We will publish a limited number and representative sampling of political letters to the editor at no charge—with an eye toward fairness to all candidates. Length is a factor; keep the letters to 250 words or less. Highlighting meaningful topics and issues and substance will be a consideration. We prefer letters from Press readers, within our general West Otter Tail and lakes area coverage territory. 

Consideration will also include a first come, first served basis.

During the August primary election, for example, we had two races of high local interest. A bunch of letters came in close to the primary deadline—and frankly, we didn’t publish any of them. It was just too close to voting day to be fair to all candidates. 

With that in mind, no political election letters will be published after Oct. 18. The editor may consider an exception—if the letter is in direct rebuttal to a prior letter. 

Letter placements will be editor’s call 

Ultimately, publishing political letters will come down to a judgment call—by the editor. 

That’s me. 

Many newspapers have established a blanket policy on political letters: They charge for them, like a paid advertisement. Period. We prefer not to take that full step, because we feel it’s important to hear from voters in our local area. 

If you want to be assured your political endorsement is published, paying for the letter is recommended. We have affordable options. Deadline for letters to the editor is Fridays, noon. Call 218-863-1421 to discuss if you wish. 

Election information published in the Press 

The Press is publishing voter information from now to mid-October. Last week, we profiled State House of Representatives candidates Jeff Backer and Nancy Jost, District 9A. 

This week, we have profiles of State House District 9B.

We have sent questionnaires to candidates. Our main focus being local and area legislature races, Otter Tail County board, as well as Pelican school board and Pelican city offices. 

We’ve also compiled a comprehensive webpage consisting of everything to do with elections, including candidate information as well as general election info and any election-related articles published in the past.