September 19, 2012

Editorial: Election letter deadline Oct. 19


---- — With a presidential election, a congressional race and two Assembly seats up for election on Nov. 6, it’s likely that many people will want to share their views on the candidates.

The Press-Republican offers one of the best forums around in which to do that: Letters to the Editor.

But our advice is to get your letters in soon. We receive between 2,000 to 3,000 letters a year, with plenty of those arriving around election time. It takes time to get all the letters processed and into print, so each year we set an election-letter deadline.

This year, the deadline for letters related to the elections is 5 p.m. Friday, Oct. 19.

We will do our best to use all the letters that arrive by that date. If they reach us after, they will appear only if we have space after all the on-time letters have run.

We have only a few restrictions for Letters to the Editor, but they are strict:

▶ Letters can’t exceed 300 words. We would never fit all the letters if everyone were allowed to write as much as they want. This is the No. 1 reason that letters get sent back, so please do a word count.

▶ We need your full name, address and phone number. We routinely verify letters.

▶ Each writer gets one letter every 30 days. So, if your letter appears Oct. 1, you can’t have another letter until Oct. 31.

As far as content, we don’t care if you are liberal, conservative or moderate; we welcome your viewpoint. We do, however, urge everyone to be considerate and respectful. We will not print anything we consider slanderous or “hate language.” It is rare that we have to reject letters on those basis, but if there is any likely time to see it, it would be during elections.

Be civil, and you will also have a better chance of having your opinion considered by the readers.

Clinton, Essex and Franklin counties all have a smattering of village and town races, some scheduled elections and some to fill unexpired terms. The candidates are neighbors who have stepped up to give people in their communities a choice on Election Day. For that alone, they deserve respect.

Don’t send your opinions on candidates to Speakout. They won’t be published. Because Speakout comments are anonymous, that is not the proper forum to talk about specific candidates.

We allow comments on online articles about the elections, but you must list a legitimate email address. Those are monitored, and you don’t have as much leeway to criticize.

We expect many letters, so send yours soon: by email to, by fax to 561-3362 and by mail to Editor Lois Clermont, Press-Republican, P.O. Box 459, Plattsburgh, NY 12901.