The Chaffee County Times will adhere to the following guidelines concerning letters to the editor about elections including candidates and ballot issues.

While our standard policy is 500 words or less for Your View letters to the editor, we will limit election letters to 250 words or less beginning noon, 2 months (60 days) prior to the election date.

All letters received prior to that deadline will not be subject to the word limit or two letters restriction and will be published as submitted.

The reason for the word restriction is two-fold. First, this policy is to accommodate the greater numbers of letters that are typically generated during an election cycle. Secondly, the word limit will allow writers to clearly and succinctly state why they are or aren’t voting for a person or issue. In this case, shorter is better.

We will also limit each individual to two letters per election cycle, which will allow clarification and/or rebuttal to followup comments. These restrictions also apply to groups and organizations.

The Chaffee County Times will not accept letters from candidates on why they are running or appointments to their campaign staff. We will also not accept submitted photographs of candidates appearing with or presenting to civic/social groups during an election cycle.

No letters will be accepted from outside our newspaper coverage area, although we will consider letters from out-of-area subscribers or with local ties on matters of local interest. It would help if those writers would state they are a subscriber.

We will not knowingly print form letters, mass-mailed submissions or those written by another person.

The Times encourages letters about local candidates and issues, but will also consider statewide issues and candidates. We encourage writers to address issues raised locally and not in statewide or national television or radio ads.

We encourage polite, productive discourse and reserve the right to refuse name-calling or accusations which cannot be easily verified.

The Times will only publish letters of endorsement up to 2 weeks preceding the election. All letters will be subject to enforcement of our long-published 1 p.m. Monday deadline for each week and will be subject to space availability and verification.

The last day to submit election letters in person, by email or by mail will be 1 p.m., Monday, 2 weeks prior to election date, with no exceptions. The Times will not run election-related letters the week prior to the election.

Authors of letters on elections must include name and hometown, which will be published, and a phone number (not published) to verify authenticity.

– Dave Schiefelbein, editor

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