Another election season is upon us. That means you may be inspired to write a letter in favor of one candidate or another or express one side of an issue or another on the Nov. 6 ballot.
Good for you. We will try to run all of the letters submitted to us by Wallowa County residents. Those who live outside the county may write, but their contributions will take a backseat to county residents. We reserve the right to publish out-of-county letters on our website only.
Our stated letter length is 300 words, but if you can keep it shorter than that, we will be appreciative. It’s good to have letters of all lengths when it comes time to putting them on a page. It’s like a 1,000-piece jigsaw puzzle.
Here are other tips that may help guide your submission.
• If you’re going to write a personal endorsement letter, let it be based on substance rather than hair style or how well a candidate mows his lawn. Don’t laugh, I’ve received endorsement letters that were based on both in previous elections.
• Address the issues. No name-calling, threats or anything that would get us both into a heap a trouble. Try to avoid the words stupid, insane, mentally handicapped, lame-brained and pathetic. You get the drift.
• Be factual. There’s a difference between expressing an “opinion” and getting the facts wrong. If we cannot independently verify a statistic or allegation in your letter, it will be set aside until we can contact you for clarification.
• Letters submitted by email go to the top of the heap. If we have to key it into our system rather than cut and paste, it will delay publication significantly. If you can’t submit electronically, provide a printed copy typed double-spaced.
• Don’t participate in letter-writing campaigns in which someone sends you a form letter, you sign it and forward it on to the newspaper. These are fairly easy to spot. We simply delete them.
• There is a tab for submitting letters on our webside wallowa.com. You may use it, or you may submit to firstname.lastname@example.org. Either way, you will receive an email response acknowledging receipt of your letter.
• All letters, whether submitted electronically, by mail or in person, must be signed, include your mailing address and a phone number. The address and phone number are for the newspaper’s reference only and will not be published or given out.
• You may put a suggested headline on the top of your letter, but whether it is used depends on if the wording fits the space allotted for the headline. See reference above to the 1,000-piece jigsaw puzzle.
• A word about guest columns. Over the next month, our editorial space will be extremely tight, so the chances of getting an election-related submission published are slim if you haven’t already made contact.
I feel like I should add, “Shake hands and let’s have a clean fight.”