Working to inform the voters

By Chuck Kajer

One of the roles this newspaper takes seriously is informing the public about elections. Next week, The Times will run candidate profiles on the upcoming elections for the New Prague Area School District and the City of Lonsdale. A questionnaire was sent to all candidates on the ballot in both elections. That information will help our readers better know the candidates and where they stand on the issues.

Two of The Times' policies have or could be called into question as election day approaches, and we need to address those.

The first concerns letters to the editor. The Times prints letters regarding candidates and issues for elections, but will not publish any letters in the edition immediately preceding the election. That means next week's issue, Oct. 25, is the last chance people will have to write letters regarding the upcoming elections. We always are asked to make exceptions, but we cannot.

The second has already been called into question, and that concerns write-in candidates. The Times does not include write-in candidates in its candidate profiles. Our policy is to include only those candidates who have filed for office during the filing period and whose names appear on the official ballot. David Anderson has declared himself a write-in candidate for mayor in Lonsdale. We are not including him in our Lonsdale profiles. The Lonsdale Chamber of Commerce used the same standards in deciding not to allow Mr. Anderson to take part in its candidate forum Monday. Our policy is not intended to discriminate against any one candidate; it has been in place for several election cycles and would apply to any write-in candidate.

Please check out our October 25 issue. We welcome voters to express their opinions in the Letters section regarding issues in the upcoming election. The deadline for letters is 5 p.m. Monday, Oct. 22. Letters must be signed and cannot be more than 300 words in length. They can be signed only by one or two people; we do not include a list of names at the end of letters. Finally, all letters must include a daytime phone number so we can verify the writer. We may not have room for all letters received.

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