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Echo Press Editorial: Paid political letter policy now in effect

With the political filing season now under way, the Echo Press’ paid political letter policy is in effect.

Letters that endorse a particular candidate or political party will be charged 10-cents per word and the maximum word length is 200 words (shorter than the 300 word limit for other letters).

The newspaper enacted this policy decades ago. It was receiving too many political endorsement letters for the limited space that was available. Rather than randomly picking which ones would get in or trying to decide which letter was “better” than another letter, the newspaper decided to put the paid political letter policy in place.

Letters that are printed on the Opinion page under the heading “Paid Political Letters” are paid for in advance by the person writing the letter.

All letters must be signed and include an address and phone number for verification purposes. Letters submitted by a group or organization must still contain at least one individual’s name that represents the group and an address. If a letter contains several signatures, only the first five names will be printed.

The Echo Press will try to print every letter it receives as long as it meets the guidelines (contains a signature, is under the word limit, isn’t libelous, etc.). The newspaper does not selectively put some letters in and leave others out.

Deadlines for paid political letters are the same as regular letters to the editor – noon on Monday for consideration in Wednesday’s newspaper and noon on Wednesday for the Friday edition.

We encourage all residents to get involved in the political process by getting to know the candidates and finding out where they stand on the issues. The quality of the candidates selected for office depends mightily on how informed, active and involved voters are.