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Our View: Ground rules, deadlines for reader input on elections

Posted: January 20, 2012 1:55 a.m.
Updated: January 20, 2012 1:55 a.m.
 

The 2012 election cycle seems to be revving up. The candidates are making themselves known, and columnists and letter writers are starting to get more active.

Locally, most observers, including The Signal Editorial Board, are expecting a very spirited campaign season in the local race for the 38th Assembly District. The 25th Congressional District race largely between U.S. Rep. Howard “Buck” McKeon and Lee Rogers has escalated, and the Santa Clarita City Council election in April for two seats could be surprisingly animated.

With the filing deadline just recently passed in that race, it’s a good time to pass on some information on our guidelines for opinion columns and letters to the editor for candidates, as well as others who want to comment on the different races.

We want everyone to be treated fairly and everyone’s voices heard.

The City Council election is April 10, so we’re setting a deadline of April 1 for letters to the editor regarding comments concerning that race.

This gives us time to run all the letters we receive and provides candidates time to respond if they so desire. We’ll stop accepting longer op-ed columns from candidates and other readers who want to comment on that election on April 4, also to give candidates time to respond.

For the June 5 primary election, which will winnow down the candidates for the Assembly race, the last time readers can submit a letter to the editor is May 27. We’ll stop accepting longer op-ed columns on May 30. We will not run any election-related letters or op-ed columns on Election Day for either election.

These are general guidelines for readers and candidates.

We will repeat our request that authors of letters to the editor disclose if they have a professional affiliation with a candidate or are otherwise involved in an organization with them or have a personal relationship with them.

And, of course, we ask readers to keep their comments civil, both in the printed pages of this newspaper and on our website.

The Signal Editorial Board will be inviting all candidates in the local races to meet with us before voting begins.

It’s good to see involvement and interest in local elections, and this publication is honored to take a role in the process.

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