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On Letters: 350 words or fewer, but keep them coming

The election season has begun.

Critical dates to look ahead to include:

• April 26 — final day to register, and final day for current voters to change party affiliation.

• April 27 — the day ballots will be mailed to voters (earlier by a few days than past elections).

This is a good time to mention, with the 2016 Primary Election season just starting, that we welcome letters supporting candidates and ballot measures, and we fully expect plenty of folks to write in.

In every issue of the Hood River News, the “Our Readers Write” column is a vital part of the community forum.

Our letter length limit is 350 words, and it’s generally true that shorter letters are better read.

Virtually all points of opinion can be made in 350 words or fewer.

We do reserve the right to place restrictions on election related letters.

• If they appear to be boilerplate issued by this candidate or that cause, they don’t go in the paper.

• On the other hand, we faithfully publish original letters written by individuals.

• We limit letters on a subject when we feel it has been thoroughly aired, to the point of letters becoming repetitive.

• Also rejected are letters that are libelous, in bad taste or personal attacks on individuals or private businesses.

Any inquiry about “Our Readers Write” policy comes down to “how do you decide which letters to print?”

In short, we don’t “decide.”

Three categories must be met, however: Did you attach your name and a phone number so we can call you to confirm you are the writer? Does the letter avoid willfully incorrect or malicious content? Is the letter 350 words or fewer?

Do all those things and you’re pretty much assured of getting it printed. Nothing is eliminated based on topic or point of view, although we do reserve the right to select from similar letters on a given topic, for space reasons.

Priority is given to residents of the Gorge.

Finally, elections or otherwise, we do not print unsigned or “Name Withheld by Request” letters, nor those signed with fictitious signatures.

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