A few guidelines for the upcoming election season

With election season among us, and the candidate filing period opening May 22 for many local races, we feel it is a good time to let our local candidates and our readers know how we plan on handling this season’s election coverage.

ECM Publishers, Inc., the parent company of this newspaper, believes coverage of elections from start to finish is important. Following are some of the guidelines we embrace toward fulfilling fair and consistent election coverage as adopted by our ECM Editorial Board.

Filing Statements

As you notice in this week’s edition, we allow each candidate running for a local office one free filing statement announcing their candidacy. The announcement needs to be 300 words or less, and may include the candidate’s photo. We will run the filing statements each week on page 5 of our newspaper in the next available edition after receipt. We reserve the right to edit filing statements. A candidate’s website, Facebook page, or other social media sites will not be included with their filing statements.

The filing period opens May 22 and closes June 5 for federal races, state races, county commissioner races and Isanti City Council. Candidates running for those offices must submit their filing statement to us by Friday, June 15, for final publication in our Wednesday, June 20 edition. Free filing statements for these races will not be published after our June 20 edition unless as a paid advertisement.

For Cambridge City Council and Braham City Council, the filing period opens July 31 and closes Aug. 14 for Braham and Aug. 16 for Cambridge. Candidates running for those offices must submit their filing statement to us by Friday, Aug. 24, for final publication in our Wednesday, Aug. 29 edition. Free filing statements for these races will not be published after the Aug. 29 edition unless as a paid advertisement.

Letter to the Editor policy

Our letter-to-the-editor policy applies to political letters, and letters must be 350 words or less. All letters must be signed, and include an address and phone number for verification purposes only. No letters to the editor regarding campaign issues will be published in the issue immediately preceding the election. If letters are submitted containing a challenge or allegation about a candidate that requires a response or rebuttal, the candidate will be allowed to respond.

In most instances, letters signed by the candidates will not be accepted, but the candidate will be able to submit rebuttal letters. Otherwise, the candidate’s opinion can be published in an advertisement.

Notices of fundraisers will not be published, unless someone of news prominence, such as the governor, were to attend. In general, endorsements such as from political action committees, will not be published.

Notices of political gatherings will be noted in our newspaper with date, time and place only.

We will publish a Voter’s Guide in October prior to the Nov. 6 General Election and a Voter’s Guide prior to the Aug. 14 Primary Election if necessary.

With regard to communication, consider the explanation of these guidelines as a helpful tool for readers and particularly those involved with political campaigns.

Questions? I can be reached at 763-691-6012 or via email at [email protected] Filing statements are preferred via email, but can be dropped off or mailed to the Isanti County News, 234 South Main St., Cambridge, MN 55008.

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