Local elections covered best by local newspapers

Judging by recent calls and correspondence, I’m guessing if you live in the Mathews School District, you have an opinion about the district’s fifth attempt to pass a new school construction bond issue.

Likewise, Bazetta voters feel strongly — one way or the other — about the township’s fifth attempt to pass a new operating levy. You also might have something to say about Bazetta Trustee Ted Webb’s public comment that if this levy fails, voters will see it again in November. We wrote about that in a story published Monday.

Tuesday, of course, is your opportunity to speak officially on these issues and any other primary election races via the ballot box. A complete listing of contested local races, issues and liquor options are inside today’s Tribune. And that’s in addition to the stories we’ve already run about many races. On our Opinion page we’ve also published endorsements in several races and numerous letters from local readers. Additionally, many candidates have shared their pledges and qualifications in paid advertisements we’ve published.

The fact is, if you want information about grassroots elections like the one coming up Tuesday, this newspaper is undeniably the best place to get it.

Now, let me explain what you won’t find.

You won’t find election letters and new endorsements in today’s paper.

In fact, the final endorsements and letters on election topics appeared in Wednesday’s print edition. The deadline for readers to submit letters for the print edition on election topics was 5 p.m. Monday. We announced that in a frequently published notice for weeks.

That’s routine because we always strive to ensure everyone has equal opportunity to write letters about election topics. Cutting the letters off well before the election ensures that someone doesn’t wait until the approaching election to submit a letter containing accusations or controversial points that could unfairly damage a candidate. An early deadline guarantees ample time to verify the accuracy prior to the election.

I personally review all letters and determine if we will publish them as submitted or if they require editing or rejection. Our published letters policy clearly states we encourage letters to debate an issue, but they should be respectful and never attack a person or an organization. If the letter is deemed inappropriate because of unfair or unverifiable accusations, that information will be cut or the letter will be refused.

I never edit or refuse a letter simply because the writer’s opinion differs from my opinion or that of the Tribune’s editorial board. In fact, we encourage diverse and varied opinions from letter writers! So if you see multiple letters from readers opposing passage of a levy, for example, but only one letter supporting passage, it’s because that is what we received.

On the news pages, we also work to publish advance stories about candidates, races and issues several days before the election. However, this does not preclude us from investigating and printing stories about a candidate or issue if it comes to light closer to election day.

I can assure you that we never hold a potentially damaging story simply to shed a negative light on a particular candidate or issue in the waning moments. If a story comes to light late in the race, we devote much time and consideration to discussing the right way to handle coverage and placement of those stories.

Frankly, we care about fairness and accuracy in our news pages. We want our readers to know they can turn to the Tribune Chronicle for coverage of both advance stories and election night results.

The polls close at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday. Keep up to date with developing results at www.tribtoday.com, and be sure to read Wednesday’s print edition for complete local coverage.

You won’t find more comprehensive local election information anywhere else.

blinert@tribtoday.com

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