The political season is upon us

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By Doug Bell

From county commissioner to Colorado governor, Jeffco voters face very crowded ballots this year, and as the primary election approaches on Aug. 10, our opinion pages will no doubt become more crowded as well.

Before the usual avalanche of political letters to the editor — and the subsequent phone calls asking why some letters haven’t appeared — I’d like to review our policy.

• All letters must be accompanied by a verifiable name, along with information that allows us to contact the author.

• Letters under 400 words are far more likely to be printed. Space is short, and so are attention spans. Be succinct.

• Letters that are obviously part of an organized letter-writing campaign and that all say the same thing will not be printed, except for one letter that is representative of the opinion.

• Letters that are defamatory, allege unproven criminal behavior or engage in personal attacks will not be printed.

• Finally, we will have a cut-off date for the general election in November — the last political letters will be printed in the Oct. 27 issue.

Because of the large backlog of letters during campaign seasons, your letter may not always appear right away, but rest assured they will be published in the general order in which they’re received.

Our opinions

I’m sometimes asked by readers why the Courier doesn’t endorse candidates for political office, and my answer is simple: Our job is to tell you as much as we can about the candidates; yours is to make the final decision on whom and what to vote for.

We’ve already published numerous stories on election races in our pages this year, and more will follow. And all these stories will continue to be available under the “News Headlines” section of our website, right up until Election Day.

Democracy works best when well-informed voters make up their own minds about candidates and issues. We’ll continue to provide as much information in our news columns as we can to make that easier for our readers.

Doug Bell is the editor of the Courier.