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Vogt's Notes: Policies and polls - read up if you plan to write a letter the editor

While you're at it, go online to answer our poll question

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Ballots are set for the Nov. 8 general election.

From township officers to city and school board seats, county elected positions to state governor to U.S. representative and more, it's time to educate yourself on candidates who will be on your ballot.

Do your part to make informed decisions, and then go vote.

The Echo Journal will publish a Voters Guide on Sept. 28 highlighting candidates in contested races in our coverage area and where they stand on issues.

We encourage readers to write letters to the editor promoting their favored candidates. However, be sure to be aware of the following important guidelines to do so:

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  • Political candidate endorsement letters are limited to 150 words each.
  • Don't include information or allegations for or against a candidate that we can't verify.
  • Each writer is allowed one endorsement letter per candidate.

As a reminder, nonendorsement letters are limited to 300 words each.

We encourage our readers to share their opinions on any topic - but again, stay away from information we can't verify. We may have different "fact checking" sources, but if "facts" are questionable we'll choose not to run them.

Instead, we prefer that readers share their opinions on topics without relying on or repeating disputable facts.

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We will not publish letters to the editor criticizing businesses. We ask readers to instead take their complaints directly to the business.

Also, when responding to other letters to the editor, please stick to responding to the opinion shared, not the writer. There's no need to attack others for having a different opinion than you have.

This is a friendly forum to share various opinions, so just state why you disagree with someone else's thoughts.

Email letters to nancy.vogt@pineandlakes.com, or mail them or drop them off at the Brainerd Dispatch/Echo Journal office at 506 James St., Brainerd, MN 56401. The building is open to the public from 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Mondays-Thursdays, and 8:30 a.m.-noon Fridays.

The Echo Journal does reserve the right to reject any letter.

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You can read letters to the editor - along with a lot of other content - online at www.pineandlakes.com.

A relatively new feature on our website is a very unscientific poll question. You'll find our poll next to the obituaries on the right, partway down our homepage.

So far our questions have been lighthearted - think thoughts on road construction or your favorite summer meal on the grill - but we plan to post news topic polls as well.

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Nancy Vogt, PineandLakes Echo Journal Editor

To be honest, so far our poll questions haven't generated a whole lot of response. So make an editor happy by calling up www.pineandlakes.com on your phone, computer, laptop or tablet now and answer our poll question.

And if you have any potential poll question suggestions, don't hesitate to share them by emailing me at nancy.vogt@pineandlakes.com.

Now what are you waiting for, go answer the question now!

Nancy Vogt, editor, may be reached at 218-855-5877 or nancy.vogt@pineandlakes.com. Follow her on Facebook and on Twitter at www.twitter.com/@PEJ_Nancy.

Opinion by Nancy Vogt
Nancy Vogt is editor of the Pineandlakes Echo Journal, a weekly newspaper that covers eight communities in the Pequot Lakes-Pine River areas - from Nisswa to Hackensack and Pequot Lakes to Crosslake.

She started as editor of the Lake Country Echo in July 2006, and continued in that role when the Lake Country Echo and the Pine River Journal combined in September 2013 to become the Pineandlakes Echo Journal. She worked for the Brainerd Dispatch from 1992-2006 in various roles.

She covers Nisswa, Pequot Lakes, Lake Shore and Crosslake city councils, as well as writes feature stories, news stories and personal columns (Vogt's Notes). She also takes photos at community events.

Contact her at nancy.vogt@pineandlakes.com or 218-855-5877 with story ideas or questions. Be sure to leave a voicemail message!
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