Here are guidelines followed by Gazette editors for political letters-to-the-editor for the 2012 campaign season. These guidelines have been updated to reflect a reduced number of editorial page "zones" in print editions in Montgomery and Prince George's counties.
Position paper or platform letters are not eligible for publication in the paper. With so many candidates for public office, and limited space, candidate letters would quickly drive out the letters of ordinary readers.
Letters from candidates responding to a specific editorial opinion position, columnist or news story are considered on a case-by-case basis, and may be printed for compelling reasons.
We have begun posting letters from candidates on our web site, where space is not a concern. Letters from political supporters will be considered for publication on a space-available basis, but the volume of letters tends to be very high, and letter which simply state that a candidate deserves support would be unlikely to get a high priority. These letters will be posted on the website.
Print publication of election-related letters stops two issues (weeks) prior to Election Day. This is done to avoid errors/misinformation that may crop up in anything published the week before Election Day. With the two-week window, The Gazette is able to correct any errors in the following print edition, which would not be possible with publication of any election-related material the week preceding Election Day.
The Gazette ends publication of its candidate endorsements two issues (weeks) prior to an Election Day. This is done to allow time for the correction of errors/misinformation in the following issue. Responses to the endorsements are welcome and will be considered for publication online.
Due to the number of candidates in some election cycles, The Gazette is not able to offer endorsements for all races. In choosing the races for which endorsements are provided, The Gazette considers several factors, including scope of influence, viability of challengers, constituent interest, and other criteria.
Those submitting letters are expected to make clear any affiliations with current candidates.
As with any submissions, election-related letters should be limited to 200 words and based on a single idea or theme.
The Gazette reserves the right to edit letters for brevity, grammar and clarity.
Letters that contain potentially libelous or personal attacks will not be published.
You may email letters to email@example.com or send letters to:
The Gazette, Editorial Department, 9030 Comprint Court, Gaithersburg, MD, 20877; or fax to 301-670-7183.
Prince George's County
The Gazette, Editorial Department, 13501 Virginia Manor Road, Laurel, MD, 20707; or fax to 240-472-7501.
The Gazette, Editorial Department, 2A N. Market St., 4th floor, Frederick, MD 21701; or fax to 301-846-2114.
Include your name, address and telephone number for verification purposes.