Happy election season, y’all. College football season still might not happen and, in Alabama, by God that’ll be a travesty, but hey, election season may be just as entertaining.
The qualifying period for municipal elections officially closed last week and now the real work — and fun — begins.
Like so many others, I wonder what this campaign season will look like. The coronavirus pandemic has changed life as we know it, and especially life right now.
Will everybody be hitting the pavement, going door to door with the only difference being they’re wearing masks? Maybe most of their campaigning will be done through social media and paid advertising. There are still many community events being held throughout our area cities where candidates can show their faces and campaign that way, but it’s certainly not comparable to a normal non-COVID world.
We’ve got some new faces on the ballots — all across area municipalities — which it will be interesting to see how that plays out. Will incumbents rule or will others prevail? We’ll know soon enough, as Aug. 25 will be here before we know it.
That being said, The Herald is proud to accept nearly all letters to the editor we receive. It is something we have done for many years and are continuing to do now. We don’t agree with everything we publish on this page nor is it the official stance of the newspaper; however, that’s the point. We try to represent as many different viewpoints as we can.
Here’s how I feel: Our opinion page should be filled with as many local voices as possible and serve as a public forum for our citizens. If you want to tackle local issues, hold an elected official accountable or talk about what you believe is wrongdoing or good deeds in our area, I’m happy to let you do that right here. Plus, if I’m lucky enough to have readers taking the time to write me letters in 2020, I better take them while I can.
As long as you follow our very simple rules, your opinion has a strong chance of getting in the paper. Don’t curse, use libelous words or slander anybody or use hate speech. Attempt to cite a source when using hard facts or have some way to back up your claim, especially if it is about a local official. If I can’t verify your claim, it’s hard for me to publish your letter. Meet our simple word count posted to the bottom right of this column, send your first and last name, city and phone number (for verification purposes only) and you’re likely to be published on this page as soon as possible bearing any issues.
Now, because it is election season, we will accept election-related letters but only for a certain period of time. In the interest of keeping things as fair as possible, here are the rules:
• One letter to the editor per reader per month and the election is exactly one month away, so make your words count.
• No personal insults. Criticize a candidate’s record or position all you want, but name calling isn’t the way to effectively get your point across and educate other readers.
• No anonymous letters or letters submitted without phone numbers
• Meet a word count of 400 words or less and keep in mind, your letter will be edited.
• No election-related letters will be published after Wednesday, Aug. 12.
We reserve the right to edit all letters and refuse to publish any letter, however, all of the above being said, I am a proponent of local voices getting onto this page and will do my best to make that happen.
Send letters to firstname.lastname@example.org or my email address below.
I am excited to see how this local election season unfolds and hope all local citizens will participate and learn about these candidates. There is nothing more powerful than exercising your right as a citizen by voting for who you believe is the best person for the job. Anybody can complain and anybody can vote, but you must do the latter if you want to see change.
Study up, pay attention and let’s get this season going. Who needs football when you’ve got local elections? Grab the popcorn.
Santana Wood is managing editor of Tallapoosa Publishers’ newspapers. She can be reached at email@example.com