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Talking Points: Newspapers collaborate on new, improved voters guide

Over the last year, many voters vowed to not get caught up in the political races too early. Candidates seem to start running for their next election almost as soon as the current one is over, and voters don't want to get sucked into it until near the end of the campaigns.

Well, the end is near.

In one month voters will be going to the polls for the Nov. 2 midterm elections. In past years, the Sun Tribune in the past has published Q&A-style information from the candidates in each race in the weeks leading up to election day.

But the paper's pre-election coverage will be new and improved this year. The Sun Tribune is collaborating with the West Central Tribune in Willmar to produce a comprehensive online election guide that also will be published as a special print section about two weeks before the election.

Dozens of races will be covered - not all will be included in the print edition - and readers will be able to tap into information about candidates and races important to the Stevens County area as well as national, state-wide and regional Minnesota races of interest.

Most area candidates have been sent an email "invitation" to log onto a Web page form containing the questions. The candidates are responsible for entering their answers and uploading a photograph and other information. The guide will soon be posted on the Sun Tribune and West Central Tribune Web sites and available through election day.

The guide is a resource that was well received when the West Central Tribune first used it in 2008, and we believe Sun Tribune readers will find it equally informative and useful as they make their decisions during a key election year.

Minnesotans will be making some big decisions this year. They will be electing congressional representatives, a new governor and state representatives and senators at a time when those bodies will be dealing with huge budget deficits. Voters will need all the resources they can find to make informed election decisions. We believe the guides - online and in print - will be an excellent source of that information.

Candidates who haven't received an email invitation to be part of the online guide can contact the Sun Tribune with an email address at Candidates and readers who have questions or encounter problems can contact the paper at that email address or by calling (320) 589-2525.