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Vote today; municipal elections are coming up

Today, Mississippi voters go to the polls to cast ballots in party primary elections for candidates for U.S. President, U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives Third District.

Polls are open from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m. today and I encourage everyone to get out and vote for the candidates you think will best represent their parties as candidates in the general election in November.

Louisiana voters will go to the polls on April 4 to cast ballots in party primaries for both presidential candidates and for municipal candidates. In Mississippi, voters in Natchez will return to the polls on April 7 to vote for municipal candidates, including for mayor, aldermen and municipal judge.

In the build up to those local municipal elections, The Natchez Democrat will again publish one free announcement for candidates who wish to do so.

In order to have your free candidate announcement published before the municipal primaries, candidates must submit them before March 23 to be published no later than March 31.

Below are some guidelines for candidates to submit announcements to The Democrat in the weeks leading up to the April 4 primary in Louisiana and the April 7 primary in Mississippi.

As always, candidates have the opportunity to buy paid political advertisements to tell their story and share their vision with readers in print and online.

Candidate announcements

We will publish one announcement with a head and shoulders picture per candidate for free.

Announcements must be no more than 500 words and will be published in either Sunday or Wednesday editions, as space allows on a first-come, first-served basis.

No municipal primary candidate announcements will be published for Louisiana candidates after March 28, which is one week prior to the April 4 Louisiana primary elections and March 31, which is one week prior to the April 7 Mississippi primary elections.

Announcements can include biographical information, experience, qualifications and platform points. Announcements may be edited for style, clarity, grammar and length. Pictures should be emailed to newsroom@natchezdemocrat.com or can be dropped off at the Democrat for scanning. If you do not have a photograph to submit, call the newsroom at 601-445-3540 to arrange to have one made.

Letters to the editor

Readers, including friends and family of the candidates, are invited to write letters to the editor about the upcoming race, as long as those letters follow our one rule: Be nice. We will publish letters in favor of one specific candidate, but will not publish letters that bash other candidates.

We will only publish letters containing provable facts and character opinions — not speculations or untruths. We will not publish letters from the candidates themselves.

No election letters will be published the week of the election, so the deadline for any election-related letters is Friday, March 20, for Louisiana-related letters and Monday, March 23, for Mississippi-related letters.

Top of the Mornings and other columns

Candidates will not be allowed to write Top of the Mornings, guest columns or letters to the editor on any topic during the election season. The election season is defined as the period from the day after the qualifying deadline to the day after elections.

SCOTT HAWKINS is editor of The Natchez Democrat. Reach him at 601-445-3540 or scott.hawkins@natchezdemocrat.com.