Do you want to learn how to write a letter to the editor of your local newspaper? Are you ready to raise awareness of approval voting—or even launch a campaign—but you’re not sure where to start? Letters to the editor (LTEs) are a key piece of almost any successful issue campaign.
Nate Allen, CES supporter and founder of Utah Approves, has had significant success with his LTE campaign in Utah. IN This recording, he co-hosts a training with CES to better equip all of our organizers on how to write a letter to the editor. You’ll work on identifying targets, figuring out where to submit, and practicing a few headlines.
Getting your letter published in your local newspaper is a key skill to have for any approval voting advocate, so check it out!
The “Letters to the Editor” section is one of the most widely read parts of the paper — usually close to the first page. They’re a great way to generate community discussion.
Letters to the editor are usually short — less than 300 words, and are usually sent over email. Most of the time, you can find instructions in the “contact us” section of your local paper’s website.
If you’re not sure where to start, take a look at the template letter below. Don’t forget to customize it with your name, the editor’s name, and the name of your town!
To the editor,
Our democracy is broken. While there are lots of ideas about how to improve politics and elections, one idea that doesn’t get a lot of attention is changing the way we vote. Being able to vote for only one candidate in an election can cause lots of problems, including candidates winning without support from most voters. That’s why I think we should bring a method called approval voting to (NAME OF YOUR TOWN).
Approval voting is an alternative voting method that allows voters to vote for all the candidates they approve of, and the candidate with the most votes wins. This simple reform incurs minimal cost to taxpayers and would improve elections by eliminating vote splitting and the spoiler effect, allowing voters to always vote for their favorite candidate without throwing away their vote.
I believe that implementing approval voting in (NAME OF YOUR TOWN) would greatly benefit our residents. A greater diversity of candidates and ideas would have a platform, and winning candidates would be more likely to receive broad support from the electorate. Negative campaigning would go down, as approval voting mitigates the “us-versus-them” dynamic of our current system. Voters would be able to support all the candidates they believe in, rather than being forced to choose just one.
Let’s take a step toward a better, healthier democracy. Let’s take a step toward better representation for voters. Let’s take a step toward approval voting.
(SIGN YOUR NAME)
Once you’re done, let us know! We’ll send you some additional resources and give you a shout-out on social media once it’s published.