The general election is almost here. It’s a time of year most people despise, except those who are running for office and the very few who thrive on politics.

Those very few politically active people can overtake our opinion pages with subject matter that, in many cases, isn’t that interesting to the majority of our readers, so we have adjusted our letters policies over the years, making them more restrictive than our usual policies.

This is the last week for election letters in this newspaper — the Bluff Country Reader has one more week since it is a Monday publication — because we reserve the final issue for rebuttals if accusations against a candidate are made that need to be corrected or new last-minute attacks are raised. We started this policy six years ago as letters have become more negative in recent years.

We also don’t allow general letters from candidates telling why people should vote for them. They have many opportunities to do that, primarily through paid advertising.

However, our newspapers do provide a service for voters by polling each candidate for state representative (and senator when that office comes up for election), county offices, city positions and school board seats.

In the majority of our newspapers, the state representative candidate profiles and the county office profiles are in this edition. The city and school candidates will be profiled next week.

This takes a lot of time by staff and space in our newspapers, but we think it is important for voters to have the information they need to make informed choices when they go to the polls. Since no other medium in the area devotes the resources to local elections that we do, we don’t take this responsibility lightly.

Although the most money is spent on the candidates for federal and state offices, the local offices, from county on down, are what get the most feedback from residents. The county sheriff races in Fillmore, Houston (Spring Grove Herald) and Olmsted (Chatfield News) have been the subjects of numerous letters over the past few weeks, some of them quite pointed. As always, a school building referendum, which is on the ballot in the Rushford-Peterson district, is just as heated and people are freely speaking out on that issue.

For those who revel in political races, there are only a few days left. For the rest of you, Nov. 5 is probably already marked down on your calendar as a day when the newspapers, radio stations, mail boxes and television stations, which bring us attacks from candidates in three states, return to normal.