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It will be settled one month from Saturday night. The voting will end and, barring recounts, the United States will have elected a president.

Maryland will have elected a senator and, by referendum, have settled a number of hot-button issues, including same-sex marriage, in-state college tuition for some undocumented immigrants, expansion of gambling to a include a new casino in Prince George’s County and congressional redistricting maps. The 5th Congressional District, of which Charles County is a part, will have elected a congressman.

But first comes this final month of the campaign. The Maryland Independent will cover these state races. On Oct. 17, we will publish a guide for voters, which will include the answers to questions we have posed to the candidates for Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives, and an explanation of the referendum questions on the ballot.

During the month, we will publish letters to the editor from readers arguing the merits and demerits of the candidates or ballot questions. In the past, we have expanded the space devoted to letters and will do that again if necessary.

Because we are providing coverage of the campaigns, we do not accept letters from the candidates themselves, except when the candidate is replying to editorial criticism from the paper, disputing news reporting or replying to an inaccurate attack from a letter writer.

A word of advice to letter writers: Shorter letters, those 300 words or less, are more inviting to readers and most likely to be published in a timely manner. That holds true to letters we receive any time of the year.

As always, we reserve the right to edit or reject letters, but our intent is to publish as many of them as possible, and a representative sample of those received for each candidate or issue will be published. The outcome of these elections might not hinge on letters to the editor, but providing a forum for them is one way to make sure that citizen voices can be heard.