For the first time in a very long while, we’re opening the books once again. First read our Terms of Service, and if you agree, register through this link and follow the steps. Be patient; we have to approve the first comment of each new registrant, so please don’t keep resubmitting when it doesn’t appear immediately. We will eventually get them all.  Registration will remain open until 4 pm ET today.

Why now?  Next week, we will have an exciting feature in which commenters at Hot Air and our sister site Townhall will vote for their favorite choice in the Republican presidential nomination race.  We want to have as many people able to participate as possible, and so we want to get people registered to vote now.  We have also resolved some nagging technical and staffing issues that come with open registration, so we do plan to hold these on a regular basis from here on out.

It goes without saying that people who try trolling on their first comment will get banned right out of the gate, as well as previously banned commenters. This is not an amnesty; it’s an opportunity to expand the community. Dissent isn’t trolling — in fact, we love a good debate — but we know trolling when we see it.

Welcome to Hot Air!

Update: Please be patient; the return e-mail will not come immediately.  If you have problems, please send a note to our tips line, not to any of us personally or on Twitter — we have able Townhall staff monitoring the Tips line to provide assistance.  Also, be sure to check your spam and junk folders first to see if the password e-mail ended up there.

Update II: Just to emphasize what I originally wrote, if you have been banned before, you will not be approved for commenting now.  We are not going to relitigate prior violations.  Don’t bother writing e-mails detailing how much you’ve changed in the intervening time.  We are focusing on adding fresh voices today, and don’t have the time to waste arguing over long-settled complaints, nor the inclination to do so.

Update III: Registration has now been closed.  However, we are working on e-mail issues for many who did register but didn’t get a password in return, so be patient; our staff is working through these and will resolve them.  We will have another open registration in the near future, so if you missed it today, just keep your eyes peeled!