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Letters to the Editor: Russia is influencing our elections, not interfering. There’s a difference

President Trump speaks to the media at the White House in July 2019.
(Carolyn Kaster / Associated Press)

To the editor: In 2016, the Russian government was accused of meddling in our presidential election. How? Were votes invalidated? Were ballot boxes “stuffed” with illegal ballots? Were eligible voters denied their franchise by Russian operatives?

No. The propaganda wars between the U.S. and the Russians have been going on since 1917. In 2020 they will do the same and put false and misleading information on social media to push what candidate they feel is best for their country.

So what? American voters will vote for who they want. Anyone who chooses a candidate based on social media is only asking to be mislead — by both the Russians and anyone else trying to influence the election.

So stop falsely calling it “interference” and refer to it instead as “influence.” It’s been going on since way before 2016.

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Kevin Lee Smith, San Pedro

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To the editor: President Trump will never admit that Russia, our longtime adversary, has every reason to interfere in our elections; nor that aiding his 2016 campaign paid democracy-damaging dividends far beyond Russia’s wildest dreams.

Intent as the Russians are on helping reelect Trump, they will strive to divert Democrats from picking a viable nominee. That’s why Russian internet trolls have focused on smearing Sen. Elizabeth Warren; she appears sufficiently capable, experienced and moderate to attract a broad swath of voters.

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Sen. Bernie Sanders offers Russia an appealing alternative to Warren. Though he leads in delegates declared, he has downsides that can be endlessly exploited. Plus, as a fallback, if Sanders were elected, he seems likely to sustain the democracy-weakening divisions that Trump has stoked.

Russia’s e-invaders pose a far more existential threat to our democracy than its armed forces.

Kendra Strozyk, Cameron Park, Calif

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To the editor: I think the easiest and most effective step in protecting the integrity of our elections is to have the popular vote determine the winner.

The electoral college is easy manipulated by special interests both domestic and foreign. Key electoral votes can easily tip the scale without representing the majority of voters.

It is time to give all Americans a voice in who is elected.

Paul Ekstrom, Carpinteria


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