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Voting Patterns in Recent Election

June 14, 1998

The voting across party lines described by Sherry Bebitch Jeffe's "The Pull of the Center" (Opinion, June 7) may be due more to the power of advertising than to the centrist politics she describes. When one side has no competition (Dan Lungren for governor and Barbara Boxer for senator, most obviously) and spends relatively little and the other side has several competitors spending truly big money, I suspect the massive advertising pulls voters from their traditional patterns more than ideology does.

Unfortunately, this feeds the ever-escalating cost of political contests. Fortunately, the losers prove that just throwing money at voters (perhaps with lots of ego and little political platform) doesn't work. Whatever the basis, it shows that the open primary did cause some change.

GEORGE RIGGS, Walnut

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Regarding your June 7 article detailing the Pico-Union polling place: How is it possible that a 66-year-old naturalized citizen believes you can vote twice? Further, how can an illiterate pass the citizenship test?

The real news in this story is that Clinton/Gore's Citizenship USA program has granted the most valuable citizenship in the world to a mass of ignorant people who will vote as a reliable ethnic bloc--"If there is a Latino candidate they'll vote for them." It appears the critics were right about Citizenship USA being a way to mass-produce Democrats.

DON RICHARDSON, Lakewood

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