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LETTERS TO THE TIMES

Nader Candidacy Splits Voter Opinion

August 10, 2004

Last week, Ralph Nader did not accumulate the necessary signatures to get on the ballot in California. I would like to believe that this is because Californians realized that Nader's presence in this close and critical race would be as a spoiler out for self-edification rather than a noble advocate. Now the Nader camp is contemplating legal action. This illustrates Nader's refusal to accept the reality of the clear message the voting public sent him when he could not get the signatures necessary.

Mr. Nader, you had your opportunity under the law of the land and were defeated, not by too-lofty signature requirements but by a voting public that understands the gravity of this election. Run a write-in campaign if you still feel the need for the limelight.

Samuel Ridout

University Park, Pa.

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No matter how concerned some are that Ralph Nader's campaign could pull votes away from Sen. John Kerry -- although it is difficult to imagine that anyone who is disillusioned enough by politics to cast a vote for Nader would ever vote for President Bush or Kerry -- Democrats should not stand in the way of democracy.

And while it at first seemed unconscionable that Nader's campaign would accept petitions gathered by Republicans, I had to reconsider after being asked to sign a petition to get Nader/Peter Camejo on the ballot in California. The man who asked me was a volunteer. But I did not ask from which camp. So what if Republicans are helping Nader supporters get their names on petitions? Should their campaign refuse those signatures? It seems there isn't much fair play in this political season from any camp.

Lisa Wells

Aliso Viejo

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