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LETTERS

Bolton’s plan not to vote for Trump is — get real — essentially a vote for Trump

John Bolton has said that he won't vote for President Trump in November, but he's not going to vote for Joe Biden either.
John Bolton has said that he won't vote for President Trump in November, but he's not going to vote for Joe Biden either.Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg

Re “Bolton says maybe he should have challenged the president” (Page A6, June 24): The longer online version of this article concludes with a cliffhanger: John Bolton “has called Trump unfit for office and said he should not be reelected, but ruled out voting for the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, Joe Biden.” How will Bolton vote?

Bolton’s intention to write in a conservative’s name on his November ballot has been acknowledged without the uproar it merits. The truth is, Bolton’s decision is not just akin to not voting. It’s worse. Conservatives frustrated with President Trump and liberals longing for a more progressive candidate may wrongly view a write-in ballot as a noble alternative. While Bolton’s choice is disguised as a respectable solution, voters must know that writing in any name is, in essence, the same as writing in a fictional character or throwing away your ballot.

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Many conservative voters will make a difficult decision in November. Bolton is not alone. Shying away from a meaningful vote, however, is cowardly. Leading the public to do the same is dangerous. Outlets reporting on Bolton’s decision should clarify the implications of write-in ballots. Conservative and liberal leaders alike must call out Bolton’s decision to bin his ballot in one of the most consequential elections of our lifetimes.

Hannah Pedone

Hingham