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Letter: Check the facts

Editor, Gazette-Journal:

I would like to propose a guideline for G-J letter writers. Please provide references for information presented as “factual” in your letter. When opinion is presented as consistent with fact, it is important for the reader to be able to evaluate the foundation of the opinion.

One example: a recent letter (“Demand transparency,” Charles E. Selph, Aug. 26 Readers Write) expressed the opinion that Virginia’s 2020 election was not “fair and free.” To support this opinion, reference was made to “documentation of odd goings-on,” which Mr. Selph indicated he had “sent to the editor,” with examples included in the letter. He cited “anomalies” in which the Total Votes cast decreased in two instances as the basis for his opinion that “funny business” occurred during the election. Unfortunately, the source of this documentation was not cited in the letter.

I decided to track down the documentation, a rather time-consuming process. This led to a number of website...

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