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Thousands of US voters illegally registered

October 23, 2004

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MIAMI, Oct 22: Tens of thousands of Florida voters are illegally also registered to vote in another state, the Orlando Sentinel reported on Friday. The daily said a comparison of voters' rolls from Florida with those in Georgia and North Carolina found more than 68 ,000 cases in which people with the same names and birth dates were registered in two states.

In August, the Daily News said that a similar study showed that 46,000 New York voters also were registered to vote in Florida. It is illegal to be registered to vote in two states.

The reports heightened concerns of renewed irregularities in the state that held up the 2000 presidential elections by five weeks before George W. Bush was declared the winner thanks to a lead of only 537 votes in Florida.

The Sentinel said the records it reviewed showed that 1,650 people had cast ballots both in Florida and in another state in the 2000 presidential or the 2002 gubernatorial elections.

While it is a felony to cast ballots in two states in the same election, chances of getting caught are slim, because there is no nation wide voter database and state officials seldom check if voters also are registered elsewhere.

The Daily News report had prompted Florida Secretary of State Glenda Hood to ask the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to investigate the claims in August. -AFP