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Florida tops states in concerns sent to pre-election hot line


(CNN) -- Registration and absentee ballot issues toppedlast-minute concerns among voters in the days before Tuesday'spresidential election, particularly in South Florida.

Voters wait in line in Pompano Beach, Florida, on Saturday.

Voters wait in line in Pompano Beach, Florida, on Saturday.

Of the more than 10,000 problems reported to CNN's Voter Hotline sofar, the largest number of complaints -- about 1,400 -- come fromFlorida.

In nearly 8 percent of those complaints, callers saidthey had not received their voter registration cards, and about 15percent said they had yet to receive the absentee ballots theyrequested.

Similar patterns were seen among callers nationwide.

From Cleveland, Ohio, Karen Terrance told CNN that she had not receivedher registration card despite calls to her local election board.

"I was born and raised here," Terrance said. "I don't understand whyI'm not getting any communication. So I hope next year and years after,I won't have that problem."

     Long lines at early voting stations were another top concern among Floridians, with more than 10 percent reporting lines that were too long.

More than 4.4 million Floridians have already cast ballots in theelection, according to the state Division of Elections -- about 40percent of the 11 million voters on the rolls.

Florida was thescene of a bruising recount that settled the 2000 election, and it is aclosely watched battleground state in this year's race betweenDemocratic candidate Barack Obama and Republican nominee John McCain. Both parties are already in court, battling over potential voter challenges Tuesday.

   A lawsuit that Democratsfiled to stop Florida Republicans from using foreclosure lists andmailing lists to challenge potential voters was suspended Monday at thestart of a hearing. Democrats told judges that the GOP has agreed notto use those lists. In court papers, the state and national Republicanparties dismissed the complaint as a "nonexistent threat."

PeterDavey, the Tallahassee judge assigned to hear the case, agreed tosuspend the hearing but said he would go ahead with it if problemsarose.

In Virginia, McCain's campaign asked a federal judgeMonday to order state election officials to count late-arrivingabsentee ballots from U.S. troops overseas. The suit requests thatballots mailed by Tuesday and arriving as late as November 14 betallied in Virginia, where McCain has trailed Obama in recent polls.

Meanwhile, a judge denied a request by the NAACP to order the state toreallocate voting machines and extend poll hours Tuesday. Attorneys forthe group said they would decide Monday night whether to appeal theruling.

Virginia state police said they will not bring charges against aman who printed up a bogus flier that instructed Obama supporters to goto the polls Wednesday instead of Tuesday. Nancy Rodriguez, secretaryof the State Board of Elections, called the flier "a joke that got outof control."

In Indiana, where early voting ended at noonMonday, Purdue University student Iqbal Siddique said he was told helisted his address incorrectly when he filled out his registration form.

"I called my voting election center in Tippecanoe, and they said Ican't vote or I have to do a provisional ballot because my address waswrong," said Siddique, a first-time voter.

Early voting has drawn long lines around the country. In Ohio,another battleground state, voters lined up well in advance of Monday's8 a.m. opening time in heavily Democratic Columbus, and Sunday's linestook up to seven hours to navigate.

CNN willbe tracking voter problems through Election Day. CNN's partner,InfoVoter Technologies, has also transferred more than 16,000 callersto their local election officials so they can get answers to theirproblems.

CNN Voter Hot Line

If you have a problem voting orsee a problem, call the CNN Voter Hot Line at 877-GOCNN08(877-462-6608); CNN will report on some of your calls, and our partnerInfoVoter Technologies can help get you in touch with your electionboard or find your voting location.

Entry #148


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