Florida Will Not Use Disputed

List of Felons in Election

MIAMI -- Florida elections officials said Saturday they will not use a disputed list that was designed to keep felons from voting, acknowledging a flaw that could have allowed convicted Hispanic felons to cast ballots in November.

The glitch in a state that President Bush won by 537 votes could have been significant. Because of the state's sizable Cuban population, Hispanics in Florida have tended to vote Republican more than Hispanics nationally. The list had about 28,000 Democrats and around 9,500 Republicans, with most of the rest unaffiliated.

The problem in compiling the list was unintentional and unforeseen, said Nicole de Lara, a spokeswoman for Secretary of State Glenda Hood.

"Nevertheless, Supervisors of Elections are required to uphold their constitutional obligation" and will find other ways to ensure felons are removed from the rolls, Hood said in a statement.

Florida is one of only a handful of states that do not automatically restore voting rights to convicted felons once they have completed their sentences.

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* KENNEWICK, Wash. -- Four children reported missing after their maternal grandparents, Glen Dale Carr, 57, and Debra Jolene Carr, 50, were shot to death were found safe, but their father, James T. Moran, remained at large, authorities said. The children were found at the home of Moran's parents in Lake Moses, police said.

* PHILADELPHIA -- The head of the largest and oldest U.S. civil rights group criticized President Bush for again refusing to speak at its convention this year and urged him to reconsider. Kweisi Mfume, president of the NAACP, said it was unbelievable that Bush had declined an invitation to speak for the fourth consecutive year. "When you are president, you are elected to be president of all the people," Mfume said. "You won't do that if you refuse to talk."

* FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- Broward County Sheriff Ken Jenne said his deputies improperly closed about 100 cases, most involving burglary or larceny, over three years to improve the department's crime statistics. The cases were blamed on at least 25 people who already were in custody, according to an internal review. Jenne said dozens of employees will be disciplined.

CHARLESTON, S.C. -- Attorneys for a man held in a Navy brig filed a court petition Friday arguing the Bush administration should present evidence that he is an "enemy combatant" or release him. In the petition filed in federal court here, attorneys argue that Ali Ali Saleh Kahlah al-Marri is a civilian and not an al Qaeda sleeper agent, as the government says, and thus is being held illegally.

* CRAWFORD, Tex. -- A judge dismissed all charges against five antiwar activists arrested last year on their way to President Bush's ranch. McLennan County Judge Tom Ragland said the city protest ordinance was overly broad and violated the First Amendment.

-- From News Services