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POLITICS IN BRIEF

Absentee ballots may be missing

FORT LAUDERDALE -- Up to 58,000 absentee ballots may never have reached the Broward County voters who requested them more than two weeks ago, election officials said, and State Police are investigating. Hundreds of people have called the county elections office to complain that they never got their ballots. The county election office said the problem involved ballots mailed Oct. 7-8, though the number of those missing was uncertain. Some absentee ballots mailed on those dates have been returned to be counted. The county blamed the Postal Service, but postal officials said the post office was not to blame. (AP)

Police say car was aimed at lawmaker

SARASOTA -- A man was arrested yesterday after he was accused of trying to run down Representative Katherine Harris and a group of supporters with his car. Witnesses said a silver Cadillac sped through an intersection and swerved onto the sidewalk. The car headed straight toward Harris before swerving at the last minute and driving off, according to police. Harris told police she feared for her life and could not move as the vehicle sped toward her, police records show. Witnesses gave the car's license plate number to police, and they tracked it to Barry M. Seltzer, 46. He was charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and held without bond. He was scheduled for his first court appearance today. (AP)

OHIO

Hearings are halted on GOP challenges

CINCINNATI -- A federal judge temporarily stopped hearings on Republican challenges of thousands of voter registrations, ruling in favor of Democrats who alleged the challenges were an attempt to keep legitimate votes from being counted. US District Judge Susan Dlott ruled that six county elections boards should stop hearings scheduled this week in Ohio, a hotly contested state for Tuesday's election. The Republicans challenged as many as 35,000 registrations after mail came back undelivered, saying they could be fraudulent. About half the challenges were filed in Democrat-heavy Cuyahoga County. (AP)

MISSOURI

Abortion advocates target archdiocese

ST. LOUIS -- A Catholic abortion-rights group has asked the Internal Revenue Service to revoke the tax-exempt status of the Archdiocese of St. Louis and to stop the archdiocese's attempts to influence the Nov. 2 election. The complaint says the archdiocese violated its status as a public charity because such groups are prohibited from acting for or against a certain candidate. The complaint was filed Tuesday by the Washington-based Catholics for a Free Choice. The complaint cites an Oct. 1 pastoral letter by Archbishop Raymond Burke, who forbade Catholics to vote for candidates who support abortion rights, euthanasia, reproductive cloning, gay marriage, and embryonic stem cell research. The archdiocese declined to comment. (AP)

COLORADO

2 accused of fraud in voter registration

DENVER -- Prosecutors charged two people yesterday with filling out multiple voter-registration forms and said they were investigating ''reams" of documents for potential problems. Monique Mora, 20, and Pelonne Page, 21, are accused of putting down false information on the forms or having others do it. The two were working for one of many groups that paid people in Colorado this year to register voters. ''We find it abhorrent and do everything we can to prevent it from happening," said Jim Fleischmann, a regional director for the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now. (AP)

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