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Report: Many are voters in both New York, Florida

By wire services
Published August 25, 2004

Snowbirds who register to vote in two states might want to keep an eye out for the law.

Secretary of State Glenda Hood said voters identified in a New York Daily News story as registered to vote in both New York and Florida likely committed a felony and should be prosecuted.

The newspaper found 46,000 New Yorkers who have registered to vote in both states and many who cast ballots in both states in the 2000 election.

"It's against the law to register in two places," Hood said Tuesday. "When we are made aware of it, we'll deal with it."

When a new voter registers in Florida, elections officials send a notice to the state where they previously voted, Hood said.

Florida has a statewide database that can show whether someone has registered to vote in more than one county, but it cannot compare voter rolls between states.

Deaths of five youths spur search for drug provider

SARASOTA - Investigators are trying to track down the provider of illegal drugs that may be linked to the recent deaths of five young people.

Police said the deaths appeared to be due to drug overdoses, and the victims knew one other. Three died Aug. 14 and two Thursday.

Preliminary screenings by medical examiners found methadone in all five bodies, along with an assortment of other drugs. At least a half-dozen other people became ill from taking the same drug but survived, said Lisa Phillips, executive director of the Sarasota Coalition on Substance Abuse.

Phillips said she thought the methadone was tainted or laced with another substance. Police are waiting for more precise lab tests.

Joshua R. Babbs, 23, and Stephany McClure, 17, were found dead Thursday at Babbs' apartment. Joshua L. Maxwell, 22, and Eric Chapman, 20, were found at Chapman's home Aug. 14, the same day the body of Michael R. Carlisle, 23, was found at a motel.

Hundreds of Kerry signs vandalized in Panhandle

PENSACOLA - Hundreds of yard signs supporting Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry have been stolen and vandalized in this heavily Republican region, officials said.

About 350 signs have been stolen, said Panhandle for Kerry organizers, who met with Pensacola police Monday. The group has distributed nearly 3,400 signs.

Police said they would increase patrols and Panhandle for Kerry members planned to conduct neighborhood watches.

Anne Bennett of Pensacola lost four Kerry signs from her front yard before making one that read, "Nice people don't steal or vandalize." She hung that one from a pine tree limb 15 feet high.

"It's like you don't have a right to participate in the public debate unless you are in the majority," she said.

[Last modified August 25, 2004, 01:33:17]

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