FORT LAUDERDALE - U.S. Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton toured South Florida on Saturday, urging residents to vote early for Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry at rallies for African-Americans and women's groups.
At a Women's Early Vote Unity Rally in West Palm Beach, Clinton criticized efforts to reject voter registration applications because some people had forgotten to check a box indicating they are U.S. citizens.
She said President Bush and Gov. Jeb Bush must make sure the Nov. 2 election is fair and that every vote counts in Florida, the state that decided the 2000 presidential election by 537 votes.
Later Saturday, at a rally before a largely African-American crowd of several hundred people outside a community center in Fort Lauderdale, the senator criticized President Bush's comments that Kerry would be ineffective in fighting terrorism. She later addressed a rally in Miami.
At both rallies, she said that New York, the state she represents and the site of the World Trade Center attacks, is expected to cast its electoral votes for Kerry.
"We went through the horror, the tragedy, the loss ... Isn't it interesting that the people of New York, the ones who were attacked, have already figured out they can trust John Kerry?" Clinton said.
The biggest applause at both events came when she told the crowds that her husband, President Clinton, was recovering fast enough from heart surgery to campaign for Kerry in Florida early next week.