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New York official angered by Florida election

New York official angered by Florida election

NEW YORK (CNN) -- Democrats stressed the importance of voting in their weekly radio address Saturday and criticized the problems in last week's Florida primary.

"What better way to fight terrorism than to take part in the national conversation that is our democracy?" New York State Comptroller Carl McCall said about the right to vote. "What better way to honor the men and women of our armed forces than by exercising the very rights that they are overseas defending?"

"At a time when we're working furiously to energize as many people as possible to vote, it's outrageous that civic-minded Americans who want to vote face unfair barriers," McCall said in the Democrat's weekly radio address.

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Tuesday's Florida election and the results of the 2000 presidential balloting in that state show every vote counts, he said.

The earlier balloting fiasco left the outcome of the U.S. presidential election hanging for weeks, before leaving the winner -- George W. Bush -- with a slim victory.

Last week's election in Florida was marred by delayed poll openings and technical glitches, particularly in Miami-Dade and Broward counties, as Tampa attorney Bill McBride appeared to defeat his chief rival, former U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno, by about 8,000 votes.

The Democratic National Committee has begun an effort called "Every Vote Counts," McCall said, to register, educate and mobilize eligible voters. There is a special program for college students -- "Youth to the Booth."

"Sitting on the sidelines is not an option. Democracy is not a spectator sport. Too much is at stake," he said.




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