- The Washington Times - Sunday, April 10, 2005

BOSTON (AP) — Many voters in last year’s presidential election were denied access to the polls through trickery and intimidation, former Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry told a voters’ group yesterday.

“Last year, too many people were denied their right to vote, too many who tried to vote were intimidated,” the Massachusetts senator said at an event sponsored by the state League of Women Voters.

“There is no magic wand. No one person is going to stand up and suddenly say, ‘It’s going to change tomorrow. You have to do that,’” he said.

Kerry supporters say voting “irregularities” in largely Democratic areas made it difficult for voters to cast ballots in the November election. A lawsuit in Ohio cited long lines and a shortage of voting machines in predominantly minority neighborhoods, but the Ohio Supreme Court dismissed the suit.

Yesterday, Mr. Kerry said people were duped into not voting. “Leaflets are handed out saying Democrats vote on Wednesday, Republicans vote on Tuesday. People are told in telephone calls that if you’ve ever had a parking ticket, you’re not allowed to vote,” he said.

Mr. Kerry has never disputed the outcome of election, saying voting irregularities did not involve enough votes to change the result. Mr. Bush won the pivotal state of Ohio by 118,000 votes, giving him enough electoral votes to win re-election.

Earlier this year, Mr. Kerry joined Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, New York Democrat, to sponsor the Count Every Vote Act. The measure would create a federal holiday for voting, require paper receipts for votes and authorize $500 million to help states upgrade voting systems and equipment.

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