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Pope Keeps Polish Voting Rights

October 8, 2000

WARSAW, Poland (AP) _ An official monitoring presidential election balloting in the southern city of Krakow did a double-take Sunday when he spotted a familiar name on local voting rolls: Karol Wojtyla _ known to most of the world as Pope John Paul II.

``It was a surprise to see his name on the list,″ Poland’s PAP news agency quoted the election official, Jack Zmuda, as saying. ``We would be very surprised if the Holy Father suddenly appeared in the doorway.″

Krakow is John Paul’s last Polish residence, though he has not lived there since he went to the Vatican in 1978. His name was never removed from voter lists after he moved out of the Krakow archbishop’s house.

Under Polish law, the pontiff, like other citizens, would be allowed to vote abroad.

But the Vatican said he doesn’t vote in Polish elections: ``He is Polish and feels Polish, but now he is head of state of the Vatican. So he doesn’t vote.″

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