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Edwards Addresses Black Ohio Churchgoers

October 25, 2004

CINCINNATI (AP) _ Democratic vice presidential candidate John Edwards assured mostly black churchgoers Sunday that a record turnout would render meaningless a federal court decision that limits where some votes can be cast.

A federal appeals court ruled Saturday that provisional ballots Ohio voters cast outside their own precincts should not be counted, overturning a lower court decision that such ballots are valid as long as they are cast in the right county.

Provisional ballots are cast by voters whose names do not appear on file at their local polling place.

State law says voters must cast ballots at their correct polling place, not at any polling place in their home county, as Democrats had argued. Ohio Democrats have declined to appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Edwards said turnout is key and that Democrats would help all who want to vote get to the polls.

``We know that there are some voices that would stand in the way of your voices being heard _ stand in the way here in Ohio of you being able to vote,″ Edwards told the congregation at Allen Temple AME Church.

``We’re going to make sure you get to the polls, we’re going to make sure you get to vote and we’re going to make sure your vote is counted and we’re going to counter those forces with a record turnout.″

Looking ahead four years, the Rev. Donald Jordan Sr. introduced Edwards as a man who is ``eventually going to be president of the United States.″

With the church appearance, Edwards launched a bus tour of the state, one of several deemed crucial to the outcome on Nov. 2. He planned appearances later Sunday in Dayton and Lima.


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