GOP Withdraws Ohio Registration Challenges

State Republicans withdrewn thousands of more than 35,000 challenges to new voter registrations because of errors in their filings apparently caused by a computer glitch.

Republicans filed the challenges Friday in 65 of Ohio's 88 counties, saying mail sent to the newly registered voters was returned as undeliverable.

Over the weekend, the party withdrew about 4,700 challenges in Hamilton County because the names and addresses on the GOP list didn't match voter rolls, and about two-thirds, or 2,800, of the 4,200 challenges in Franklin County, officials said.

It's too late to file a new challenge under the statute the party used, John Williams, election director in Hamilton County, said Monday. There appeared to be an error in the database program used to print the challenges, so that addresses weren't matched with the correct names, he said.

But the largest single batch of challenges, some 17,000 in Cuyahoga County, is still being processed because there were no errors, said Jane Platten, elections board spokeswoman.

Polls show that the race between President Bush and Sen. John Kerry in the key swing state is too close to call.