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N.C. NEWS THIS WEEK

State board to investigate alleged double voting

The North Carolina Board of Elections said Thursday it will look into a report from the Republican National Committee that shows 96 people voted in North Carolina as well as another state.

"We're going to contact the Republican National Committee and ask them to provide information on these 96 and investigate," said board attorney Don Wright. Duplicate registration occurs when people move and is not illegal unless they actually double vote.

The GOP report showed 17 people also voted in New Jersey, 12 in South Carolina, 8 in Georgia, and 6 in Virginia, Kentucky, and Florida. Other states had five or fewer double votes while some states had none. Wright said that double voting in the same election is a felony.

He also said that it is not uncommon for a person to be double registered after they move from one state to another. Usually, double registration is fixed through routine exchanges of information between states.

Three anti-war protesters arrested

Three protesters against war in Iraq were arrested Thursday after refusing to leave the office of Rep. David Price following a Wednesday night sit-in.

Anna Carson-Dewitt, a University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill student who was arrested, said she hoped her civil disobedience would send a message.

"I think war is reprehensible," Carson-Dewitt said after her release. "It's not acceptable, and I wanted to make it clear that war in my name is not an option."

The three protesters were charged with second-degree trespassing and have a Nov. 18 court date. The others charged were Sascha Bollag and Lenore Yarger. All three were members of a group that protested Monday afternoon near Price's office.

Price opposes President George W. Bush's proposal on Iraq because it gives him free rein to declare war, said a spokesperson. Price is supporting a bill that would require Bush to seek approval from Congress before declaring war.

Hearing on Blue Cross conversion sparks few fireworks

There was little public support at the first of three hearings over Blue Cross BlueShield of North Carolina's plans to change to a for-profit company.

About 150 were in attendance at the meeting hosted by North Carolina Insurance Commissioner Jim Long, who emphasized in his opening comments that he has not made a final decision on the proposal. The chief executive of Blue Cross, Bob Greczyn, said the plans for a conversion were in the best interests of Blue Cross's members.

In his opening statement, Greczyn could not promise that premiums would not increase under the new plan, but he said that no changes would be due to the conversion. Most of the other speakers backed the proposal, but several urged Long to examine the plan with scrutiny.

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