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SCHOOL CHIEF PULLS PLUG ON GET-OUT-THE-VOTE EFFORT

The superintendent of Milwaukee schools halted a get-out-the-vote program involving students after complaints were raised about its link to a pro-Kerry organization.

Superintendent William Andrekopoulos acted late Wednesday, citing a policy that prohibits the district from being a political advocate. His decision came a day after Republicans accused Democrats of using the students for political gain because the program was organized by the Wisconsin Citizen Action Fund, whose parent organization endorsed Sen. John F. Kerry for president.

Students at 33 Milwaukee schools called voters and went door-to-door in minority neighborhoods and areas with historically low voter turnout, urging people to cast ballots in Tuesday's election. The young people, ranging in age from 11 to 18, often conducted the efforts during school hours.

Supporters said the youngsters were getting a valuable lesson in democracy and denied any partisanship, insisting the students did not wear political buttons or clothing and did not encourage people to vote one way or another.

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