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2003-04-24 - 5:09 p.m.

Bush may not make Alabama's ballot

MONTGOMERY, Alabama (AP) -- Unless Alabama's election law is changed, there could be one notable candidate missing from the state's 2004 presidential election ballot -- President Bush.

The problem is that the Republican National Convention is being held later than usual to avoid conflict with the Olympics, and the GOP won't choose a candidate until September 2 -- two days after Alabama's August 31 deadline to certify presidential contenders.

Republicans are asking the Democrat-controlled Legislature to change the law and extend the deadline until September 5.

That bill is on the work agenda in the House for Thursday, but some Republicans say they are concerned the bill has been placed behind several contentious issues and may not come up for consideration.

"I don't think the people know that if this doesn't pass, they won't get to vote for President Bush," said Rep. Mike Hubbard, a Republican.

He said if the bill doesn't pass, Bush could be forced to run as a write-in in Alabama.

Bush received 56.4 percent of the vote in Alabama in 2000 to 41.6 percent for former Vice President Al Gore, a Democrat.

Republicans have carried Alabama in the last six presidential elections.

oh the irony, sweet sweet irony!

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