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New voter registration high

WASHINGTON, Oct. 10 (UPI) -- A surge in U.S. voter registration is spawning predictions of the largest increase in turnout in more than a decade.

Election officials nationwide say new registrations are still pouring in, boosting the number of voters in many states to levels never seen before, the Washington Times reported Sunday. Election Day is just over three weeks away.

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"We have seen a real rush to become registered by eligible voters all over the country," said Meredith Imwalle, spokeswoman for the National Association of Secretaries of State.

The sharp rise in registration is largely the result of an intensive grass-roots canvassing campaign by the Republican and Democratic parties and the campaigns of the two presidential candidates, President Bush and Sen. John Kerry.

"They have been very aggressive, the most aggressive that I've seen in my career," said Curtis Gans, who runs the Committee for the Study of the American Electorate. The spike in voter registration likely will boost voter turnout as well, he said.

Republican campaign officials said they have signed up more than 3 million new GOP voters. Democrats said they have exceeded that number, but refused to give any statistics.

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