Letter to Hispanics debunks claims on voting

GARDEN GROVE, Calif. (AP) -- The California secretary of state mailed letters Wednesday to counteract an intimidating flier linked to a Republican congressional candidate's campaign that warned immigrants they could go to jail if they vote.
The bilingual letter, endorsed by several Hispanic civil-rights groups, encourages U.S. citizens to vote Nov. 7, informs them of the official state requirements to register and tells them to ignore the "false and misleading" information in the earlier flier.
The letter went out to all 14,000 Hispanic voters who received the flier sent this month. It was linked to the campaign of Tan Nguyen, who running for Democratic Rep. Loretta Sanchez's seat in Orange County. Written in Spanish, it warned: "You are advised that if your residence in this country is illegal or you are an immigrant, voting in a federal election is a crime that could result in jail time."
In fact, naturalized U.S. citizens have the right to vote. State and federal investigators are looking into possible voting rights violation.
Copyright 2006 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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