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Elections staff examining legislative contributions

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) -- An elections official says a review of political contributions given to state legislators is being expedited on the request of Mecklenburg County lawmakers. The request follows an analysis by The Charlotte Observer which found that special interest groups reported giving more than $60,000 to lawmakers who didn't report the money in campaign reports. Executive Director Gary Bartlett says three staff members from the state Board of Elections are now conducting a routine review of the reports sooner than usual. In an analysis based on records dating back six years, The Charlotte Observer found 20 legislators had about 120 discrepancies when reporting donations from political action committees. Candidates and political action committees can be fined if funds are improperly reported. Extreme cases can be sent to prosecutors for investigation. Bartlett says some lawmakers have turned in amended statements that explained discrepancies. (Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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