US says draft holdouts cut to about half a million

Some 880,000 young men registered for the draft during the grace period that ended Feb. 28, leaving slightly more than half a million men in violation of the law, selective service head Thomas Turnage said.

He told a House Armed Services subcommittee the rate of compliance with the law is 93.6 percent and a total of 7,792,000 young men have registered. The estimated number of nonregistrants is 535,000, he said. Those born in 1963 form the largest group of violators.

The Justice Department said that by this summer grand juries could begin returning indictments against those who failed to register.

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