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Getting out the Vote

With just three hours before polls close in Maryland, last-ditch efforts are underway to mobilize voters.

In Montgomery County, home to a large concentration of Democrats, advocacy groups tried to boost turnout among Latino and African American voters.

Staff writer Steve Hendrix reports that Casa de Maryland and the Partnership for Renewal in Southern and Eastern Maryland mounted a get-out-the-vote effort focused on precincts in the 4th congressional district, where eight-term incumbent Rep. Al Wynn (D) faces a fierce challenge from Donna Edwards.

The advocacy groups ran a phone bank from Casa headquarters, provided free taxi rides to the polls and deployed groups to knock on doors in heavily immigrant neighborhoods.

Meanwhile, in Baltimore, prominent surrogates for Sen. Barack Obama's campaign were scheduled to hold a 5 p.m. news conference to discuss voter turnout, with hopes of making the evening newscasts before polls close.
Baltimore Mayor Sheila Dixon (D), Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) and Comptroller Peter Franchot (D) -- all Obama supporters -- were scheduled to speak at the news conference.

In Montgomery, Lloyd Campbell, who is Jamaican, headed one of the turnout drives for Casa de Maryland. He mounted the stairs of a brick apartment building on Piney Branch Road this afternoon, tapping on all the doors of the second floor as he passed.

When four of them opened, he called out generally, "Good day, we are from Casa of Maryland. Let us ask you to vote today."

Campbell's companions, Basile Teukam and Pauline Mafo of Cameroon, handed out fliers with a phone number voters could call for a ride.

"I like the apartment buildings," Campbell said as they exited into a squall of freezing rain. "They are warm."
He was being paid $80 for the work, he said.

By Philip Rucker  |  February 12, 2008; 5:02 PM ET
Categories:  2008 Potomac Primary  
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