The parties worked up to the 11th hour to sway voters in the region

Published 2:59 pm Saturday, November 8, 2008

As thousands of people turned out in record numbers to the polls on the morning and afternoon of Election Day, representatives from both sides of the aisle were busy making phone calls to party members and trying to reach out to undecided voters.

Locally, as well as around the state and around the country, volunteers were hoping to reach through and make a difference in the outcome of their supported candidate.

Volunteers with the Democratic Farmer Labor Party in Freeborn County set up small call centers at the county DFL headquarters building on College Street and at the Holiday Inn Express on Plaza Street.

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Freeborn County Republican Party Chairman Tiny Brandt said he thought calls for the Republican Party within the 1st Congressional District were being made in Rochester. But no other calls were being made locally, Brandt said, because by Election Day people are sick of getting phone calls.

“We’ve sent people everything, so now we’re going to let them go vote and be happy,” he said Tuesday morning.

At the DFL call center at the Holiday Inn Express on Tuesday afternoon, volunteer Nancy Rosenberg said she was encouraging people first simply to vote and then, second, to hopefully support the Democratic candidates, including DFL House 27A Rep. Robin Brown, all the way up through Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama.

“Every vote counts,” Rosenberg said. “It’s a privilege to vote.”

In other countries, she said, people die getting to the polls. People in this country need to take advantage of the opportunity they have to vote.

She said she was calling from a list of registered Democrats within Freeborn County. Many of the people she had reached on the phone had already voted, and there were a few who were undecided.

“It’s been a good experience,” Rosenberg said.

The volunteers at that location were hoping to call between 700 and 800 people, she said. They were also offering rides to the polls for those who needed them.

“We’re hoping for record amounts of voters,” she said.

Her hopes came true as high turnouts were seen across the county and the country.