CLEVELAND – They spent the summer registering people to vote. Now the two
major political parties will try to make sure those people turn out to vote.
Volunteers from across the country descended on Ohio to take part in a
pitched battle to keep their man in the White House or to install a new
Across this battleground state, unions and church groups were mobilizing to
bring voters to the polls, even as political operatives readied themselves
to challenge the results, should they not favor their candidate. In the
past week, Ohio voters have been bombarded with recorded telephone pitches
from across the political spectrum, from Laura Bush and Arnold
Schwarzenegger to Bill Clinton and comedian Chris Rock.
In a more targeted effort, the Ohio office of the Council on
American-Islamic Relations said Monday its volunteers had contacted more
than 18,000 voters in its “Get Out the Muslim Vote” effort, which included
distributing Muslim voter guides at mosques during Ramadan prayers. The
group’s national office has made much of recent polls showing American
Muslims drifting away from President Bush and toward Sen. John Kerry as the
war in Iraq continued.
“Muslims are not sitting by and watching this election,” said Jad Humeidan,
director of CAIR-Ohio, who estimates there are 50,000 Muslim registered
voters in Ohio. “We are going to be full participants.