Last Push: Sewickley Volunteers Work to Get Out the Vote

Democrats and Republicans plan to work the polls, transport voters on this Election Day.

With just a day before the election, volunteers at the Republican campaign headquarters in Sewickley were making telephone calls and passing out campaign materials to supporters who stopped in. 

At the Democratic headquarters, volunteers at the Broad Street location were also still handing out campaign items and speaking to supporters as well. 

For both campaign offices, weeks of phone banking, door-to-door canvassing and political discussions have come down to today, Election Day. Their efforts are anything but over, as the polls open at 8 a.m.

Alisa Lenhardt, Republican volunteer, said they plan to have volunteers out at every polling place, including 11 people at the St. Stephen's Church polls and 25 working at the campaign office at Beaver and Broad streets. Twelve drivers are also ready to take people to the polls, she said. 

"We have drivers available to get shut-ins to the polls in our area," Lenhardt said.  

Both campaign offices say they have seen an outpouring of community support over the past several weeks. 

At last count, Democratic organizers said they had 27 volunteers ready to drive voters to their respective voting locations in Quaker Valley. The group also has 40 volunteers working inside the polls and 30 outside local polling places.

"Community response has been amazing," said Barry Pitek, chairman of the Quaker Valley Democratic Organization, which has been actively involved in the 2008 and 2012 presidential campaigns as well as local and state races.  

Pitek said volunteers have opened their homes for phone banking and other spontaneous activites for the past nine weeks, continuing to shape the grassroots efforts of local Democrats, Independents and progressive Republicans. He said some nurses from Heritage Valley Sewickley hospital, many who live outside the school district, have stopped before and after work to help make calls and volunteer their time. In addition, he said trunk-loads of Obama-Biden signs, stickers, buttons, hats and shirts have been passed out.

"Quaker Valley business owners have lent great support, financial and otherwise to our diverse and representative efforts," he said. "Campaign signs for Casey, Critz, Smith, Scappe and Matzie have been grabbed up by voters."

Lenhardt said nearly 1,800 visitors since Oct. 1 have come to the Republican office to get signs from all over the area, Allegheny, Westmoreland, Beaver and Butler counties, and from as far away as the East Coast, Florida and California.

She said more than 2,000 signs have been given out for free, 1,000 buttons and 1,000 bumper stickers, 200 paper yard signs, and 500 stickers. 

"Even up to today (Monday) people came in wanting more, but we just couldn't get anymore," Lenhardt said. "We ran out of everything a few days ago and started giving away all the signs in the windows too. People were going to start making their own signs."

Both offices will be open today.

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